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The Relational Grammar of Social Life

How do we know how, when and where to relate to others?

About the project

Humans are an ultra-social species. All children must learn and everybody must track which people are friends or foes, peers, leaders or subordinates; and what kinds of likely and normative actions this signifies: When to share (or not), take turns (or no t), take directions and follow orders (or not). These social rules are rarely discussed explicitly in, and before, everyday social interactions. Yet we usually apply them seamlessly, even when generating new social relationships. How do we know how, when and where to relate to others?

Objectives

The present research program investigates whether we co-ordinate social life using a relational grammar that consists of

1) universal, core kinds of relations (communion, hierarchy, and equality, represented image-schema tically as overlap, pyramidal, and level structures);

2) innate or very early-developing attention to / understanding of these kinds of relations and their cues;

3) a proto-syntax for interpreting their (recursive) combinatorics (e.g. the difference between communal hierarchy and hierarchical communion).

The research program will also investigate

4) the neural implementation in the brain of these relational core concepts and motives.

Finally,

5) a 3-wave, fully-funded panel (N=2000) will test how basic relational motives and perceptions relate to social and political attitudes across 4 years, including democratic challenges such as xenophobia and support for terror, as well as how psychological and physiological health relates to elementary relat ional perceptions and motives, matching this data to very high-quality, Danish registry records.

Financing

The Research Council of Norway (FRIHUMSAM - Research project) 2014 - 2020.

Publications

  • Johanna Katarina Blomster; Lotte Thomsen & Beate Seibt (2020). Moved by Observing the Love of Others: Kama Muta Evoked Through Media Fosters Humanization of Out-Groups. Frontiers in Psychology.  ISSN 1664-1078.
  • Thomas Haarklau Kleppestø; Nikolai Haahjem Eftedal & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Social Dominance Orientation(SDO), In Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford & Shackelford Todd K. (ed.),  Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.  Springer International Publishing.  ISBN 9783319169996.  Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Lotte Thomsen & John F. Dovidio (2019). Divided Loyalties: Perceptions of Disloyalty Underpin Bias Toward Dually-Identified Minority-Group Members. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  ISSN 0022-3514.  117, s 807- 838
  •  (2019). DUBLETT. Social Psychological and Personality Science.  ISSN 1948-5506.  10, s 160- 171
  • Claire Nicole Prendergast; Nikolai Haahjem Eftedal; Alexander Gustav Fredriksen Ikonomeas; Aurora Brun; Håkon Huth & Marit Bredesen (2019). The Norwegian version of the five factor narcissism inventory for vulnerable narcissism and the grandiose narcissism subscale of indifference: Psychometric properties of the long‐ and short‐form versions. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.  ISSN 0036-5564.  60, s 492- 500
  • Claire Nicole Prendergast (2019). Infant Understanding of Different Forms of Social Exclusion. Brain Sciences.  ISSN 2076-3425.  9
  • Jonas R. Kunst; John F. Dovidio & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Fusion with political leaders predicts willingness to persecute immigrants and political opponents. Nature Human Behaviour.  ISSN 2397-3374.  s 1- 13
  • Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Egalitarianism: Psychological and socio-ecological foundations. Current Opinion in Psychology.  ISSN 2352-250X.  32, s 146- 152
  • Lotte Thomsen (2019). The developmental origins of social hierarchy: how infants and young children mentally represent and respond to power and status. Current Opinion in Psychology.  ISSN 2352-250X.  33, s 201- 208
  • Thomas Haarklau Kleppestø; Nikolai Olavi Czajkowski; Olav Vassend; Espen Røysamb; Nikolai Haahjem Eftedal; Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington; Jonas R. Kunst & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Correlations between social dominance orientation and political attitudes reflect common genetic underpinnings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  ISSN 0027-8424.  116, s 17741- 17746
  • Janis Heinrich Zickfeld; Jonas R. Kunst & Sigrid Møyner Hohle (2018). Too sweet to eat: Exploring the effects of cuteness on meat consumption. Appetite.  ISSN 0195-6663.  120, s 181- 195
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Beverly Karen Boos; Sasha Kimel; Milan Obaidi; Maor Shani & Lotte Thomsen (2018). Engaging in extreme activism in support of others’ political struggles: The role of politically motivated fusion with out-groups. PLOS ONE.  ISSN 1932-6203.  13
  • Milan Obaidi; Jonas R. Kunst; Nour Kteily; Lotte Thomsen & Jim Sidanius (2018). Living Under Threat: Mutual Threat Perception Drives Anti-Muslim and Anti-Western Hostility in the Age of Terrorism. European Journal of Social Psychology.  ISSN 0046-2772.  48, s 567- 584
  • Milan Obaidi; Robin Bergh; Jim Sidanius & Lotte Thomsen (2018). The Mistreatment of My People: Victimization by Proxy and Behavioral Intentions to Commit Violence Among Muslims in Denmark. Political Psychology.  ISSN 0162-895X.  39, s 577- 593
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Sasha Kimel; Maor Shani; Ramzi Alayan & Lotte Thomsen (2018). Can Abraham Bring Peace? The Relationship Between Acknowledging Shared Religious Roots and Intergroup Conflict. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.  ISSN 1941-1022.
  • Ashley J. Thomas; Lotte Thomsen; Angela F. Lukowski; Meline Abramyan & Barbara W. Sarnecka (2018). Toddlers prefer those who win but not when they win by force. Nature Human Behaviour.  ISSN 2397-3374.  2, s 662- 669
  • Lotte Thomsen & Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington (2018). A theory of how evolved psychology underpins attitudes towards societal economics must go beyond exchanges and averages. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  ISSN 0140-525X.
  • Lotte Thomsen; Milan Obaidi & Robin Bergh (2018). They Think We Are a Threat to Their Culture”: Meta-Cultural Threat Fuels Willingness and Endorsement of Extremist Violence against the Cultural Outgroup. International Journal of Conflict and Violence.  ISSN 1864-1385.
  • Lotte Thomsen & Alan P. Fiske (2018). Communal Sharing/Identity Fusion Does Not Require Reflection on Episodic Memory of Shared Experience, or Trauma - and Usually Generates Kindness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  ISSN 0140-525X.
  • Milan Obaidi; Lotte Thomsen & Robin Bergh (2018). They Think We Are a Threat to Their Culture”: Meta-Cultural Threat Fuels Willingness and Endorsement of Extremist Violence against the Cultural Outgroup. International Journal of Conflict and Violence.  ISSN 1864-1385.
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Fischer Ronald; Jim Sidanius & Lotte Thomsen (2017). Preferences for group dominance track and mediate the effects of macro-level social inequality and violence across societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  ISSN 0027-8424.  114, s 5407- 5412
  • Ingvild Haugen & Jonas R. Kunst (2017). A two-way process? A qualitative and quantitative investigation of majority members’ acculturation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations.  ISSN 0147-1767.  60, s 67- 82
  • Marie Helene Eikemo; Guido Biele; Frode Willoch; Lotte Thomsen & Siri Leknes (2017). Opioid modulation of value-based decision-making in healthy humans. Neuropsychopharmacology.  ISSN 0893-133X.  42, s 1833- 1840
  • Ole Jørgen Johansson & Jonas R. Kunst (2017). Explaining prejudice toward the mentally ill: A test of sociopolitical, demographic, and socioeconomic factors. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.  ISSN 0021-9029.  47, s 682- 695
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Nour Kteily & Lotte Thomsen (2017). “You Little Creep”: Evidence of Blatant Dehumanization of Short Groups. Social Psychological and Personality Science.  ISSN 1948-5506.
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Talieh Sadeghi; Hajra Tahir; David Lackland Sam & Lotte Thomsen (2016). The vicious circle of religious prejudice: Islamophobia makes the acculturation attitudes of majority and minority members clash. European Journal of Social Psychology.  ISSN 0046-2772.  46, s 249- 259
  • Sasha Kimel; R. Huesmann; Jonas R. Kunst & Eran Halperin (2016). Living in a Genetic World: How Learning About Interethnic Genetic Similarities and Differences Affects Peace and Conflict. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.  ISSN 0146-1672.  42, s 688- 700
  • Jonas R. Kunst & Sigrid Hohle (2016). Meat eaters by dissociation: How we present, prepare and talk about meat increases willingness to eat meat by reducing empathy and disgust. Appetite.  ISSN 0195-6663.  105, s 758- 774
  • Jonas R. Kunst & Lotte Thomsen (2015). Prodigal Sons: Dual Abrahamic Categorization Mediates the Detrimental Effects of Religious Fundamentalism on Christian–Muslim Relations. The international journal for the psychology of religion.  ISSN 1050-8619.  25, s 293- 306
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Lotte Thomsen; David Lackland Sam & John W. Berry (2015). “We Are in This Together”: Common Group Identity Predicts Majority Members’ Active Acculturation Efforts to Integrate Immigrants. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.  ISSN 0146-1672.  41, s 1438- 1453
  • Jonas R. Kunst; Lotte Thomsen & David Lackland Sam (2014). Late Abrahamic reunion? Religious fundamentalism negatively predicts dual Abrahamic group categorization among Muslims and Christians. European Journal of Social Psychology.  ISSN 0046-2772.  44, s 337- 348
  • Lotte Thomsen & Susan Carey (2013). Core Cognition of Social Relations, In Banaji Mahzarin R. & Susan A. Gelman (ed.),  Navigating the Social World: What infants, children and other species can teach us.  Oxford University Press.  ISBN 9780199890712.  1.4.  s 17 - 23
  • Hans IJzerman; Johan Karremans; Lotte Thomsen & Thomas Schubert (2013). Caring for sharing: How attachment styles modulate communal cues of physical warmth. Social Psychology.  ISSN 1864-9335.  44, s 160- 166

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  • Oda Eidjar; Erik Kjos Fonn; Joakim Haugane Zahl & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Seeking out the majority: Preverbal expectations whether third parties will join the larger group.
  • Lotte Thomsen (2019). Innate Building-blocks of Political Psychology.
  • Erik Kjos Fonn; Joakim Haugane Zahl; Oda Eidjar & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Early-developing Coalitional Preferences: Most male, but not female, pre-verbal infants and pre-schoolers prefer members of larger groups..
  • Joakim Haugane Zahl; Erik Kjos Fonn; Oda Eidjar & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Return the Favor: Preverbal Infants Represent Direct Reciprocity under Resource Scarcity.
  • Joakim Haugane Zahl; Erik Kjos Fonn; Oda Eidjar & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Return the Favor: Preverbal Infants Represent Direct Reciprocity under Resource Scarcity,.
  • Erik Kjos Fonn; Joakim Haugane Zahl; Oda Eidjar & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Early-developing Coalitional Preferences: Most male, but not female, pre-verbal infants and pre-schoolers prefer members of larger groups.
  • Thomas Haarklau Kleppestø; Nikolai Olavi Czajkowski; Olav Vassend; Espen Røysamb; Nikolai Haahjem Eftedal; Jonas R. Kunst; Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Social dominance orientation has both genetic and unique environmental influences, but only genetic pleiotropy accounts for its correlation with political attitudes..
  • Nikolai Haahjem Eftedal; Thomas Haarklau Kleppestø; Espen Røysamb; Olav Vassend; Eivind Ystrøm & Lotte Thomsen (2019). Moral opportunism: A unique genetic grounding associates lesser guilt from perpetrating injustice with greater sensitivity to being the victim of it..
  • Lotte Thomsen; Erik Kjos Fonn; Joakim Haugane Zahl; Oda Eidjar & Susan Carey (2019). The structure of dominance: Preverbal infants map pyramidal position to social dominance..
  • Lotte Thomsen (2018). Innate Relational Representations and Motives.
  • Lotte Thomsen; Joakim Haugane Zahl; Erik Kjos Fonn & Victoria de Born (2018). Preschoolers use gratitude as a cue for future altruism..
  • Thomas H. Kleppestø; Nikolai Olavi Czajkowski; Olav Vassend; Espen Røysamb; Jonas R. Kunst & Lotte Thomsen (2017). Preferring domination or egalitarianism: Genetic and environmental structure of Social Dominance Orientation.
  • Lotte Thomsen (2017). Core Relational Cognition.
  • Claire Nicole Prendergast & Lotte Thomsen (2017). ‘Selvations’ in Social Motivation. Social justice research.  ISSN 0885-7466.  30, s 1- 8
  • Ashley J. Thomas; Meline Abramyan; Angela Lukowski & Lotte Thomsen (2016). Preferring the Mighty to the Meek: Toddlers Prefer Novel Dominant Agents.
  • Lotte Thomsen; Milan Obaidi; Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington; Nour Kteily & Jim Sidanius (2014). Individual differences in relational motives interact with the political context to produce terrorism and terrorism-support. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  ISSN 0140-525X.  37, s 377- 378

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Published Oct. 21, 2016 2:17 PM - Last modified Oct. 16, 2017 7:41 PM

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Participants

Detailed list of participants