Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests:  Cognitive evolution, developmental psychology, cognition and culture, social cognition, normativity, cultural transmission, ritual, imitation. 

Education

Ph.D., March 2013, Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

M. A., May 2006, Psychology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, magna cum laude


 Professional Experience

January 2013 – Present        Postdoctoral Fellow, Cognition, Culture and Development Lab, The University of Texas at Austin

August 2012 – May 2013     Lecturer, Texas State University, San Marcos

July 2010 – January 2013    Visiting Researcher, Cognition, Culture, and Development Lab, The University of Texas at Austin


Published manuscripts

Watson-Jones, R. E., Busch, J. T. A., Legare, C. H., Harris, P. L. (in press). Does the body survive death? Cultural variation in beliefs about life everlasting. Cognitive Science.

Watson-Jones, R. E. & Legare, C. H. (2016). The social functions of group rituals. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 42-46.

Watson-Jones, R. E. & Legare, C. H. (2016). The functions of ritual in social groups. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, commentary on Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F.,     Willard, A. K., Slingerland, E., Gervais, W. M., McNamara, R., & Henrich, J.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Legare, C. H., & Whitehouse, H. (2016). In-group ostracism increases high fidelity imitation in early childhood. Psychological Science, 27(1), 34-42.

Legare, C. H., Watson-Jones, R. E., & Souza, A. L. (2016). A cognitive psychological account of reasoning about ritual efficacy. In H. DeCruz and R. Nichols (Eds.), Advances in religion, cognitive science, and experimental philosophy (pp. 85-102). London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Busch, J. A., & Legare, C. H. (2015). Interdisciplinary perspectives on explanatory coexistence. Topics in Cognitive Science, 7, 611-623.

Legare, C. H. & Watson-Jones, R. E. (2015). The evolution and ontogeny of ritual. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Vol. 2 (pp. 829-847). New York, NY: Wiley.

Watson-Jones, R. E., & Legare, C. H. (2015). Cognition and culture. In H. L. Miller, Jr. (Gen. ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publishers.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Legare, C. H., Whitehouse, H., & Clegg, J. M. (2014). Task-specific effects of ostracism on imitation in early childhood. Evolution & Human     Behavior, 35(3), 204-210.


Manuscripts under review

Busch, J. T. A., Watson-Jones, R. E., & Legare, C. H. (resubmitted). Cross-cultural variation in the development of folk ecological reasoning. Cognitive Psychology.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Busch, J. T. A., & Legare, C. H. (revise & resubmit). The natural and the supernatural: Reasoning about human origins, illness, and death in Vanuatu. British Journal of Developmental Psychology.


Manuscripts in preparation

Watson-Jones, R. E., Conroy-Beam, D., Legare, C. H. (in preparation). Evolutionary perspectives on the development of imitation.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Busch, J. T. A., & Legare, C. H. (in preparation). Conservation in context: A comparison of U.S. and Ni-Vanuatu views of the conservation of nature across development.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Jea, I., Busch, J. T. A., & Legare, C. H. (in preparation). Individual differences in reasoning about the afterlife.


Conference Symposia

Organizer, symposium titledThe Cognitive Underpinnings of Cultural Learning,annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Berlin, Germany, August 2013.

 

Presentations

            Watson-Jones, R. E. (2016, July). In-group ostracism increases high-fidelity imitation in early childhood. Paper presented at the annual                     meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Vancouver, BC. Nominated for the Postdoctoral Award.

Davis, S., Legare, C. H., Clegg, J. M., Watson-Jones, R. E., Shapiro, S. J., Lambeth, S. P., & Whiten, A. (2015, October). Behavioral flexibility in children (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Relinquishing and building on witnessed behaviors to improve efficiency. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive development Society, Columbus, OH. 

Watson-Jones, R., Busch, J.T.A., & Legare, C.H. (2015, October). Does the body survive death? Cultural variation in beliefs about the life everlasting. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Columbus, OH.

Wen, N. J., Legare, C. H., Watson-Jones, R. E., Ratcliffe, M. R., & Gelman, S. A. (2015, October). The effect of ritual on instrumental tool use. Poster presented at the biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Columbus, OH.

Watson-Jones, R. E. Afterlife concepts across cultures and development. (March, 2015). Invited talk at The Philosophy and Psychology of Afterlife Beliefs Workshop, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Busch, J. T. A., Legare, C. H., Harris, P. L. (March, 2015). Afterlife concepts across cultures and development. Poster presented at the biennial meeting at the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.

Busch, J. T. A., Watson-Jones, R. E., & Legare, C. H. (March, 2014). The cross-cultural development of a conceptual organization of biological knowledge in childhood. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Human Development, Austin, TX.

Wan, V., Watson-Jones, R. E., Busch, J. T. A., & Legare, C. H. (March, 2014). Afterlife concepts of biological and psychological processes across cultures. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Human Development, Austin, TX.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Legare, C. H., & Whitehouse, H. (March, 2014). Ostracism increases imitative fidelity of in-group members. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Human Development, Austin, TX.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Legare, C. H., & Whitehouse, H. (October, 2013). Stay with the Group: Ostracism increases imitative fidelity of in-group members. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Memphis, TN.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Legare, C. H., Whitehouse, H., & Clegg, J. M. (April, 2013). Ostracism, Ritual, and Affilaitive Motivations for Imitation. Symposium paper presented at the bi-annual meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

Watson-Jones, R. E., Legare, C. H., Whitehouse, H., & Clegg, J. M. (June, 2012). Affiliative Motivations and the Development of Normativity. Symposium paper presented at the annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Albuquerque, NM.

Watson-Jones, R.  E. (2011). The Role of Implied Threat Cues in the Development of Ritualized Behavior. Paper presented to the CAM Lab Group, University of Oxford.

Watson-Jones, R. E. (2010). Current Debates on the Evolution of Religion. Guest Lecture, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford.

 

Courses Taught

Experimental Design & Research Methods


Grant Experience

The Coexistence of Scientific and Religious Explanations across Cultures and Development, Principal Investigator: Dr. Cristine Legare. Awarded by The John Templeton Foundation. Role: Member of the grant writing team.

Imitative Foundations of Cultural Learning, Principal Investigator: Dr. Cristine Legare. Under review by National Institute of Health. Role: Member of the grant writing team.


Honors and Awards

School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography Writing-up Bursary, University of Oxford

Wolfson College Fieldwork Grant, University of Oxford

University of North Texas President's Fund Scholarship

Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society

Golden Key National Honor Society

University of North Texas President's List

University of North Texas Dean's List

 

Professional Memberships

Society for Anthropological Sciences

Society for Research in Child Development

Cognitive Science Society

Cognitive Development Society

Human Behavior and Evolution Society


Professional Activities and Experience

Ad hoc reviewer: British Journal of Developmental Psychology; Journal of the Cognitive Science of Religion; TopiCS; Journal of Experimental Child Psychology; Child Development; Frontiers in Cognitive Science; Cognitive Science; PLOS One