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Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Rose McDermott

111 Thayer Street, Room 343

Downloadable CV

Rose McDermott

David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of International Relations


Rose McDermott is the David and Mariana Fisher University Professor of International Relations at Brown University and a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She received her Ph.D.(Political Science) and M.A. (Experimental Social Psychology) from Stanford University and has taught at Cornell, UCSB  and Harvard. She has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the Women and Public Policy Program, all at Harvard University. She has been a fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences twice. She is the author of four books, a co-editor of two additional volumes, and author of over two hundred academic articles across a wide variety of disciplines encompassing topics such as experimentation, emotion and decision making, and the biological and genetic bases of political behavior.


I work on a wide variety of different topics.  Current projects include research into the effects of post truth on democratic processes, the effect of narcissism on mass political behavior and work on the determinants and effects of assortative mating on political attitudes and behaviors, pandemic disease and suicide in the military. I am also conducting a long term cross country series of embedded experiments on attitudes toward gender inequality across domains.   


Hatemi, Peter K., Lopez, Anthony C., and McDermott, Rose (October 24, 2017). 'Blunt Not the Heart, Enrage It': The Psychology of Revenge and Deterrence. Texas National Security Review.

Bar-Joseph, Uri & McDermott, Rose (2017).  Intelligence

Successes and Failure: The Human Factor.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Glowacki L, Isakov A, Wrangham R, McDermott, R., Fowler J & Christakis N. Key individuals and friendship networks facilitate high-risk collective action in inter-group violence (October 10, 2016).   Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  

Hatemi, Peter K., Charles Crabtree & McDermott, Rose (January 15, 2017)  Sexual Preferences and Political Ideology: Does Performance in the Bedroom Predict Performance in the Ballot Box?”  Personality and Individual Differences

McDermott, Rose & Hatemi, Peter K (May 31, 2016). The Relationship Between Physical Aggression, Foreign Policy and Moral Choices: Phenotypic and Genetic Findings. Aggressive Behavior

McDermott, Rose, Lopez,Anthony  & Hatemi, Peter K. (2016) An Evolutionary Approach to Political Leadership.  Security Studies 25(4), 677-698

Hatemi, Peter K. & McDermott, Rose (2016).   Give Me Attitudes.  Annual Review of Political Science, 331-350.

McDermott, R. (2015).  Sex and Death: Gender Differences in Aggression and Motivation for Violence. International Organization, 1-23


PLCY 2070  Decision Making

POLS  0400 Introduction to International Relations

POLS 1821P Political Psychology in International Relations

POLS 1821M War in Film and Literature

POLS 1823G Woman and War

POLS 1550 War and Politics

POLS 1560 American Foreign Policy

PLCY 2735 Women and Nations

POLS 2000 Strategies of Inquiry and Research Design

News|Recent News

Why are humans so kind, yet so cruel? (comments by Rose McDermott)

March 7, 2019 Christian Science Monitor

Professor Rose McDermott comments on human nature's extremes of kindness and aggression, saying "Over long periods of time among large numbers of people, you end up with a more – slightly more – egalitarian system. We breed a kind of peacefulness, at least for the in-group."


Backing Up Women With Facts and Figures (Rose McDermott mentioned)

July 17, 2018 Pass Blue

The WomenStats Project links the status of women to the security and behavior of countries, offering insights into women's lives all over the world. The database helped uphold a ban on polygyny in Canada when Professor Rose McDermott submitted empirical research that used WomenStats numbers to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.


Research Achievement Awards honor accomplished Brown scholars (Rose McDermott mentioned)

April 20, 2018 News from Brown

Among the winners of the annual award program is Professor Rose McDermott, who "earned a Distinguished Research Achievement Award for her pioneering scholarship, including in the area of political psychology, and her innovative interdisciplinary work across political science, international relations, psychology and behavioral genetics." 


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