Fatih Uenal is a research fellow and visiting scholar at Humboldt University of Berlin (Department of Social Psychology). His main research interest lies in analyzing the evolutionary and social psychological mechanisms that facilitate the maintenance and reproduction of social inequality and power/dominance relations. In this regard, he focuses on different manifestations of social inequality as reflected in societal deviations regarding access to material and cultural goods, social status, and institutional representation between dominant and subordinate groups and the resulting differences in social, environmental, and political attitudes and behavior.
One line of his research investigates the effects of macro-level developments (i.e., Climate Change, Automation, Digitalization, and Globalization) on social stratification processes vis-à-vis social and environmental attitudes and behavior. This line of research speaks to overarching questions such as: How do evolutionary novel challenges affect the evolutionarily adapted social mind? What are individual and group differences modulating the perception of macro-level phenomena and micro-level engagement? How does spatiotemporal proximity (vs. distance), level of abstraction and complexity, and other factors influence the cognitive and affective processing of these phenomena? And, crucially, how can social and evolutionary psychological research inform public policy and debate in the context of novel and far-reaching global challenges with the goal of facilitating pro-social and pro-environmental individual behavior and collective action.
In another strand of his work, his research focuses on the interaction between ideologies, norms, and values and emotions (i.e., disgust and anger) to form negative intergroup attitudes and behavior such as racism, discrimination, conspiracy beliefs, intergroup violence, and radicalization.
His research is situated at the intersection of evolutionary and social psychological theories as well as sociological and political science theories. To address his research questions, he uses a combination of methods including questionnaires and surveys, social psychological scenario- and priming experiments, and longitudinal panel studies.
Overall, his research aims at contributing to timely and urgent social and political issues through both, theoretically and methodologically rigorous analysis, advancing research in social, evolutionary and political psychology, as well as practically applicable suggestions for public policy.