Dr Bruce Rawlings
|Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology|
|Co-director in the Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre|
Come and work with me!
I am interested in and happy to supervise Masters by Reserch (which can be one year full time or two years part time), and PhD students in any of the following topics, or related ones (please do email me if you’d like to discuss or chat):
- The development of tool innovation, including across cultures
- The development of creativity, including across cultures
- The development of imitation and overimitation
- Individual, social and/or cognitive influences on imitation and innovation in children
- Comparative (particularly children and chimpanzees) perspectives on innovation and imitation
- Cumulative cultural evolution in general
I am also recruiting research assistants (Bachelor's level Year 1 - 3), to assist with projects in these areas.
I am the co-director of the Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre (DCERC)
My research uses developmental, cross-cultural, and comparative methods to study cognition, with a particular focus on the psychology of cultural evolution. I am currently particularly interested in studying the development of tool innovation from cognitive, social, and comparative perspectives. I also study the factors influencing the development of imitation and overimitation in children.
PhD supervision students
- Sayyeda Rubab (PI Dr Patricia Kanngiesser, University of Plymouth), 2022-present: The development of creativity across cultures
2022-2025: Does big culture require big brains? Collective intelligence in roaches and rats. Diverse Intelligences, PI Sarah Brosnan. $233,968.
2022: Time for some introspection: Can we improve our protocols in cross-cultural developmental research? Workshop funding awarded by the Cultural Evolution Society. £1,000.
I did my undergraduate degree in psychology at Plymouth University. From there, I did a master's degree in cognitive neuroscience at the University of York. I then took several research assistant projects examining chimpanzee and capuchin monkey social learning and social dynamics, including doing research in Piaui, Brazil (capuchins) as well as Edinbugh Zoo and Chimfunshi Wildlife Orhphanage, Zambia (chimpanzees).
I then did a PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology at Durham University where I studied social learning and innovation in children and chimpanzees (housed in Texas). After my PhD, I did a three year postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin studying cross-cultural variation in imitation and innovation in children from all over the world, as well as comparatively, with chimpanzees.
- Innovation (particularly tool innovation) and creativity
- Cumulative cultural evolution
- Developmental research
- Cross-cultural research
- Comparative research (particularly chimpanzees)
Chapter in book
- Rawlings, B, Dutra, N, Turner, C & Flynn, E.G (2020). Overimitation across development: the influence of individual and contextual factors. In Conducting Research in Developmental Psychology A Topical Guide for Research Methods Utilized Across the Lifespan. Jones, N.A., Platt, M. Mize, K.D. & Hardin, J Routledge.
- Lew-Levy, S, van den Bos, W, Corriveau, K, Dutra, N, Flynn, E, O'Sullivan, E, Pope-Caldwell, S., Rawlings, B.S, Smolla, M, Xu, J & Wood, L (2023). Peer learning and cultural evolution. Child Development Perspectives
- Rawlings, Bruce S., van Leeuwen, Edwin J. C. & Davila-Ross, Marina (2023). Chimpanzee communities differ in their inter- and intrasexual social relationships. Learning & Behavior
- Davis, Sarah Rawlings, Bruce Clegg, Jennifer M., Ikejimba, Daniel, Watson-Jones, Rachel E., Whiten, Andrew & Legare, Cristine H. (2022). Cognitive flexibility supports the development of cumulative cultural learning in children. Scientific Reports 12: 14073.
- Burger, Oskar, Chen, Lydia, Erut, Alejandro, Fong, Frankie T. K., Rawlings, Bruce, & Legare, Cristine H. (2022). Developing Cross-Cultural Data Infrastructures (CCDIs) for Research in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences. Review of Philosophy and Psychology
- Rawlings, Bruce S. (2022). After a decade of tool innovation, what comes next? Child Development Perspectives 16(2): 118-124.
- Dutra, Natália B., Chen, Lydia, Anum, Adote, Burger, Oskar, Davis, Helen E., Dzokoto, Vivian A., Fong, Frankie T. K., Ghelardi, Sabrina, Mendez, Kimberly, Messer, Emily J. E., Newhouse, Morgan, Nielsen, Mark G., Ramos, Karlos, Rawlings, Bruce, dos Santos, Renan A. C., Silveira, Lara G. S., Tucker‐Drob, Elliot M. & Legare, Cristine H. (2022). Examining relations between performance on non‐verbal executive function and verbal self‐regulation tasks in demographically‐diverse populations. Developmental Science 25(5): e13228.
- Rawlings, B., Flynn, E.G. & Kendal, R.L. (2022). Personality predicts innovation and social learning in children: implications for cultural evolution. Developmental Science 25(1): e13153.
- Clegg, Jennifer M., Wen, Nicole J. & Rawlings, Bruce (2022). Culture is an optometrist: Cultural contexts adjust the prescription of social learning bifocals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45.
- Rawlings, B., Flynn E.G. & Wood. L.A. (2021). We are all capable of cumulative cultural evolution, but we don't need to all the time. Current Anthropology
- Rawlings, Bruce & Legare, Cristine H. (2021). Toddlers, Tools, and Tech: The Cognitive Ontogenesis of Innovation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 25(1): 81.
- Vale, Gillian L., McGuigan, Nicola, Burdett, Emily, Lambeth, Susan P., Lucas, Amanda, Rawlings, Bruce, Schapiro, Steven J., Watson, Stuart K. & Whiten, Andrew (2021). Why do chimpanzees have diverse behavioral repertoires yet lack more complex cultures? Invention and social information use in a cumulative task. Evolution and Human Behavior 42(3): 247.
- Rawlings, Bruce S., Legare, Cristine H., Brosnan, Sarah F. & Vale, Gillian L. (2021). Leveling the playing field in studying cumulative cultural evolution: Conceptual and methodological advances in nonhuman animal research. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition 47(3): 252.
- Rawlings, B., Flynn, E.G., Freeman, H., Reamer, L., Schapiro, S.J., Lambeth, S. & Kendal, R.L. (2020). Sex differences in longitudinal personality stability in chimpanzees. Evolutionary Human Sciences 2: e46.
- Rawlings, Bruce & Legare, Cristine H. (2020). The social side of innovation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43.
- Vale, Gillian, Flynn, Emma G., Kendal Jeremy R., Rawlings, Bruce, Hopper Lydia M., Schapiro Steven J., Lambeth Susan P. & Kendal Rachel L. (2017). Testing differential use of payoff-biased social learning strategies in children and chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284(1868): 20171751.
- Rawlings, B., Flynn, E. & Kendal, R (2017). To copy or to innovate? The role of personality and social networks on children's learning strategies. Child Development Perspectives 11(1): 39-44.
- Forrester, G. S., Rawlings, B. & Davila-Ross, M. (2016). An analysis of bimanual actions in natural feeding of semi‐wild chimpanzees. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 159(1): 85-92.
- Baddeley, A., Rawlings, B. & Hayes, A. (2014). Constrained prose recall and the assessment of long-term forgetting the case of ageing and the Crimes Test. Memory 22(8): 1052-1059.
- Rawlings, B., Davila-Ross, M. & Boysen, S. (2014). Semi-wild chimpanzees open hard-shelled fruits differently across communities. Animal Cognition 17(4): 891-899.
- Schel, A., Rawlings, B., Claidiere N, Wilke, C. Wathen, J. Richardson, J. Person, S., Herrelko E.S., Whiten, A. & Slocombe, K. (2012). Network Analysis of Social Changes in a Captive Chimpanzee Community Following the Successful Integration of Two Adult Groups. American Journal of Primatology 75(3): 254.