I am a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT's Security Studies Program.  I  recently defended my dissertation and will graduate in June, 2018.  Following a year of post-doctoral research in social cognitive neuroscience, I will join the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley as an Assistant Professor.

My research interests sit at the intersection of political psychology and conflict.  Broadly speaking, my research agenda considers the question: how does cognition affect political behavior?  I draw extensively on both psychology and neuroscience research to develop and test theories of political behavior.  I am particularly interested in those behaviors related to violent and non-violent social conflict, from the inter-personal to the inter-state. 

My dissertation considers the preferences people have for dealing with the dangers they perceive in the world around them.  The project draws on findings from biology and cognitive science to develop a theory of threat perception and response, which I test on applications in both American Politics and International Relations. 

Prior to starting my PhD, I worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and as an analyst in corporate strategic planning at The Walt Disney Company, among other endeavors.

I received my AB in Government from Harvard and an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics.  

 

MarikaLandauWells.jpg