Dr. Joshua Ackerman


Joshua Ackerman's research explores the role that adaptive psychological mechanisms play in behavioral and decision-making contexts. Much of what we think about (or don't think about), the decisions we make (or not), and the (dis)satisfaction we have with those decisions, are all driven by a fundamental set of evolved predispositions interacting with subtle features of our current environments. In approaching psychology from this perspective, his research has concentrated on interpersonal cognition—how and why people think, prefer, choose, and act with or because of each other. This work has led to projects investigating threat identification, romantic relationships, self-control and risky decisions, nonconscious effects of touch sensations, and, most recently, understanding how exposure to contagious disease cues and bodily factors such as immune system functioning interact to influence various forms of social behavior and decision making.


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