The Culture and Biology Initiative 


What is it?

is a collective effort to advance the field of culture and biology interplay, centered on how these two processes have evolved together; how culture, biology, and environments influence each other; and how they shape behavior, cognition, health, and development among humans and animals across multiple levels, types, timeframes, and domains of analysis (Causadias, Telzer, & Lee, 2017).

What are its goals?

1.  To bridge culture and biology, two domains that are often studied in isolation,
2.  To improve our understanding of the joint role of cultural, biological, and ecological processes on behavior, cognition, health, and development.
3.  To foster new questions, methods, and solutions to social problems, and
4.  To encourage cross-pollination among scientific fields, transforming a multidisciplinary endeavor into an interdisciplinary science.



What are its themes?

1.  Animal Culture: focuses on how animals learn and transmit knowledge from one generation to the next, build niches, and change their environments (Snowdon, 2017).
2.  Cultural development and transmission: the study of the mechanisms by which behavior and information shared by community members is acquired and transferred from one generation to the next.
3.  Cultural genomics: centers on the examination of the multiple ways in which cultural experiences affect, are influenced, and work together with genes and environments to shape development and well-being (Causadias & Korous, 2017).
4.  Cultural neuroscience: the inquiry of cultural variation at the psychological and neural levels aimed to articulate their mutual relationships and emergent properties (Lin & Telzer, 2017).
5.  Cultural neurobiology: the exploration of how cultural, ethnic, and racial experiences have repercussions in limbic systems, neuroendocrine functioning, and epigenesis (Doane et al., 2017).


 
What are its projects?

1.  The Handbook of Culture and Biology (Causadias, Telzer, & Gonzales, 2017)
2.  The special section on Culture and Biology Interplay on Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology (Causadias, Telzer, & Lee, 2017)
3.  Research on the association between ethnic-racial identity and diurnal cortisol slopes (Zeiders, Causadias, & White, in press).

The Meta-Research in Culture Initiative (MARTA)


What is it?

The Meta-Research in Culture Initiative (MARTA) is aimed at generating quantitative research synthesis of cultural studies (meta-analyses) and identifying biases in the way psychologists study culture, ethnicity, and race. By conducting meta-research or “research on research”, the ultimate goal of MARTA is to improve our understanding of the contribution of cultural processes on behavior, cognition, health, and development. 

What are its goals?

1.  To expose underlying assumptions regarding culture in psychological science, and how they impede the advancement of the field.
2.  To generate evidence-based solutions to these issues.
3.  To improve our understanding the role of culture on behavior, cognition, health, and development through more nuanced conceptual and theoretical models.


What are its themes?

1.  All human beings are cultural beings: we often think of culture and ethnicity as something that only minorities and foreigners have, when in fact, all humans beings are profoundly cultural.
2.  Culture develops over time: we often approach cultural processes as essential characteristics that remain stable, when in reality, individuals develop culture over time (Causadias, 2013). 
3.  Cultural research can benefit from systematic syntheses: because many studies on culture, ethnicity, and race employ small samples, the field can advance through meta-analytic investigations that clarify the magnitude and direction of associations, as well as the role of moderating processes. 


​What are its projects?


1. Research on the cultural (mis)attribution bias (Causadias, Vitriol, & Atkin, in press).

2. Research synthesis on culture, ethnicity, and race. For example, our recent meta-analysis of racial discrimination and cortisol output (Korous, Causadias, & Casper, in press).

2. Research on cultural development and psychopathology (Causadias, 2013).