People

Dr. John Michael, Principal Investigator, Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy at Warwick, and an Affiliated Researcher at the Department of Cognitive Science at the Central European University in Budapest. He works on developing the theoretical framework, and collaborates with the other team members on all other aspects of the project.

Prof. Stephen Butterfill, Senior Project Advisor, is an Associate Professor at the the Department of Philosophy at Warwick. He collaborates on developing the theoretical framework and on the design and interpretation of experiments.

Dr. Alessandra Sciutti, Senior Project Advisor, is a Researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. The aim of her research is to investigate the sensory and motor mechanisms underlying mutual understanding in human-human interaction, with the technological goal of designing robots that can naturally cooperate with people in carrying out everyday tasks. 

Prof. Sotaro Kita, Senior Project Advisor, is a Professor at the Department of Psychology at Warwick. He collaborates on the research in developmental psychology.

Günther Knoblich, Senior Project Advisor, is a Professor of Cognitive Science at the Central European University. He collaborates on theoretical and experimental aspects of the project

Postdocs:

Dr Wayne Christensen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Warwick. He collaborates on the theoretical interpretation of the experiments conducted within the project.

Dr Luke McEllin, postdoctoral researcher, Department of Cognitive Science, CEU. Luke is investigating the sense of commitment in joint actions, by investigating how the mechanisms which support joint action by stabilizing interpersonal coordination (e.g. adaptivity and sensorimotor communication) can also support joint action by fostering commitment to one’s co-actors. He uses a combination of behavioural, motion tracking and eye tracking methods in order to address these issues.

Dr Barbora Siposova, Research fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick. Barbora has a background in developmental psychology. Her research topics include questions about the emergence of a sense of commitment in young children in various types of interactions. She is interested in the effects of eye contact, nonverbal communication, joint attention and common knowledge on coordination and prosocial behaviour.

Dr Alessia Vignolo, Research Fellow, University of Warwick, and Affiliated Researcher, Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Genova, Italy). Alessia’s work focuses on human-robot interaction. During her PhD, she worked on improving the robotic understanding of human actions, taking inspiration from cognitive sciences. She is now interested in studying the parameters under which robotic actions elicit a sense of commitment in human partners.

PhD Candidates:

Francesca Bonalumi, PhD candidate, Department of Cognitive Science, CEU. Francesca has a background in moral philosophy and is currently a PhD candidate in cognitive science at the Central European University. Her research interests include social cognition, developmental psychology and experimental pragmatics. Her PhD project focuses on implicit cues which signal and influence commitment and prosocial behaviour, such as partner’s reliance on one’s action, the amount of invested costs or the history of interaction with a partner. She is also interested in implicit communication and which factors affect speaker’s accountability and plausible deniability in such cases.

Matthew Chennells, PhD candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of Warwick. His core research focuses on explicit and implicit drivers of a sense of commitment in joint action, given his interest in commitment and cooperation in collective action more generally. His background is in applied micro-economics and behavioural science.

Alexander Green, PhD candidate, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick. His primary research focuses on the development of a minimal sense of commitment in young children, though he will also collaborate with other team members in other aspects of the project.

Melissa Reddy, PhD candidate, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick. Melissa is currently investigating the effects of non-verbal behaviour, such as coordination and ostension, on young children’s commitment to joint activities. She is also interested in the impacts on commitment of inequality (e.g. of effort or resources) and in-group/out-group phenomena. She has a background in psychology and managing services for disadvantaged groups, and has a passion for social justice and empowerment.

Marcell Szekely, PhD candidate, Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University. His core research focuses on the role of effort in commitment. In particular, he is interested in how and when people respond to the perception of their partner’s effort and anticipate their partner’s response to their effort within the context of joint action. 

Simon van Baal, PhD candidate, Behavioral and Economic Science, University of Warwick. Simon has just completed his MSc Behavioural and Economic Science at Warwick. He is interested in human behaviour in a broad sense. His research focusses on intertemporal choice and self-control.

Research Assistants:

Georgiana Puscas, Research Assistant, Department of Philosophy, University of Warwick. Participating in her first research project, she is eager to learn about the sense of commitment in collective action. She is a second year undergraduate, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a major in Economics.

Nicole Zhang, Research Assistant

Priyanka Modi, Research Assistant


Affiliated Researchers:

Sam Clarke, DPhil candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of Oxford. Sam is writing a thesis on perception and cognitive architecture, but has a long-standing side interest in humans’ capacity to identify and ascribe goals to observed actions. 

Michael Hattersley, PhD candidate, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick. Michael’s primary focus concerns the psychology of belief in conspiracy theories. He is broadly interested in why people appear to prefer conspiratorial over non-conspiratorial explanations, and in what factors are most relevant in understanding this tendency (e.g.: salient features of particular conspiracies, the situations and events from which conspiracy belief emerges). Other secondary interests include religious cognition, and also mind perception (particularly in supernatural contexts).

Simon Myers, PhD candidate, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick. Simon’s core research focuses on Moral Cognition, specifically looking at obligation, supererogation and moral reasoning under uncertainty. His background is in cognition and Virtual Reality research methods.