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Joe Stubbersfield

Postdoctoral research associate, Durham University

I am currently working as a Research Associate in the Anthropology Department of Durham University. Prior to this I completed a joint Anthropology-Psychology doctorate at Durham University and worked as a research fellow at St. Andrews University.

My research focuses on how biases in our cognition for certain types of content have influenced both the cultural evolution and transmission of narratives. My research draws on the fields of cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology and social learning.


  • 2016–present
    Postdoctoral research associate, Durham University
  • 2014–2016
    Postdoctoral research fellow, St. Andrews University


  • 2014 
    Durham University, PhD
  • 2010 
    Liverpool University, Msc Evolutionary Psychology
  • 2008 
    Manchester University, BSc (Hons) Psychology


  • 2014
    Serial killers, spiders and cybersex: social and survival information bias in the transmission of urban legends, British Journal of Psychology
  • 2013
    Expect the Unexpected? Testing for minimally counterintuitive (MCI) bias in the transmission of contemporary legends a computational phylogenetic approach, Social Science Computer Review, 31(1), 90-102