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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 a CNRS research scientist. I co-lead 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 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) during development and between cultures

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

- 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)