Dr. AARON LUKASZEWSKI, PSYCHology
As an evolutionary social & personality psychologist, my research applies adaptationist principles to the study of human nature. To this end, my (typically collaborative) research applies theory and methods from multiple disciplines, including social-personality psychology, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, cross-cultural psychology, computational modeling, behavioral endocrinology, and molecular genetics.
- Doctor of Philosophy
The research topics in my research lab are diverse, but united by the goal of applying formal and computational models from behavioral biology to the study of human psychology, behavior, and health. For example, recent modeling work suggests that an organism’s overall orientation toward investing in future reproduction (vs. a present-focus) should be calibrated in response to internal (somatic) and external (socioecological) cues to mortality risk, such that individuals who compute their mortality risk as being low adopt a more future-oriented strategy. Recent correlational studies from my lab provide evidence consistent with these predictions: environmental harshness in childhood predicts a range of intercorrelated behavioral indicators of present-future orientation, and this association is partly mediated via overall physical health. A similar study that is currently under review for publication tests whether earlier sexual maturation (among women) and shorted telomeres on chromosomes (among males) may additionally mediate the association between childhood environment and adult behavioral strategies. Given the difficulty of empirically assessing an individual’s overall intrinsic mortality, we are currently investigating whether mortality risk ratings assigned to individuals by life insurance companies predict the present-future orientation spectrum.
Other ongoing projects pertain to the role of endocrine responses in regulating men’s courtship behavior, cross-cultural studies of social status and partner preferences, adaptationist models of emotions, and the construction of a new meta-theoretical framework for personality science.
Sznycer, D. & Lukaszewski, A. W. (2019). The emotion-valuation constellation: multiple emotions are governed by a common grammar of social valuation. Evolution and Human Behavior, 40, 395-404. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2019.05.002
Durkee, P. K., Goetz, A. T., & Lukaszewski, A. W. (2018). Formidability assessment mechanisms: examining their speed and automaticity. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39, 170-178. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.12.006
Sell, A. N., Lukaszewski, A. W., & Townsley, M. (2017). Cues of upper body strength account for most of the variance in men’s bodily attractiveness. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 84, 20171819. doi: http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.1819
Andrews, T. M., Lukaszewski, A. W., Simmons, Z. L., & Bleske-Rechek, A. (2017). Cue-based estimates of reproductive value explain women’s body attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38, 461-467. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.04.002
Lukaszewski, A. W., Gurven, M., von Rueden, C. R., & Schmitt, D. P. (2017). What explains personality covariation? A test of the socioecological complexity hypothesis. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8, 943-952. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617697175