Teaching      Publications      General Audience      Blogging      


Institut Jean-Nicod
Département d'études cognitives
Ecole normale supérieure 
29, rue d'Ulm 
75230 Paris

nbaumard at gmail.com

I am interested in using evolutionary and psychological approaches in the social sciences, in particular in economics

More specifically, I use:

- Biological market theory to explain why moral judgments and cooperative behaviors are based on considerations of fairness;

Life-history theory to explain behavioral variability across culture, history, social classes and developmental stages;

Dual process theory to explain the content of human reflections and religious thinking (in particular on morality and gods);

- all of the above to explain why some public policies naturally work better;

New: I have been nominated for the Best Young Economist of France Award (see Le Monde's interview)

New: Nicolas Claidière, Olivier Morin, Thom Scott-Philipps and I are organizing a satellite meeting "Cultural Evolution by Cultural Attraction: Empirical Issues".
New: I am launching a new course at the Ecole Normale Supérieure "Cognitive Sciences for the Social Sciences".


Some papers (see also my page on Google Scholar):

- Partner choice:

Baumard, N. (2016) The origins of fairness: How Evolution Explains Our Moral Nature, Oxford University Press (translation of
Baumard, N. (2010) Comment nous sommes devenus moraux : Une histoire naturelle du bien et du mal, Odile Jacob)

Baumard, N. & Sheskin, M. (2015) Partner Choice and the Evolution of a Contractualist Morality, in Decety, J. & Wheatley, T., The Moral Brain, M.I.T. Press.

Debove, S., André, J.B. & Baumard, N., (2015) Partner choice creates fairness in humans, Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Baumard, N., André, J.B. et Sperber, D. (2013A mutualistic theory of morality: The evolution of fairness by partner choiceBehavioral and Brain Sciences, Target article, 36 (1).

- Life history:

Safra, L., Algan, Y., Grèzes, J., Tecu, T., Baumard, N. & Chevallier, C., (2017) Childhood harshness induces long-lasting preference for authoritarian leaders, Evolution and Human Behavior

Baumard, N. (2016). Morality tale. New Scientist, 230(3071), 34-35.

Baumard, N., Hyafil, A., Morris, I., and Boyer, P., (2015) Explaining the Axial Age: How Energy Capture Favored Ascetic Wisdoms and Moralizing Religions, Current Biology (Supplemental Information) See also the coverage in Science.

Sheskin, M., Chevallier, C., Lambert, S., and Baumard, N. (2014) Life-history theory explains childhood moral developmentTrends in Cognitive Sciences.

- Reflective beliefs:

Baumard, N. & Boyer, P., (2013) Explaining moral religionsTrends in Cognitive Sciences, 17 (6) pp. 172 - 180.

Baumard, N. & Boyer, P. (2013) Religious Beliefs as Reflective Elaborations:A Modified Dual-Process ModelCurrent Directions in Psychological Science.

- Public policies:

Baumard, N. (2013) Why evolutionary psychology matters for human development: Humannature as a constraint and a lever in policy design (Report written in preparation to the World Bank Report 2015)