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Professor of Developmental Psychology,

University of Bristol, UK

Author, ‘The Self Illusion’



Bruce Hood, PhD, is Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society at the University of Bristol.  He spends most of his time engaging with the pubic in one way or another.  His written popular science books broadly based on this research interests including the origins of supernatural thinking, the illusion of self, the social domestication of humans, and his new book on the psychology of ownership.


He is a former Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer and the founder of Speakezee – the world’s largest network of expert speakers.


Hood has been a research fellow at Cambridge University and University College London, a visiting scientist at MIT and a faculty professor at Harvard.  He has diverse research interests including the origins of supernatural beliefs, intuitive theory formation, object representation, spatial cognition, inhibitory control and general cognitive development conducted at his labs at the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre which opened in 2001.


He has been awarded an Alfred Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience, the Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Infancy Researchers, the Robert Fantz memorial award and voted to Fellowship status by the society of American Psychological Science.  He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (UK) and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.


Hood has written three books for the general public, SuperSense (HarperOne, 2009) about the natural origins of supernatural beliefs which has been published in 12 countries, The Self Illusion (Constable & Robinson 2012) about the fallacy that we are coherent, integrated individuals but rather a constructed narrative largely influenced by those around us and The Domesticated Brain (Pelican, 2014) an evolutionary account for the rise in pro-sociality and lengthening of human childhood.


He has also co-authored a highly successful undergraduate textbook Psychology, now in its 2nd edition (Palgrave, 2011, 2015) and co-edited an academic book on development of object knowledge, The Origins of Object Knowledge (OUP, 2009).


He has appeared in a number of TV science documentaries and in 2011 he delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures which were broadcast on the BBC to over 4 million viewers.  You can see the lectures as well as behind-the-scenes at the Ri Channel.  He also repeated these lectures in Japan and Singapore in 2012.

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