The ICC crosses the traditional disciplinary divisions between the socio-cultural, psychological and biological sciences by drawing from the cognitive and evolutionary sciences (including the neurosciences). Our aim is to explain patterns of cultural stability and variation in terms of the mental, biological, ecological, and social factors that bring about and sustain these patterns.
Areas of Concentration
Our areas of concentration are social cognition and the cognitive science of religion. Research at the ICC focuses on topics such as religious beliefs and rituals, theory of mind, agency, moral psychology, social emotions, reputation management, and coalitional psychology. The production and testing of hypotheses concerning these topics, inspired by the related body of knowledge coming from the cognitive and evolutionary sciences, comprise great part of the research carried out by the ICC. However, we often pursue and support research that falls out of this scope and our work articulates with the research interests explored in other parts of the School of History and Anthropology (see History & Anthropology Home) as well as with other projects of the School (e.g. Cultural Dynamics and Emotions Network).
Our MA and PhD programmes guide students to acquire a truly interdisciplinary education (for detailed information, see Prospective Students). Our training in a wide range of theoretical approaches and research methods equips students for rigorous scientific investigation, enabling them to develop groundbreaking research in the field of cognition and culture. Education takes place in our modules (courses), in research and laboratory activities, and in supervisory meetings with staff members (see Staff). Although staff members have fixed consultation hours, they are willing to meet with students to discuss their work outside regular supervisory meetings. Moreover, the ICC has a quite friendly and supportive learning environment. We see ourselves as a true research community.
Cutting-edge Cognitive and Evolutionary Science
Since its inception, the ICC has brought together a range of cutting-edge cognitive and evolutionary scientists via a series of visiting international fellowships, won, among other major funding, a prestigious cooperative grant from the European Commission on 'Explaining Religion', published numerous empirical and theoretical articles, hosted major international conferences and workshops, and attracted some of the world's premier students interested in the field of cognition and culture.
Of course, staff and students at the ICC enjoy getting together outside of the workplace. Sometimes we even talk about things other than cognition and culture! These are great opportunities to relax and chat and enjoy some craic (Irish for a good time).