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

nbaumard at gmail.com

New! I am organizing a Summer School 'Morality: Evolutionary Origins and Cognitive Mechanisms' at the Central European University. Deadline: February 14, 2014!

I am the holder of the Chaire d'Excellence Recherche "The Evolution of Fairness" funded by PSL* and the co-leader of the Evolution and Social Cognition Group at the Department of Cognitive Science of the Ecole Normale Supérieure.

I am interested in using evolutionary and psychological approaches in 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;

Dual process theory to explain the content of human reflections and religious thinking;

Massive modularity to explain why some public policies fit people better;

Life-history theory to explain long-term changes in human history.

Main 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.

André, J.B. and Baumard, N. (2011) Social opportunities and the evolution of fairnessJournal of Theoretical Biology, 289, 128-135.

- 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.

Baumard, N. & Chevallier, C., (2012) What goes around comes around: The evolutionary roots of the belief in immanent justiceJournal of Cognition and Culture12 67-80

- 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)

Baumard, N. (in press) For public policies, our evolved psychology is the problem AND the solution (Commentary to 'Evolving the Future: Toward a Science of Intentional Change' by Wilson, Hayes, Biglan and Embry), Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

- Long term changes:

Baumard, N., Morris, I., Hyafil, A. and Boyer, P., (in review) Explaining the Axial Age: How Energy Capture Favored Ascetic Wisdoms and Moralizing Religions.

Boyer, P. & Baumard, N. (in press) Empirical problems with the notions of "big gods" and of prosociality in largesocieties (Commentary on Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict by Ara Norenzayan), Religion, Brain and Behavior.

Photo taken by Alejandro Gallego-Lozano in Beaupréau!