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Publications in VIVO

Pedersen, Eric John Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • How do people decide whom to help, whom to harm, whom to befriend, and whom to avoid? In our research in the Evolution and Social Cognition Lab, we try to shed light on these perennial social-psychological topics by integrating principles from cognitive and evolutionary psychology. To do so, we use a theoretical approach grounded in considering how psychological mechanisms process inputs from the environment to adaptively regulate social emotions and behavior. Some of our main research interests include how the mind regulates punishment and anger, how gratitude and forgiveness function to build and maintain relationships, and how individual and cultural differences in cooperation arise. Additional interests include decision-making and self-control, forgiveness, empathy, and assessing the validity of various experimental methods.


  • evolutionary psychology, judgement and decision-making, social cognition, emotions


selected publications


courses taught

  • PSYC 2606 - Social Psychology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Covers general psychological principles underlying social behavior. Analyzes major social psychological theories, methods, and topics, including attitudes, conformity, aggression, attraction, social perception, helping behavior, and group relations.
  • PSYC 5606 - Proseminar: Social-Personality Psychology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2020
    Provides a thorough introduction to methods and theories in social psychology concerned with topics such as the self, social cognition, judgment and decision making, attitude formation and change, small group processes, inter-group relations, health and social psychology, and others. May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours. Instructor consent required.
  • PSYC 5741 - General Statistics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2021
    Surveys probability and statistics in psychology. Instructor consent required.
  • PSYC 5751 - General Statistics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    Continuation of PSYC 5741. Instructor consent required.


International Activities

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