Psychological and Cognitive Anthropology

Studies of the relations between culture and key psychological variables (cognition, emotion, socialization and development, and mental illness), are among the oldest and most basic research issues in the history of anthropology.  With the recent explosion of new knowledge and research techniques in psychology, human development and cognitive science, psychological anthropology has brought cultural analysis into fruitful relation with a wide range of other disciplines.

Since the inauguration of our Graduate Program a quarter century ago, Emory’s Anthropology Department has maintained a strong tradition of research and training in psychological anthropology, and our faculty and graduates are among the leaders of the discipline. For many years the flagship journal of psychological anthropology, Ethos, was housed at Emory and edited by Emory Anthropologist Robert Paul.  Emory Anthropologist Bradd Shore is past President of the Society for Psychological Anthropology.

Emory scholars in psychological anthropology represent a wide variety of particular research interests including:

  • Cultural models
  • Culture and mental illness
  • Socialization and human development
  • Emotion
  • Culture and brain evolution
  • Suicide, stress, and trauma
  • Psychoanalytic theory and culture
  • Life history
  • Psychosocial dimensions of religious experience

Beyond the Anthropology Department students of Psychological Anthropology at Emory enjoy the benefits of Emory’s interdisciplinary Center for Mind, Brain and Culture, which offers an interdisciplinary certificate program for graduate students interested in cognitive science and a wide variety of programming.  Emory also offers substantial resources for training in psychological anthropology from a number of allied departments and programs including:  The Graduate Institute for the Liberal Arts, The Psychology Department, The Program in Global Health, Culture and Society, The Graduate Division of Religion, Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology.

Faculty in Anthropology include:

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva | Japan, non-Western Psychotheorapies, suicide
Mel Konner | Africa, childhood, socialization and human development, brain evolution,
James Rilling | Brain evolution, neuro-imaging, culture and neuro-science
Bradd Shore | Polynesia, United States, cultural models, cultural cognition
Dietrich Stout | Brain evolution, human cognition and tool manufacture
Carol Worthman | Developmental and reproductive ecology, gender and life history, biocultural factors in global health, stress

Other Emory faculty with interests relevant to psychological anthropology include:

Robert Paul | Graduate Institute for the Liberal Arts
Robert McCauley | Philosophy
Philippe Rochat | Psychology
Todd Preuss | Yerkes Primate Center
Don Seeman | Religion
Roberto Franzosi | Sociology
Lawrence Barsalou | Psychology
Paul Courtright | Religion