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Research

Research Interests

  • The cognitive science of religion and narratology.

    1. How do religion and narrative affect cultural evolution?
    2. By what mechanisms does our mind process and reconstruct various narratives?
    3. How does cultural evolution drive the evolution of narratives (religious or otherwise)?
    4. What is the role of novelty in the evolution of narratives?
    5. How does novelty affect the successful spreading of narratives?

  • Patterns of novel thinking, collaboration, information spreading, and cooperation.

    1. Aim to understand how narrative structures or religious practices affect these patterns in social/collective/individual cognition.

  • The development of NLP and NLU methods for computational narrative analysis.

    1. Research how concepts from cognitive narratology, information theory, embedding methods, digital humanities, and network science can help us better understand narratives computationally.

I plan to improve pro-social and innovative aspects of various communities by understanding their community structure, the effects of common/shared narratives, and cultural/narrative evolution. I also plan to improve and develop novel NLP/NLU methods for narrative analysis to aid in these endeavors.

Current Projects

  • American Shaman: The Role of Distributed Cognition in the Evolution of Religious Narratives (in progress)
  • In narrative communication, people reinvent stories, while ChatGPT avoids change (in review)
  • Sameness entices, but novelty enchants in fanfiction online (preprint on arXiv)
  • Falling Through Spacetime: The Multidimensional Shape of Stories (in progress)

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Labs

Advisors