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Bruce Hood

Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society, University of Bristol

Bruce Hood is a Canadian-born experimental psychologist who specializes in developmental cognitive neuroscience and is the Director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre, based at the University of Bristol.

He is well known for his ideas that humans are not rational creatures and this innate irrationality leads to religion and superstition.

His undergraduate studies were in psychology and is recipient of an Master of Arts and an Master of Philosophy from the University of Dundee. He received his PhD from University of Cambridge in 1991, on the visual development of infants. After moving to the USA he took a place as a visiting professor at MIT and as an associate professor at Harvard University.

He has been awarded a Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience, the Robert L. Fantz prize, the International Society for Infant Studies Young Investigator award and elected to fellow status of the American Psychological Association.

In 2011 Bruce delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Topic Series


The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity

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SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable

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The Science of Superstition: How the Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs

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