Dr. Baker's research seeks to explore how fundamental social motives such as the desire to find a mate, maintain relationships, and avoid harm influence decision making, the basic cognitive processes of memory and attention, and health related behaviors. Previous research has examined the roles of social context and mating motivation in risk-taking behavior. A current line of inquiry aims to discover the impact that exposure to mating cues has on cognitive functioning. Future work will expand upon these investigations and explore different motivations for engaging in health and fitness promotion.
I am interested in the role fundamental social motivations and emotions play in social cognitive processes such as decision-making, attention, and memory. My current work focuses on the effects of mating related cues on decision-making and memory. Additional interests include motivations to engage in healthy behaviors, embodied perspectives on cognition, and evolved parenting mechanisms.