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Stefanie Keupp

I am a postdoctoral researcher with a background in psychology. I am interested in cognitive developmentsocial cognitioncomparative psychology, and animal cognition.

My current research focuses on the cognitive foundations of human reciprocity. With Alicia Melis (UCL), Elliot Ludvig (University of Warwick), Felix Warneken and Sebastian Grüneisen (both University of Michigan), we are comparing the behavior of chimpanzees, human children and adults in different cognitive tasks related to the building blocks of human reciprocity.

Other projects and interests:

  • –  the ManyPrimates Project
  • –  evolutionary roots of social comparison processes
  • –  social evaluations & decision making in human and nonhuman primates
  • –  intentionality & social evaluations in chimpanzees


I have previously worked on social comparison processes and social learning (over-imitation) in nonhuman primates and preschool-aged children. I conducted behavioral research with great apes at the Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center and with 2 to 6-year-old children at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. My research in Leipzig focused on social evaluations and reputation management (2007 – 2010). For my PhD, I worked at the University of Göttingen in the Department of Cognitive Developmental Psychology. I conducted behavioral studies with preschoolers to investigate the role of normativity in children’s over-imitation (2010 – 2014). I moved on to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Cognitive Ethology Lab at the German Primate Center, where I investigated similarities and differences of social comparison processes of humans and long-tailed macaques (2015 – 2019).

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