Arathy Puthillam is at the Department of Psychology at Monk Prayogshala, a not-for-profit research organization based in Mumbai in India. Her research interests lie at the intersection of social, moral, and political psychology. Particularly, she studies norms, ideology, and identity. In other words, she studies how our social groups affect us.
Her non-academic interests include reading books and making spreadsheets about them, and talking about musical theatre, Taylor Swift, and Ben Platt.
MA in Applied Psychology, 2017
University of Mumbai
BA, with a Major in Psychology, 2015
St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Mumbai
I have over 5 years of experience using R
I have over 2 years of experience using Zotero
Openness and transparency in science is important to me
So far, my research work has revolved around identity and person perception. This includes how our personality, ideology, and beliefs affect the way we assess other people. This has led to a few papers in peer-reviewed journals, a few conference presentations, as well as some working papers.
Some of my other research interests include identity-based rumours, gossip, and misinformation (e.g., do we spread more rumours about out outgroup’s transgressions?), what causes us to change our norms (e.g., does moving from one country to another change our moral beliefs?), and how we view others who are horizontally (e.g., other sports teams) or vertically (e.g., other socioeconomic classes) different than us.
Another very niche interest for me is how we measure things. As someone who studies a very non-US centric population, some of the tools (scales or tasks) have very poor validity cross-culturally. This could be because they have not been tested across cultures, but also sometimes because the creators/authors don’t understand the contexts (e.g., law, language) that are not theirs. I think we should be collaborating with researchers from different contexts to understand such nuances.
Over the years, I have also attempted to communicate our research and ideas via popular magazines and newspaper articles.
I have often written about the intersection of pop culture and some of my academic interests. For example, have you ever wondered about how gossip works in the Bigg Boss house? I covered our working paper about it here in FirstPost.
I know I shouldn’t pick favourites, but here is a fun snippet of some of the pieces I had a blast working towards:
Some of my work has also received some press coverage. Here is a list:
Memes are to make you laugh; what if they spread disinformation?
Spoke to a reporter at The Quint about memes and misinformation. Watch video here
Indian Women in Science Struggled Even Before the Pandemic. Now, Things Are Much Worse
Quoted in an article in HuffPo. Read here
Beware the Dark Trio!
Our paper covered in an article in the newspaper Alittihad. Read here
The Life of Science Webinar on COVID19 straining gender dynamics among Indian scientists
Panelist on a webinar by The Life of Science, covered in The Wire’s YouTube Channel. Watch here
How I pursued psychology with an undying passion in Editage Insights
Profiled in an article on Editage. Read here
Down the rabbit hole of donation shaming
Spoke about social media and donations to a reporter over at The Ken. Read here
Using data-driven psychological research to find out more about Indians