Fields of Interest: Political Psychology, Experimental Methods, Political Behavior Genetics, Evolutionary Models of Political Science, International Relations Theory, Security Studies, American Foreign Policy, Emotion and Decision Making
Professor McDermott's main area of research revolves around political psychology in international relations. She is the author of Risk Taking in International Relations: Prospect Theory in American Foreign Policy (University of Michigan Press, 1998), Political Psychology in International Relations (University of Michigan Press, 2004), and Presidential Illness, Leadership and Decision Making (Cambridge University Press, 2007). She is co-editor of Measuring Identity: A Guide for Social Science Research, with R. Abdelal, Y. Herrera, and A. I. Johnson (Cambridge University Press, 2009). She has written numerous articles and book chapters on experimentation, evolutionary and neuroscientific models of political science, political behavior genetics and the impact of emotion on decision making.
Professor McDermott has held fellowships at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the Women and Public Policy Program, both at Harvard University. She is currently a fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
McDermott, R. (2004). The Feeling of Rationality: The Meaning of Neuroscientific Advances for Political Science. Perspectives on Politics, 2(4), 691-706.
Johnson, D., McDermott, R., Barrett, E., Cowden, J., Wrangham, R., McIntyre, M. & Rosen, S. (2006). Overconfidence in wargames: experimental evidence on expectations, aggression, gender and testosterone. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Biological Science), 273, 2513-2520.
McDermott, R., Johnson, D., Cowden, J. & Rosen. S. (2007). Testosterone and aggression in a simulated crisis game. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 614, 15-33.
McIntyre, M., Barrett, E., McDermott, R., Johnson, D., Cowden, J. & Rosen, R. (2007). Finger length ratio (2D:4D) and sex differences in aggression during a simulated war game. Personality and Individual Differences 42, 755-764.
McDermott, R., Fowler, J. & Smirnov, O. (2008). On the Evolutionary Origins of Prospect Theory Preferences. The Journal of Politics, 70(2), 335–350.
McDermott, R., Tingley, D., Cowden, J., Frazzetto, G. & Johnson, D.
(2009). Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) predicts
behavioral aggression following provocation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(7), 2118-2123.