Dr. Coren Apicella (Psychology, University of Pennsylvania): Understanding the Origins of Social, Economic and Attractiveness Preferences: Data from Hadza Foragers
Event Date and Time:
Monday, September 11, 2017 - 4:00pm
The SDOS Colloquium Series Welcomes Dr. Coren Apicella
About the Speaker
Coren Apicella is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Social Psychology and Behavioral Biology of Women.
She received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Harvard University and a M.Sc. in evolutionary psychology from the University of Liverpool. She studies both hunter-gatherers and Westerners to explore the cultural and evolutionary origins of social behavior. Her work specializes in mate selection and attraction, behavioral endocrinology, behavior genetics, sex differences, behavioral economics and social networks, and the evolution of cooperation.
This talk reports the results of three empirical studies on the evolutionary origins of human behavior. Human preferences are usually studied in people in industrialized contexts (often undergraduate students). However, these well-studied people may not be representative of the wider breadth of contemporary and historic humanity. I explore behavior within a relatively isolated and evolutionarily relevant population of hunter-gatherers living in regions of Northern Tanzania—the Hadza. The first study considers the evolution of cooperation and how social structure may have supported cooperation in our ancestors. In the second study, I show that the endowment effect bias is not a human universal – a result that points to the importance of local environment in generating differences in economic behavior. The last study concerns averageness in judgments of attractiveness in faces and suggests that experience is important in shaping standards of beauty.