Schaun Wheeler | Research Director, Marketing Department, WorldStrides, LLC
Most of my formal training was in traditional anthropological theories and methods (long-term immersive research, participant observation, narrative-style, interpretive analyses, etc.), but later expanded to include neuroscience-based theory and statistics-based methods. My experiences working as an analyst for the U.S. Department for the Army confirmed and strengthened my commitment to systematic approaches to research. I feel a little silly calling myself an anthropologist, since I can’t find any analytic use for concepts like culture or identity, but I don’t know what else to call myself (“social scientist” sounds strange…and uninformative). I study behavior, which isn’t (in my mind) the same as studying people. I’m more interested in shared, emergent behavior than individual actions, and I tend to look for explanations for behavior in the environment to which people adapt rather than in people’s ideas or words. I’m a minimalist when it comes to theory and an opportunist when it comes to methods.
Everything that appears on this blog is my personal opinion and in no way reflects the position of current or past employers. I am, however, grateful to my employers for understanding my desire to share my work.
Paul Meinshausen | Research Assistant, Implicit Social Cognition Lab, Department of Psychology, Harvard University and Safra Center for Ethics
I don’t usually find traits or group-level labels useful for research or social science, so I won’t use them much to describe myself or my research-bent either. This usually isn’t a good practice in conversation, but I think I can get away with it here. I studied anthropology as an undergraduate; conflict and institution building in Turkey and Bosnia as a graduate student; and then spent two years analyzing conflict, corruption, and irregular warfare for the Army. Now I do research in the areas of social psychology and implicit social cognition and look primarily at institutional corruption (along with a range of other side topics). I spend my evenings in computer science classes and writing programs that make my research better, and indeed possible. All that means I try to take advantage of opportunities that emerge more than I fall into a stable discipline or align myself with a professional field in my efforts to better understand human behavior and society. It’s not necessarily the right way to do it; it’s just the way I do it.
Everything that appears on this blog is my personal opinion and in no way reflects the position of any of my current or past employers.