Gordon Kraft-Todd

PhD Student in New Haven, Connecticut

Read my articles

I am a Psychology PhD student at Yale University. My research explores how to leverage the evolutionary mechanisms of social cognition to promote prosocial behavior in the real world. I have three primary lines of work:

1) The spread of non-normative (i.e. rare) prosocial behaviors (see this video for my talk on this work)

2) The limits and power of empathy in promoting prosocial behavior

3) How evolutionary pressures shaped the psychological mechanisms which facilitate the resolution of social dilemmas

I study these phenomena using a combination of interdisciplinary methods, including online and in-lab incentivized economic game experiments, hypothetical vignette studies, and real-world field experiments run with non-profit, for-profit, and government partner organizations.

I work in the Human Cooperation Lab in the Psychology Department of Yale University with Prof. David Rand. I am a co-founder of the Applied Cooperation Team at Yale which fosters relationships with field partners to test the ecological validity of our laboratory findings in the real world (see this video for an intro to our work).

Before graduate school, I was an RA in many labs, e.g. these at Harvard and Mass General Hospital. I received my AB from Harvard College in 2007 with an independently designed major in Leadership. While there, I co-founded the Leadership Institute at Harvard College. I owe much of my knowledge about leadership and prosocial behavior to many happy summers spent at Camp Becket, YMCA.

  • Education
    • Yale University
    • Harvard College