About Jasmine Onstad
I am an undergraduate philosophy student and have just completed my year abroad in Paris. I love studying and doing research in philosophy because I am constantly expanding my knowledge and perspective in new and surprising ways. I am from London but grew up around the world in Amsterdam, Nairobi and Johannesburg.
My research brings together psychology, philosophy and politics. I want to be as interdisciplinary as possible, so I am reading widely and even hope to collect empirical research.
In my first period of research, I reviewed the psychological literature surrounding cognitive biases and tried to develop a model for understanding how a mixture of brain processes and environmental factors lead to polarization. In my second period, I am applying this knowledge more directly to politics and am focusing on the role of flawed individuals in a democracy. With the rise of populism and the current breakdown of the democratic process in the UK at the very least, it is not too far of a stretch to say that many modern democracies are failing. How much does this have to do with the irrational tendencies of individuals and how much is down to failures in the democratic institutions themselves? My research applies the findings of cognitive bias research to the political sphere and uses it as a jumping-off point to explore the ways that democracy must be adapted to combat new challenges posed by technology and our evolving understanding of human nature.
Human rights defender focusing on children's rights, and undergraduate researcher, Amnesty UK Children's Human Rights Network
Student, University of York