Menu Close

I have a PhD in Psychology, but my interests and work span a range of disciplines (anthropology, biology, ecology, sociology, economics, neuroscience/genetics, health, statistics/psychometrics).
I am most known for my work on values, norms and personality, and how they relate to well-being, and sociality more broadly. A lot of my work has focused on cross-cultural differences and cultural diversity, but I typically look at cultural dynamics with an evolutionary lens, which contextualizes relative cultural differences in a larger historical and evolutionary frame.
As part of that work, I have looked at global well-being indices and what factors increase well-being and health, how organizations can improve their working conditions (e.g., what increases well-being and productivity at work, do personality tests work, how can you select and train good leaders, how can we create positive group climates and creativity).
More recently, I became interested in religion and ritual, particularly the question of how a human interest in religion may have evolved through evolution. In this line of research I have looked at diverse issues including the effects of music and dancing on health, well-being and social cohesion, whether and how mindfulness may improve wellbeing and why humans around the world share an interest in supernatural explanations (e.g., religion) and spend substantive amounts of time on ritualized behavior.
Overall, in my research and teaching, I am an advocate of open-science approaches to help our collective understanding of human behavioral diversity within and across populations (cultures).


  • –present
    Professor, Victoria University of Wellington


  • 2002 
    Sussex Uni, Psychology


Fellow of Royal Society Te Apārangi; Fellow of Association for Psychological Science