What enables teamwork and trust? How do humans develop a sense of fairness? What motivates individuals to help others? In the Social Minds Lab, we explore the origins of human social cognition and behavior, with a focus on cooperation as a hallmark of human nature.

We study children to gain insight into the origins of social behaviors and the factors that shape them over development. In addition, we conduct cross-cultural studies to illuminate the cultural and societal factors shaping children’s behaviors. Last but not least, we study chimpanzees to understand what aspects of social behaviors are unique to humans versus shared with our evolutionary relatives. By integrating these different lines of research, we can yield insights into the developmental, cultural, and evolutionary foundation of human social life. 


In the News

Our research on the origins of trust is featured in U of M News

Job Opportunities

Full-time Lab Manager Position in the Social Minds Lab

Prof. Felix Warneken, Director of the Social Minds Lab at the Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is hiring a full-time (100% effort, 40 hrs/wk) Research Technician Associate to coordinate and conduct research on cooperation in young children.  The position entails subject recruitment and scheduling, testing in the lab, at schools, museums, and online, using advanced video coding technology, and active participation in research. The position also requires supervising undergraduate assistants in research and working closely with graduate students and postdocs. 

You can find more information about this position and apply here

Questions about this position can be directed to warneken.labmanager@umich.edu