Todd Kennedy Shackelford (born 1971) is an American psychologist and professor at Oakland University. He is best known for his work in evolutionary psychology. He is the editor in chief of the academic journals Evolutionary Psychologyand Evolutionary Psychological Science. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
Shackelford received his B.A. in 1993 from the University of New Mexico, his M.A. in 1995 from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Texas at Austin.
After earning his Ph.D. he went to Florida Atlantic University. Shackelford was an assistant professor until 2002 and an associate professor until 2007. After being promoted to full professor he created the Ph.D. program in evolutionary psychology. In 2010 he moved to Oakland University where he serves as chair of the psychology department. He is a director of the Evolutionary Psychology Lab.
Shackelford has authored or co-authored over 200 articles in academic journals. His h-index as calculated by Google Scholar is 70.
Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological structure from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations – that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection in human evolution. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Some evolutionary psychologists apply the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the modularity of mind is similar to that of the body and with different modular adaptations serving different functions. These evolutionary psychologists argue that much of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments.
Margo Wilson was a Canadian evolutionary psychologist. She was a professor of psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, noted for her pioneering work in the field of evolutionary psychology and her contributions to the study of violence.
David Cyril Geary is a United States cognitive developmental and evolutionary psychologist with interests in mathematical learning and sex differences. He is currently a Curators’ Professor and Thomas Jefferson Fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.
Evolutionary neuroscience is the scientific study of the evolution of nervous systems. Evolutionary neuroscientists investigate the evolution and natural history of nervous system structure, functions and emergent properties. The field draws on concepts and findings from both neuroscience and evolutionary biology. Historically, most empirical work has been in the area of comparative neuroanatomy, and modern studies often make use of phylogenetic comparative methods. Selective breeding and experimental evolution approaches are also being used more frequently.
David Michael Buss is an American evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, researching human sex differences in mate selection. He is considered one of the founders of evolutionary psychology.
A psychological adaptation is a functional, cognitive or behavioral trait that benefits an organism in its environment. Psychological adaptations fall under the scope of evolved psychological mechanisms (EPMs), however, EPMs refer to a less restricted set. Psychological adaptations include only the functional traits that increase the fitness of an organism, while EPMs refer to any psychological mechanism that developed through the processes of evolution. These additional EPMs are the by-product traits of a species’ evolutionary development, as well as the vestigial traits that no longer benefit the species’ fitness. It can be difficult to tell whether a trait is vestigial or not, so some literature is more lenient and refers to vestigial traits as adaptations, even though they may no longer have adaptive functionality. For example, xenophobic attitudes and behaviors, some have claimed, appear to have certain EPM influences relating to disease aversion, however, in many environments these behaviors will have a detrimental effect on a person's fitness. The principles of psychological adaptation rely on Darwin's theory of evolution and are important to the fields of evolutionary psychology, biology, and cognitive science.
Delbert Duane Thiessen is an American psychology professor emeritus whose research focused on evolutionary mechanisms of reproduction and social communication. Del Wolf Thiessen, Ph.D., Born: August 13, 1932 Professor Emeritus Psychology at University of Texas at Austin, Texas.
Leda Cosmides is an American psychologist, who, together with anthropologist husband John Tooby, helped develop the field of evolutionary psychology.
Evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP) is a research paradigm that applies the basic principles of evolution by natural selection, to understand the development of human behavior and cognition. It involves the study of both the genetic and environmental mechanisms that underlie the development of social and cognitive competencies, as well as the epigenetic processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions.
Evolutionary educational psychology is the study of the relation between inherent folk knowledge and abilities and accompanying inferential and attributional biases as these influence academic learning in evolutionarily novel cultural contexts, such as schools and the industrial workplace. The fundamental premises and principles of this discipline are presented below.
Jean Decety is an American and French neuroscientist specializing in developmental neuroscience, affective neuroscience, and social neuroscience. His research focuses on the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underpinning social cognition, particularly social decision-making, empathy, moral reasoning, altruism, pro-social behavior, and more generally interpersonal relationships. He is Irving B. Harris Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.
Evolutionary psychology seeks to identify and understand human psychological traits that have evolved in much the same way as biological traits, through adaptation to environmental cues. Furthermore, it tends toward viewing the vast majority of psychological traits, certainly the most important ones, as the result of past adaptions, which has generated significant controversy and criticism from competing fields. These criticisms include disputes about the testability of evolutionary hypotheses, cognitive assumptions such as massive modularity, vagueness stemming from assumptions about the environment that leads to evolutionary adaptation, the importance of non-genetic and non-adaptive explanations, as well as political and ethical issues in the field itself.
Jaak Panksepp was an Estonian-American neuroscientist and psychobiologist who coined the term "affective neuroscience", the name for the field that studies the neural mechanisms of emotion. He was the Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science for the Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, and Emeritus Professor of the Department of Psychology at Bowling Green State University. He was known in the popular press for his research on laughter in non-human animals.
Stephen W. Porges is a "Distinguished University Scientist" at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University Bloomington and professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Professor Porges directed the Brain-Body Center in the department of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also held appointments in the departments of psychology and bioEngineering, and worked as an adjunct in the department of neuroscience which he found suited him and it became his priority. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Porges served as chair of the department of human development and director of the institute for child study. He is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and has been president of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, a consortium of societies representing approximately twenty-thousand biobehavioral scientists. He was a recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development award. He has chaired the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, maternal and child health research committee and was a visiting scientist in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Laboratory of Comparative Ethology. He was awarded a patent on a methodology to describe neural regulation of the heart, and today is a lead neuroscientist with particular interests in cranial nerve responses as it relates to both animal and man in which there are specified responses that are physiological in the body. He proposed the polyvagal theory in 1994 providing insight into the mechanism mediating symptoms observed in the brain. The theory has stimulated research and treatments emphasizing the importance of physiological state and behavioral regulation.
Mark van Vugt is a Dutch evolutionary psychologist who holds a professorship in evolutionary psychology and work and organizational psychology at the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Van Vugt has affiliate positions at the University of Oxford, Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology (ICEA).
Melanie Killen is a developmental psychologist and Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, and Professor of Psychology (Affiliate) at the University of Maryland, and Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. She is supported by funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her research. In 2008, she was awarded Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by the Provost's office at the University of Maryland. She is the Director of the Social and Moral Development Lab at the University of Maryland.
Shane R. Jimerson is a Professor of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Darcia Narvaez is a Professor of Psychology Emerita at the University of Notre Dame who has written extensively on issues of character and moral development.
Dieter Gilberto Hillert is a German-American biolinguist and cognitive scientist. His research focuses on the human language faculty as a cognitive and neurological system. He is known for work on the neurobiology of language, real-time sentence processing, and language evolution. He advocates comparative evolutionary studies of cognition, argues against tabula rasa models, and favors computational theories of mind.
Thomas A. Widiger is an American clinical psychologist who researches the diagnosis and classification of psychopathology. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, editor of Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, and co-editor of the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology.