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Paul Smaldino

Photo of Paul Smaldino
Professional Title: 
PhD (Cognitive Science)

I am an Associate Professor of Cognitive & Information Sciences and faculty in the Quantitative and Systems Biology graduate program at UC Merced, where I am also affiliated with the Center for Analytic Political Engagement and the Center for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience. Extramurally, I am an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and a Research Affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. I study how behaviors emerge and evolve in response to social, cultural, and ecological pressures, as well as how those pressures can themselves evolve. I also have broad interests related to cultural evolution, cooperation, and complex systems. Much of my work involves building and analyzing mathematical models and computer simulations. Some of my current projects involve the emergence of identity signaling strategies, the role of identity in social learning, socioecological influences on personality development, the role of diversity in innovation, the cultural evolution of analogies, and the population dynamics of scientific norms.