How does societal context affect human psychology?

March 08, 2023 Mark Fabian/Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington Season 4 Episode 1
How does societal context affect human psychology?
Show Notes

One of the oldest and most famous questions in the social sciences is the debate over nature vs nurture in determining characteristics of the individual. Transcending this focus on the micro is a new field within social-psychology sometimes called social-ecological psychology, which explores how psychology brings about societal conditions and vice versa. Research in this vein has become popular as western psychologists have realised how distorted their view is by their tendency to only sample 'WEIRD' subjects - western, education, industrialised, rich, and democratic. Joseph Heinrich has attempted to chart the history of WEIRD societal psychology in his opus 'The WEIRDEST People in the World', but enormous amounts of research remains to be done. 

Season 4 of ePODstemology kicks of Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington of the London School of Economics, one of the early career researchers operating at the forefront of this area of research. She was recently tenured as Associate Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. Jennifer is an expert in social dominance theory in particular and her research has appeared in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Social Sciences,  and Evolution and Human Behaviour, among other leading journals. Tune in to learn more!

Jennifer's website:

Taking context seriously in The Psychologist:

Josef Roundtree Foundation article on how poverty affects decision making: