Rhea Arini

Calleva Research Centre post-doctoral research associate | she/her


I received a PhD in Psychology from Oxford Brookes University in April 2020. Previously I graduated from the University of Pisa with a Bachelor’s degree in Ecological Sciences and Biodiversity (neurobiological-behavioural curriculum) and from the University of Florence with a Master’s degree in Behavioural Biology.

I consider myself a behavioural scientist with a keen interest in multidisciplinarity: I conducted research in a wide variety of fields, including cognitive neuroscience (effects of environmental enrichment on mice), classical ethology (socio-sexual behaviour in bonobos) and moral psychology (children’s third-party punishment behaviour).

For my doctoral project specifically, I recruited elementary school-aged children across four countries (UK, Colombia, Italy and Spain) and tested them, either face-to-face or remotely over the internet, in a series of computerised experiments. My aim was to investigate the motivations leading children to punish moral transgressors on behalf of victims and the emotional consequences of enacting these interventions, as well as to elucidate the link between the type of transgressions observed and the type of punitive behaviour carried out.

Now I wish to complement my expertise in biology and psychology with additional experience in evolutionary anthropology: I am currently working on a review on kinship systems with a comparative perspective (considering both human and non-human primates). Additionally, I plan to conduct fieldwork in Siena, Italy, on the effects of intergroup relations on human prosocial behaviour, as well as to develop a cross-cultural experiment on human risk attitudes as a registered report.

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