Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Rose McDermott

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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 works in the areas of political psychology, American foreign and defense policy, and gender. She received her Ph.D.(Political Science) and M.A. (Experimental Social Psychology) from Stanford University and has taught at Cornell and UCSB. 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 five 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 gender, experimentation, intelligence, cyber security. 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 a large series of survey experiments examining attitudes toward gender inequality across multiple countries encompassing multiple topics.  I am also currently involved in a series of projects related to ethical considerations in implementing field experiments. I also work on topics including identity, intelligence, cybersecurity, genetic contributions to political attitudes and behaviors, and emotional aspects of decision-making.  


McDermott, R. (K. Monroe, Ed.) (2018). The Evils of Polygyny: The David Easton Lectures by Rose McDermott.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

McDermott, Rose (2019).  Political Science’s #metoo moment.   Journal of Women, Politics and Policy.  Special issue edited by Nadia Brown.

McDermott, Rose.  Leader’s Emotional Manipulation of Political Identity: An Evolutionary Perspective. (2019). Leadership Quarterly Special Issue on the Evolution and Biology of Leadership (Guest editors: Mark Van Vugt and Chris von Rueden).    

McDermott, Rose.  (2019).  Psychological Underpinnings of Post-Truth in Political Beliefs. PS

McDermott, Rose (2018). The Nature of Narcissism. For H-Diplo. https://issforum.org/roundtables/policy/1-5BE-Narcissism

McDermott, Rose.(2018)  Coalitional Rivalry May Hurt in Trade, but Help in War: Commentary on Boyer & Petersen.  Behavior and Brain Sciences 

McDermott, Rose & Hatemi, Peter K.(Guest editors). (2018). Evolutionary Psychology: special issue on Evolution and Politics 

McDermott, Rose & Hatemi, Peter K.(2018). To go forward, we must look back: The importance of evolutionary psychology for understanding modern politics.

Evolutionary Psychology special issue (Guest Editors: Rose McDermott and Peter K. Hatemi)

McDermott, R, Lopez, A. & Hatemi, P.  (2017). Blunt Not the Heart, Enrage it: The Psychology of Revenge and Deterrence.  Texas National Security Review 1(1).

Bar-Joseph, Uri & McDermott, Rose (2017).  Intelligence Successes and Failure: The Human Factor.  New York: Oxford University Press.

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,R. (2017).  The Evolutionary Psychology of Coercion.  Comparative Strategy

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.  

Dean, Benjamin & McDermott, Rose (2017). A research agenda to improve decision making in cyber security policy.  Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs 5(1).

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 & Bar-Joseph, Uri. (2016)  Pearl Harbor and Midway: The Decisive Influence of Two Men on the Outcome. Intelligence and National Security, 1-14.  

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

McDermott, Rose (2016).  Group Behavior in the Military May Present A Unique Case. Commentary on Baumeister et al. Behavior and Brain Sciences, 39

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


INTL 0600

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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