• UCLA

    SOCIAL

    MINDS

    LAB 

     

     

     

  • UCLA

    SOCIAL

    MINDS

    LAB

    SOCIAL & EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY

     

     

    Department of Psychology

    University of California, Los Angeles

     

  • What We Do

     

    We're a social psychology lab. Our research draws on interdisciplinary theoretical perspectivesfrom social psychology, cognitive + evolutionary anthropology, animal behavior, relationship science—to investigate how people's social minds both create + navigate our social worlds.

     

     

     

    Dr. Krems is planning to accept a graduate student this year (applying December 2024).

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    Current Research Projects

     

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    Friendship

    Friends let us live longer, happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives. But, today, we still don't really understand how friendships work.

     

    Our research aims to map the computational design of friendship psychology. Briefly, to have friendsand reap the associated benefitspeople must solve an array of challenges (e.g., finding, making, competing for, keeping good, jettisoning poor friends). Our work (1) systematically identifies these friendship challenges and (2) tests predictions about how people solve them.

     

    Our lab is also engaged in large-scale cross-cultural work to describe what friendship looks like across sex/gender, age, + other demographic + ecological features.

     

     

     

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    Women's social relationships

    The mind contains a rich psychology replete with mechanisms responsive to recurrent challenges, some of which can diverge by sex/gender. Insofar as women confront sometimes distinct social terrain, women might also possess some distinct cognitive + behavioral repertoires for navigating it.

     

    Our lab takes advantage of multidisciplinary means to describe those sometimes-distinct challenges that women faceparticularly in social relationships with other womento derive related predictions about how women navigate those challenges.

     

     

     

     

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    Reputation, information, + communication: Tactics for navigating interconnected social worlds

    Social minds are sensitive to how other people see us. This sensitivity can influence the social information we seek (or share), the connections with make, + how we navigate our social relationships.

     

    Our lab explores people's strategic navigation of their social worlds by investigating phenomena such as reputation, information-sharing, competition/aggression, + the subtle ways that peopleand particularly people with 'lower power'can act to ensure better treatment.

     

    A new line of work here, led by David Pinsof, explores a novel theory of humor as a coordination device. We attempt to answers long-lived questions, such as: What do we find certain things funny? What does humor do?

     

     

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    Stereotyping + prejudice

     

    Stereotyping, prejudice, + discrimination are at once the products of our social minds as well as hurdles in our social landscapes.

     

    Our lab uncovers these phenomena. Much of our work here empirically describes people's stereotypes while at once assessing ground truth.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • News & Links

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  • SOCIAL & EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY LAB

     

     

     

     

     

    Department of Psychology

    University of Califnoria, Los Angeles

     

  • Current Research Projects

    Many of our projects take place at the intersection of overlapping research projects that elucidate the fascinating ways that the social mind helps us actively create and strategically navigate our social worlds.

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    Friendship

    Our friends make us happy, keep us healthy, and can even promote our reproductive fitness. But friendships remain understudied in social psychology. We explore these important bonds.

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    Female cooperation & competition

    Every woman has at least two stories: One about how she could not have survived without the support of a female friend; one about how a female friend broke her heart. We explore the often-overlooked complexities underlying women's social relationships with one another.

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    Stereotyping & prejudice

    We use a functional approach to stigma to revolutionize our understanding of classic research in social psychology.

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    (Ir)Religion, stereotyping & prejudice

    Religious people are highly trusted--and even other atheists often distrust atheists. Some religious people are also likely to hold negative perceptions of gays, women's reproductive rights, recreational drugs. Why?

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    Reputation, information, and people: A social mind for navigating a social world

    Our minds are sensitive to how other people see us, and this sensitivity can influence how we view other people, whom we condemn, how we navigate relationships, and whether and with whom we share information.

    • How does the mind deal with contradictory information about others? (E.g., When a friend tells us someone else's secret, that friend is breaking someone else's trust but favoring us.)
    • We might enjoy reputational boosts when we condemn other people--but how do people view us when we try to understand both sides of controversies?
    • Artifacts (e.g., songs, films, paintings) are unchanging, but the reputations of the people that made them are not. How does the mind evaluate art made by transgressors?
    • How might we harm the reputations of others while avoiding revenge and retaliation for doing so?
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    How do ecological variables shape everyday life?

    Income inequality is a strong predictor of violence. Does increasing income inequality also change the ways that women compete? How does pathogen prevalence affect the job market?

    • Do social perceivers have "accurate" expectations about the behavior of people in different ecological circumstances (e.g.., resource-scarce vs. resource-rich environments, environments with harsher vs. mild climates, environments characterized by high vs. low pathogens)?
    • Our work suggests that different ecological factors shape different types of violence.
    • How does relational mobility affect women's and men's friendship processes?
    • Our work on music suggests that greater information saturation in an environment can lead us to prefer simpler information.
    • Our goal of caring for kin is highly important to people across cultures--even as many researchers sometimes overlook this motivation.