Evolutionary Social Psychology Co-Laboratory (Kenrick-Neuberg-Becker-Varnum)

Evolutionary Social Psychology Co-Laboratory (Kenrick-Neuberg-Becker-Varnum)
Evolutionary Psychology; Behavioral Ecology; Motivation; Aggression; Prejudice; Mating; Culture
Lab Area
Social Psychology
Lab Director
Douglas T. Kenrick, Steven L. Neuber, D. Vaughn Becker, Michael E. W. Varnum
Actively Recruiting Undergraduate Researchers

The Evolutionary Social Psychology Co-Laboratory uses theory from evolutionary psychology to study a range of topics including: motivation, emotion, health and well-being, prejudice and stereotyping, aggression, sexuality and mating, friendship, leadership, economic decision making, cultural variation, and cultural change. The Co-Laboratory is a joint venture of four faculty members who collaborate on numerous projects and provide shared training for graduate students. More details of our work can be found on our individual websites: Doug Kenrick, Steve Neuberg, Vaughn Becker, Michael Varnum.

Lab Directors and Co-Principal Investigators:

Douglas T. Kenrick, PhD, President’s Professor, Psychology
Steven L. Neuberg, PhD, Foundation Professor, Psychology
D. Vaughn Becker, PhD, Associate Professor, Human Systems Engineering Program
Michael E. W. Varnum, PhD, Associate Professor and Social Psychology Area Head, Psychology

Select Recent Publications

Ko, A., Neuberg, S. L., Pick, C. M., Varnum, M. E. W., & Becker, D. V. (in press). Responses to political partisans are calibrated by a COVID-sensitive disease psychology: A longitudinal investigation. American Psychologist.

Kirsch, A. P., Kenrick, D.T., Ko, A., Pick, C. M., & Varnum, M. E. W. (2024). Sibling aggression is surprisingly common and sexually egalitarian. Evolution and Human Behavior, 45, 214-227.

Wiezel, A., Barlev, M., Martos, C.R., & Kenrick, D.T. (in press). Stereotypes versus preferences: Revisiting the Alpha Male stereotype of leadership. Evolution & Human Behavior. In press, will appear with commentaries. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2024.01.001.

Barlev, M., & Neuberg, S. L. (in press). Rational reasons for irrational beliefs. American Psychologist.

Hohm, I., Wormley, A. S., Schaller, M., & Varnum, M. E. W. (2024). Homo temporus: Seasonal cycles as a fundamental source of variation in human psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 19, 151-172.

Wormley, A. S., Kwon, J. Y., Barlev, M., & Varnum, M. E. W. (2023). How much cultural variation around the globe is explained by ecology? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 290. 20230485.

Pick, C., Ko, A., Wormley, A. S., Wiezel, A., Kenrick, D. T., Al-Shawaf, L., . . . & Varnum, M. E. W. (2022). Family still matters: Human social motivation across 42 countries during a global pandemic. Evolution and Human Behavior, 43, 527-535.

Krems, J.A., Williams, K. E. G., Aktipis, C. A., & Kenrick, D.T. (2021). Friendship jealousy: One tool for maintaining friendships in the face of third-party threats? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 120(4), 977–1012.

Rotella, A., Varnum, M. E. W., Sng, O., & Grossmann, I. (2021). Increasing population densities predict decreasing fertility rates over time: A 174-nation investigation. American Psychologist, 76, 933-946.

Kenrick, D.T., Cohen, A.B., Cialdini, R.B., & Neuberg, S.L. (2020). The science of antiscience thinking. Scientific American, Special Edition: Truth vs. Lies. 29, 84-89. (reprinted 2018 article).

Ko, A., Pick, C. M., Kwon, J. Y., Barlev, M., Krems, J. A., Varnum, M. E. W., . . . & Kenrick, D. T. (2020). Family matters: Rethinking the psychology of human social motivation. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15, 173-201.

Becker, V. D.., & Neuberg, S. L. (2019). Archetypes reconsidered as emergent outcomes of cognitive complexity and evolved motivational systems. Psychological Inquiry, 30(2), 59-75.

Moon, J.W., Krems, J.A., Cohen, A.B., & Kenrick, D.T. (2019). Is nothing sacred? Religion, sex, and reproductive strategies. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 28 (4), 361-365.

Sng, O., Neuberg, S. L., Varnum, M. E. W., & Kenrick, D. T. (2018). The behavioral ecology of cultural variation. Psychological Review, 125, 714-745.

Sng, O., Neuberg, S. L., Varnum, M. E. W., & Kenrick, D. T. (2017). The crowded life is a life: Population density and life history strategy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 111, 736-754.

Varnum, M. E. W., & Grossmann, I. (2017). Pathogen prevalence is associated with cultural changes in gender equality. Nature Human Behaviour, 1, 0003.

Williams, K. E., Sng, O., & Neuberg, S. L. (2016). Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(2), 310-315.

Neel, R., Kenrick, D.T., White, A.E., & Neuberg, S.L. (2016).  Individual differences in fundamental social motives.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(6) 887–907.

Tybur, J. M., Inbar, Y., Aarøe, L., Barclay, P., Barlow, F. K., De Barra, M., Becker, D. V., ... & Žeželj, I. (2016). Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(44), 12408-12413.

Doug Kenrick won SPSP’s 2024 Book Award for his book Solving Modern Problems with a Stone Aged Brain!

Lab alumni Cari Pick won SPSP’s Student Publication Prize!

Lab alumni Jaimie Krems was granted tenure at UCLA!

Hear Michael Varnum discuss the many impacts of seasons on our minds and behavior on the BBC.

Lab alumni Becca Neel was received APA’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Contribution to Psychology!

Lab alumni Oliver Sng was named an APS Rising Star!

Michael Varnum was named an APS Fellow!

Lab member Alexandra Wormley received NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship!