The Center for Mind and Culture seeks to support policy analysts and policy makers with bio-cultural research focused on issues of widespread concern. Our work in this area is represented by the following projects.
The Center partners with our Senior Research Associate F. LeRon Shults, the University of Agder in Norway, and the Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center to generate insights into the various phases of the immigration process through first- and second-generation immigrants. We employ massive datasets and computer simulation techniques, and work closely with immigration experts, to generate understanding relevant to policy analysts and those who have the responsibility for formulating relevant policies.
Through its Spectrums Project, the Center investigates the left-right ideological spectrum in politics and religion. We create new ways to measure ideology that are sensitive to individual differences and work across diverse cultures. We strive to understand the evolutionary pressures on human cognition and sociality that give rise to the cross-culturally and historically consistent aspects of political and religious ideology. This work generates insights into both polarized political discourse and the means for supporting understanding-based empathy for ideological opponents.