My research interests are in gender differences and similarities as well as in attitudes, habits, and behavior control. In studying gender, I am interested in evolutionary accounts of what gender differences are innate characteristics of the human species, and what ones reflect the more variable influence of particular cultures? This question is hotly debated. Its answer depends on what assumptions one makes about evolutionary pressures on human ancestors and how these influence men's and women's innate psychology. In this work, I study men’s and women’s behavior across cultures as well as the psychological processes that lead to sex differences within our society.
My interest in habits comes from observing how difficult it is to change repeated behaviors in daily life. Habits are a form of automaticity that people learn when they repeatedly respond in a given context. With repetition, people form cognitive associations between the response and context cues (e.g., locations, presence of others). Then, perception of the context activates the associated response in memory. This activation process does not require a supporting goal, and people thus repeat good and bad habits.
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