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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, including economics, philosophy, anthropology and history. 

More specifically, I use:

- Mutualistic theories of cooperation (and in particular partner choice) to explain why moral judgments and cooperative behaviors are based on considerations of fairness;

Life-history theory to explain behavioral variability (in particular in morality) across culture, time, 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;


Some papers:

- Partner choice:

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).

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

Baumard, N., Mascaro, O. and Chevallier, C. (2012) Preschoolers are able to take merit into account when distributing goodsDevelopmental Psychology48(2) 492-498.

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

- Life history:

Baumard, N. & Chevallier, C. (2015) The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Baumard, N., Hyafil, A., Morris, I., and Boyer, P., (in press) 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)