Allen Grabo



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PhD student

Hello, my name is Allen. I am a Phd Student.

Research Interests

I like to think about the role of leadership in the evolution of cooperative behavior, and especially how charismatic leadership can help groups behave more cooperatively. I make up experiments about these things, and then I write and talk to other people about them. I think that with enough theory and data, we can use evolutionary and game theory to say some interesting things about how and why charisma became such an important factor in human decision-making and behavior.

So far I have primarily focused on showing how exposure to charismatic signals can increase cooperation in classical lab-based economic games (e.g. Trust and Dictator Games, the Stag Hunt Game). Right now I am particularly interested in extending this theory through longitudinal or field work, especially in the workplace and religious communities.

Some questions I'm currently thinking about include:

-How do perceptions of charisma differ according to the challenges facing a particular organization? How does charisma differ across contexts such as the workplace and religious communities?

-Is charisma more important at a local level (within small groups) or at a more global level (VPs, CEOS) within an organization? What sorts of outcomes are affected by these sorts of differences (performance, job satisfaction, etc)

-Are there facial characteristics associated with charisma in various circumstances? That is, do we see a masculine/feminine leader as more charismatic when we’re looking for a competitive/cooperative leader?