Carlos David Navarrete

Carlos David Navarrete
Michigan State University | MSU · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

46
Publications
34,821
Reads
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3,904
Citations
Introduction
I'm interested in how the mind works, particularly with respect to mechanisms which are operative at the intersection of morality and intergroup relations.
Additional affiliations
July 2007 - December 2012
Michigan State University
December 2005 - July 2007
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
December 2005 - June 2007
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
June 1998 - June 2004
University of California, Los Angeles
Field of study
  • Biological Anthropology

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Moral judgment is influenced by both automatic and deliberative processing systems, and moral conflict arises when these systems produce competing intuitions. We investigated the role of emotional arousal in inhibiting harmful action in a behavioral study of utilitarian tradeoffs in a 3D digital simulation of two classic “trolley” scenarios in whic...
Article
The personal/impersonal distinction of moral decision-making postulates intuitive emotional responses from medial frontal activity and rational evaluation from lateral frontal activity. This model can be analyzed in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), a disorder characterized by impaired emotional intuitions, ventromedial prefrontal...
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Despite increasing support for conservation globally, controversy over specific conservation policies persists among diverse stakeholders. Investigating the links between morals in relation to conservation can help increase understanding about why humans support or oppose policy, especially related to human-wildlife conflict or human conflict over...
Chapter
Why do we think it’s wrong to treat people merely as a means to end? Why do we consider lies of omission less immoral than lies of commission? Why do we consider it good to give, regardless of whether the gift is effective? We use four simple game theoretic models—the Coordination Game, the Hawk–Dove game, Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the Envel...
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We hypothesize that, paralleling the evolution of human hierarchies from social structures based on dominance to those based on prestige, adaptations for representing status are derived from those for representing relative fighting capacity. Because both violence and status are important adaptive challenges, the mind contains the ancestral represen...
Article
Evolutionary psychologists are personally liberal, just as social psychologists are. Yet their research has rarely been perceived as liberally biased – if anything, it has been erroneously perceived as motivated by conservative political agendas. Taking a closer look at evolutionary psychologists might offer the broader social psychology community...
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Associations linking a fearful experience to a member of a social group other than one's own (out-group) are more resistant to change than corresponding associations to a member of one's own (in-group) (Olsson, Ebert, Banaji & Phelps, 2005; Kubota, Banaji & Phelps, 2012), providing a possible link to discriminative behavior. Using a fear conditioni...
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Given the importance of reproductive choice in female mating strategies, women may be equipped with a threat-management system that functions to protect reproductive choice by avoiding individuals and situations that have historically posed an increased threat of sexual coercion. Previous research suggests that bias against outgroup men may be one...
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The functions of cultural beliefs are often opaque to those who hold them. Accordingly, to benefit from cultural evolution's ability to solve complex adaptive problems, learners must be credulous. However, credulity entails costs, including susceptibility to exploitation, and effort wasted due to false beliefs. One determinant of the optimal level...
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A dual-audience signaling problem framework provides a deeper understanding of the perpetuation of group-based inequality. We describe a model of underachievement among minority youth that posits a necessary trade-off between academic success and peer social support that creates a dilemma not typically encountered by nonminorities. Preliminary evid...
Article
Research on prepared learning demonstrates that fear-conditioning biases may exist to natural hazards (e.g., snakes) compared to nonnatural hazards (e.g., electrical cords) and that fear is more readily learned toward exemplars of a racial out-group than toward exemplars of one's own race. Here we push the limits of the generalizability of the mech...
Article
Group assortative biases are stronger in regions where pathogen stress has been historically prevalent. Pushing the logic of this approach, extensions should include investigations of how cultural norms related to prosociality and relational striving may also covary with regional pathogen stress. Likewise, the pan-specific observation that diseased...
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Researchers adopting an evolutionary perspective have conceptualized the Dark Triad as an exploitative interpersonal style reflective of a fast life history strategy. However, not all research has supported this claim. We posit that different elements of the constructs associated with the Dark Triad may reflect different life history strategies. Ou...
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The social science literature contains numerous examples of human tribalism and parochialism-the tendency to categorize individuals on the basis of their group membership, and treat ingroup members benevolently and outgroup members malevolently. We hypothesize that this tribal inclination is an adaptive response to the threat of coalitional aggress...
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Experimentally investigating the relationship between moral judgment and action is difficult when the action of interest entails harming others. We adopt a new approach to this problem by placing subjects in an immersive, virtual reality environment that simulates the classic "trolley problem." In this moral dilemma, the majority of research partic...
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Recent research has shown that White women's bias against Black men increases with elevated fertility across the menstrual cycle. We demonstrate that the association between fertility and intergroup bias is not limited to groups defined by race, but extends to group categories that are minimally defined, and may depend on the extent to which women...
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Women's mate selection criteria can be expected to include a preference for men who can protect them and their offspring. However, aggressive dominance and physical formidability are not an unalloyed good in a partner; as such, men are likely to be coercive toward their mates. Accordingly, because of the potential costs of living with an aggressive...
Article
Research shows that women more positively evaluate targets evincing cues of high male genetic quality as a function of fertility across the menstrual cycle. Recently, a link between fertility and anti-black race bias has also been documented, an effect that is argued to serve a sexual coercion avoidance function. Here we demonstrate that both effec...
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Previous research suggests that several individual and cultural level attitudes, cognitions, and societal structures may have evolved to mitigate the pathogen threats posed by intergroup interactions. It has been suggested that these anti-pathogen defenses are at the root of conservative political ideology. Here, we test a hypothesis that political...
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What is the role of ecology in automatic cognitive processes and social behavior? Our motivated-preparation account posits that priming a social category readies the individual for adaptive behavioral responses to that category-responses that take into account the physical environment. We present the first evidence showing that the cognitive respon...
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Adopting an evolutionary approach to the psychology of race bias, we posit that intergroup conflict perpetrated by male aggressors throughout human evolutionary history has shaped the psychology of modern forms of intergroup bias and that this psychology reflects the unique adaptive problems that differ between men and women in coping with male agg...
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In “The Cutest Little Baby Face: A Hormonal Link to Sensitivity to Cuteness in Infant Faces,” Sprengelmeyer et al. (2009) reported results from three fascinating studies designed to test humans’ ability to discriminate among infants on the basis of cuteness. The first study indicated that women of reproductive age are superior to men and older wome...
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This study examines direct, interactive, and indirect effects of racial identity and depression in a sample of 379 African American women. Results indicated that higher racial private and public regard were associated with lower depression. The relationship between private regard and depression was moderated by racial centrality, such that higher p...
Article
Although a considerable body of research explores alterations in women's mating-relevant preferences across the menstrual cycle, investigators have yet to examine the potential for the menstrual cycle to influence intergroup attitudes. We examined the effects of changes in conception risk across the menstrual cycle on intergroup bias and found that...
Article
Conditioning studies on humans and other primates show that fear responses acquired toward danger-relevant stimuli, such as snakes, resist extinction, whereas responses toward danger-irrelevant stimuli, such as birds, are more readily extinguished. Similar evolved biases may extend to human groups, as recent research demonstrates that a conditioned...
Article
Recent research employing a disease-threat model of the psychology of intergroup attitudes has provided preliminary support for a link between subjectively disease-salient emotional states and ethnocentric attitudes. Because the first trimester of pregnancy is a period of particular vulnerability to infection, pregnant women offer an opportunity to...
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Much of the criminal justice literature indicates that people’s support for harsh criminal sanctions such as the death penalty is strongly related to their beliefs about deterrence and their beliefs about retribution. In this paper, using social dominance theory as our organizing framework, we expand upon this literature by showing that social domi...
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Although terror management theory's proponents claim that it is an evolutionary theory of human behavior, its major tenets are implausible when examined carefully from a modern evolutionary perspective. We explain why it is unlikely that natural selection would have designed a "survival instinct" or innate "fear of death," nor an anxiety-reduction...
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Extending a model relating xenophobia to disease avoidance [Faulkner, J., Schaller, M., Park, J. H., & Duncan, L. A. (2004). Evolved disease-avoidance mechanisms and contemporary xenophobic attitudes. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 7(4), 333–353.], we argue that both inter- and intragroup attitudes can be understood in terms of the costs a...
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A relational approach to the psychology of coalitions suggests that certain stimuli that index adaptive problems for which marshaling coalitional support is a reliably adaptive response should elicit increased support of ingroup ideology. Studies from two cultures produced results consistent with this perspective. In Study 1, Costa Rican participan...
Article
By motivating avoidance of contaminants, the experience of disgust guards against disease. Because behavioral prophylaxis entails time, energy, and opportunity costs, Fessler and Navarrete [Evol. Hum. Behav. 24 (2003) 406–417] hypothesized that disgust sensitivity is adjusted as a function of immunocompetence. Changes in immune functioning over the...
Article
The terminal investment hypothesis (Williams [1966] Adaptation and Natural Selection; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press) holds that reproductive effort should increase over time in iteroparous species in which reproductive value declines with age. Attempts to model this hypothesis and test it in various species have produced mixed results....
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Adherence to ingroup ideology increases after exposure to death-related stimuli, a reaction that proponents of terror management theory (TMT) explain as a psychological defense against the uniquely human existential fear of death. We argue that existential concerns are not the relevant issue; rather, such concepts can be subsumed under a larger cat...
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Proponents of Terror Management Theory (TMT) argue that many facets of disgust serve to defend against existential anxiety accompanying cognizance of one's mortality. Because the passage of time brings death closer, this view predicts that the intensity of disgust elicited by reminders of death should increase with age. Skeptical of TMT, we conduct...
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Contemplation of death increases support of ingroup ideologies, a result explained by proponents of terror management theory (TMT) as an attempt to buffer existential anxiety. While TMT claims that only death-salient stimuli yield such effects, an evolutionary perspective suggests that increased intergroup bias may occur in response to a wide varie...
Article
While substantial evidence supports the existence of Westermarck's [Westermarck, E. (1891). The history of human marriage. London: Macmillan & Co.] hypothesized inbreeding avoidance mechanism, questions remain. We examined the Westermarck hypothesis using third-party reactions to a fictional case of sibling incest, a method paralleling that of Lieb...
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Full-text available
While substantial evidence supports the existence of Westermarck's [Westermarck, E. (1891). The history of human marriage. London: Macmillan & Co.] hypothesized inbreeding avoidance mechanism, questions remain. We examined the Westermarck hypothesis using third-party reactions to a fictional case of sibling incest, a method paralleling that of Lieb...
Article
The parcelling model of reciprocity predicts that grooming partners will alternate between giving and receiving grooming within grooming bouts, and that each partner will perform approximately as much grooming as it receives within each bout (‘time matching’). Models of allogrooming based on biological markets theory predict that individuals of low...
Article
Disgust operates in many domains of behavior. On the presumption that facets of this emotion evince adaptive design, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 307 women, investigating changes in disgust sensitivity across the menstrual cycle. Two hypotheses were tested, namely (i) sexual disgust is an adaptation that serves to reduce participation in...
Article
Comparing food taboos across 78 cultures, this paper demonstrates that meat, though a prized food, is also the principal target of proscriptions. Reviewing existing explanations of taboos, we é nd that both functionalist and symbolic approaches fail to account for meat' s cross-cultural centrality and do not reè ect experience-near aspects of food...
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Abstract Contemplation of death increases support of ingroup ideologies, a result explained by proponents of terror management,theory (TMT) as an attempt to buffer existential anxiety. While TMT claims that only death-salient stimuli yield such effects, an evolutionary perspective suggests that increased intergroup bias may occur in response to a w...

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