My research centres on meta-theoretical, methodological, and methodical foundations for contextualised research on individual behaviour and dyadic social relationships from cross-cultural and cross-species comparative perspectives. My special focus lies on comparisons of ethological measurements of individual and dyadic behaviours with investigations of the mental and social representations that humans develop of these behaviours in everyday life.
The enormous diversity across human cultures and even more across species entails three epistemological core issues:
(1) Meta-theoretical concepts of the phenomena to be studied
(2) Methodological approaches to decide which elements of the thus defined phenomena should be studied
(3) Suitable methods of their measurement in the population under study.
My empirical research focuses on humans (3-6 year old preschool children, their parents and teachers) and on nonhuman primates (great apes, capuchins, macaques).