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From neurons to social networks, we examine how collective concerns—group identities, moral values, and political beliefs—shape the mind, brain, and behavior. To study these issues, we employ methods from cognitive neuroscience, social cognition, behavioral economics, and computational social science.


National identity predicts public health support
during a global pandemic.

Van Bavel, J. J., Cichocka, A., Capraro, V., Sjåstad, H., Nezlek, J. B., Pavlović, T., Alfano, M., Gelfand, M. J., Azevedo, F., Birtel, M. D., Cislak, A., Lockwood, P. L., Ross, R. M., Abts, K., Agadullina, E., Aruta, J. J. B., Besharati, S. N., Bor, A., Choma, B. L., … Boggio, P. S. (2022). Nature Communications, 13(1), 517.

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How social media shapes polarization.

Van Bavel, J. J., Rathje, S., Harris, E., Robertson, C., & Sternisko, A. (2021). Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 25(11), 913-916.

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Out-group animosity drives engagement on social media.

*Rathje, S., Van Bavel, J. J., & van der Linden, S. (2021). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(26).


Much of What You Know About Groupthink Is Wrong

Dominic Packer & Jay Van Bavel

 October 31, 2021. The Wall Street Journal



Why Facebook really, really doesn’t want to discourage extremism

Steve Rathje, Jay Van Bavel, & Sander van der Linden

 July 13, 2021. The Washington Post

Why do bystanders fail to intervene when they see others in pain?

Dominic Packer & Jay Van Bavel

 April 4, 2021. Los Angeles Times


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