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Peter DeScioli

Peter DeScioli

Associate Professor

PhD, University of Pennsylvania

N-709, Social and Behavioral Sciences Building
Department of Political Science
4392 SUNY
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4392

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  • Biography


    Peter DeScioli is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and he was a postdoctoral fellow in economics and psychology at Chapman University, Brandeis University, and Harvard University. He conducts research in moral psychology, experimental economics, and political psychology.

  • Research


    Peter DeScioli investigates how the human mind uses principles of strategy to solve problems in the social world. He examines the evolutionary functions of moral judgment, especially condemning other people, punishing wrongdoers, and impartiality. He studies how people form alliances, how they choose their loyalties to others, and how they display and conceal their loyalties. He also looks at people’s sense of ownership by designing computer games to observe conflicts over resources in the laboratory. In recent years, he has been designing games for experiments on political psychology, including voting, taxes, redistribution, partisan conflict, and political negotiation.

  • Publications

    Recent Publications

    Del Ponte, A., & DeScioli, P. (in press). Pay your debts: Moral dilemmas of international debt. Political Behavior . [ pdf ]

    Huang, L., DeScioli, P., & Murad, Z. (in press). Pulling for the team: Competition between individuals, groups, and political partisans. Evolutionary Psychological Science . [ pdf ]

    Del Ponte, A., Delton, A. W., & DeScioli, P. (in press). Altruism and spite in politics: How the mind makes welfare tradeoffs about political parties. Political Behavior . [ pdf ]

    Bor, A., Mazepus, H., Bokemper, S. E., & DeScioli, P. (in press). When should the majority rule? Experimental evidence for Madisonian judgments in five cultures. Journal of Experimental Political Science. [ pdf ]

    DeScioli, P., Cho, B., Bokemper, S. E., & Delton, A. W. (2020). Selfish and cooperative voting: Can the majority restrain themselves? Political Behavior, 42, 261-283. [ pdf ]

  • Teaching


    Undergraduate: Next Offered: Fall 2021
    POL 375: The Political Animal POL 375: The Political Animal
    POL 571: Moral Politics  
    POL 678: Political Decision Making  
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