Dr Aysha Bellamy

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am interested in the evolutionary and cultural forces that drive our social and asocial decisions. Specifically, my thesis focused on how we master asocial skills, social norms and cooperation from an evolutionary and cultural evolutionary perspective. My published research focuses on the role that our percieved similarity to others, and the reliability of similarity signals, plays when choosing a social-learning strategy. 

I am also interested in how evolution may shape our cognitive biases. My PhD also used computational models based on population-level genetics to simulate the evolution of potential cognitive biases in both social and asocial domains. I have also investigated the evolutionary origins of certain cognitive biases with the Wason Selection Task for my masters' thesis.

I have also received a grant to investigate the sexual overperception bias from an evolutionary perspective. This is when men misinterpret cues that women are sexully interested. I have also studied the evolutionary origins of sexual jealousy, too.

Lastly, I am also interested in motor-control processes, having completed a British Psychological Society- funded award for research investigating the developmental trajectory of agency in motor control (University of Lincoln, 2015).



I teach a variety of content that relates to evolution at RHUL, including prosocial behviour and sexual jealousy. I also teach research methods and statistics, previously running Yr 2 lab groups and demonstrting on Yr 3 Advanced Statistics modules. Finally, I cover content on MSc Statistics for Research here at RHUL, too. I can teach stats in both SPSS and R.

I was the Center for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS) statistics tutor. I supported students of all abilities and degree backgrounds with any queries regarding statistical analyses and/or experimental design.

I have completed the programme in skills of teaching to inspire learning qualification at RHUL (inSTiL) and am now starting my CAPITAL training to become a fellowship member of the Higher Education Academy (PGCert in academic practice). I also was an exam invigilator, which lends experience of supervising students during stressful situations.



I am proud to be a member of my supervisor Prof. Ryan McKay's team at the MaBLab (Morality and Beleifs lab at RHUL) (http://pc.rhul.ac.uk/sites/mab-lab/lab_members/phd_students/), and also the PACE lab (Policy and Cultural Evolution), affiliated with universities in Switzerland via my other supervisor Prof. Charles Efferson. I am also a member of the Social and Affective Processes group at Royal Holloway, University of London.

I hold memberships as a postgraduate student in both the British Psychological Society and European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA) society.


Educational background

I earned a first-class honours in BSc Psychology at the University of Lincoln in 2013-16, achieving the British Psychological Society award for being the highest scoring undergraduate of this yearly cohort. I also achieved a distinction in an MSc Psychological Research Methods course at the University of Lincoln in 2016-17.

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