michael muthukrishna headshotI’m Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics. My other affiliations include:
– Affiliate of the Developmental Economics Group at STICERD
– Affiliate of the Data Science Institute
– Director of the PhD Programme in Psychological and Behavioural Science
– Fellow at the Charter Cities Institute
– Technical Director of The Database of Religious History
– Board member of the One Pencil Project
– Founder of LSE Culturalytik – a new approach to culture and diversity

My research focuses on answering three broad questions:
(1) Why are humans so different to other animals?
(2) What are the psychological and evolutionary processes that underlie culture and social change, and how is information transmitted, maintained, and modified?
(3) How can the answers to these questions be used to tackle some of the challenges we face as a species?

I use a two-pronged methodological approach to answer these questions, combining mathematical and computational modeling (evolutionary models, game theory models, etc.), experimental and data science methods from psychology and economics, and artificial intelligence. I use the “Theory of Human Behavior” that emerges from this approach to tackle a variety of related topics, including innovation, corruption, the rise of large-scale cooperation, navigation of cross-cultural differences, governance policy innovation, and how humans can best work with artificial intelligence.

I am particularly interested in the application of research in cultural evolution to public policy. More details on my research program can be found here.

I have won several significant awards for my research, most recently:

  • 2023 HBES Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution, Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES)
  • 2023 HBES Rising Star Award, Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES)
  • 2022 SAGE Emerging Scholar Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)
  • 2021 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)
  • 2021 APS Rising Star, Association of Psychological Science (APS)

I’m still an engineer at heart and enjoy building things to solve problems. Some of my activities:


The Database of Religious History

Multimillion dollar project and the largest quantitative and qualitative database of history

LSE Culturalytik

Bringing insights from cultural evolution and behavioral science to organizations and governments

London School of Artificial Intelligence (LSAI) – providing AI training to school students

Fellow or Advisory Board Member

Charter Cities Institute - YouTubeATTAIN - Sustainable skills for financial servicesBesample | Research beyond the WestOnePencilProject (@1PencilProject) / XInternational Behavioural Public Policy Association – Behavioural Public  Policy Blog


LSE Summer School

I teach IR110: Foundations of Psychological Science

Substack Newsletter

My CV is available here.

My new book, A Theory of Everyone: Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going is available here: https://atheoryofeveryone.com