Henri C. Santos
From voting on national policy to resolving relationship conflicts, people often have to make consequential decisions in an uncertain and changing world. I investigate how people reason in these situations through the lens of cultural change and wisdom. On an individual level, I am interested in (1) how to measure and facilitate wisdom in everyday situations. As part of this research, I study the nature of advice-giving situations and the cognitive processes involved when one gives advice. Looking at the level of society, I examine (2) the magnitude and causes for the rise of individualism across over 70 countries in the past 50 years. Aside from these main lines of research, my other work investigates the origins of complex emotions (e.g., the experience of multiple emotions), the physiological markers of wise reasoning, and ways to improve forecasts about future conflicts. A common theme through these lines of research is recognizing the importance of the situation when studying psychological outcomes. Understanding how people reason wisely and how cultures change is an interdisciplinary endeavor that contributes to debates in a variety of fields, such as psychology, philosophy, and economics.