David M G Lewis

David M G Lewis
Murdoch University

PhD

About

52
Publications
100,816
Reads
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1,457
Citations
Citations since 2017
35 Research Items
1133 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
Additional affiliations
August 2005 - present
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Researcher
August 2005 - present
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
Full-text available
Researchers in the social and behavioral sciences are increasingly using evolutionary insights to test novel hypotheses about human psychology. Because evolutionary perspectives are relatively new to psychology and most researchers do not receive formal training in this endeavor, there remains ambiguity about “best practices” for implementing evolu...
Article
Full-text available
The field of personality psychology aspires to construct an overarching theory of human nature and individual differences: one that specifies the psychological mechanisms that underpin both universal and variable aspects of thought, emotion, and behaviour. Here, we argue that the adaptationist toolkit of evolutionary psychology provides a powerful...
Article
Full-text available
COVID-19 has had a profound negative effect on many aspects of human life. While pharmacological solutions are being developed and implemented, the onus of mitigating the impact of the virus falls, in part, on individual citizens and their adherence to public health guidelines. However, promoting adherence to these guidelines has proven challenging...
Article
People must make inferences about a potential mate's desirability based on incomplete information. Under such uncertainty, there are two possible errors: people could overperceive a mate’s desirability, which might lead to regrettable mating behavior, or they could underperceive the mate’s desirability, which might lead to missing a valuable opport...
Article
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator coordinated three large-scale psychological studies to examine the effects of loss-gain framing, cognitive reappraisals, and autonomy framing manipulations on behavioral intentions and affective measures. The data collected (April to October 2020) included specific measures...
Article
Due to the environmental benefits of entomophagy, a growing field of research is now investigating the factors that predict people's willingness to eat insects. In the current studies, we examined how willingness to eat insects may vary as a function of individual differences in disgust sensitivity, food neophobia, and hunger. We conducted two stud...
Chapter
The Oxford Handbook of Human Mating covers the contributions and up-to-date theories and empirical evidence from scientists regarding human mating strategies. The scientific studies of human mating have only recently risen, revealing fresh discoveries about mate attraction, mate choice, marital satisfaction, and other topics. Darwin’s sexual select...
Article
In their commentary on our paper, Brandner et al. commit an elementary statistical mistake that leads to entirely erroneous conclusions. When this statistical error is corrected, the effects described in our original paper appear exactly as reported. In principle, we could end our reply there. However, ending our reply there would be a lost opportu...
Article
Despite progress in attractiveness research, we have yet to identify many fitness-relevant cues in the human phenotype or humans’ psychology for responding to them. Here, we test hypotheses about psychological systems that may have evolved to process distinct cues in the female lumbar region. The Fetal Load Hypothesis proposes a male preference for...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic (and its aftermath) highlights a critical need to communicate health information effectively to the global public. Given that subtle differences in information framing can have meaningful effects on behavior, behavioral science research highlights a pressing question: Is it more effective to frame COVID-19 health messages in t...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Communicating in ways that motivate engagement in social distancing remains a critical global public health priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study tested motivational qualities of messages about social distancing (those that promoted choice and agency vs. those that were forceful and shaming) in 25,718 people in 89 countries...
Article
Full-text available
Previous work has reported a relation between pathogen-avoidance motivations and prejudice toward various social groups, including gay men and lesbian women. It is currently unknown whether this association is present across cultures, or specific to North America. Analyses of survey data from adult heterosexuals ( N = 11,200) from 31 countries show...
Preprint
Status obtained via dominance is a phylogenetically ancient feature of human social systems. Yet empirical evidence that men’s secondary sexual traits reliably predict success in intra-sexual contests has been hard to demonstrate. The present work provides the first test of whether masculine craniofacial structures in men predicts aggressiveness in...
Preprint
Countless organisms are equipped with physiological armor that reduce damage from opponents. Because humans have sustained a long evolutionary history of hand-to-hand combat, selection would have been placed on morphological structures which reduce rotational acceleration to the head and increase the likelihood of victory. Grounded in over 60 years...
Preprint
Numerous taxa have evolved physiological appendage-based weaponry to increase damage output in violent fights, but no research has empirically shown that Homo sapiens upper appendages have uniquely evolved to increase resource-provisioning potential in real-world combat. In Study 1, we used actual fight outcome data (N = 715 fighters) to examine mu...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Preprint
Full-text available
Effectively motivating social distancing—keeping a physical distance from others —has become a global public health priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-country preregistered experiment (n=25,718 in 89 countries) tested hypotheses derived from self-determination theory concerning generalizable positive and negative outcomes of differen...
Preprint
Over 150 years ago, Darwin (1871) argued that humans evolved to inflict and resist damage in violent combat. Until now, however, no research has examined the claim that humans have evolved anatomical structures to both better inflict and resist damage in real-world agonistic exchanges. Human neck musculature has long been theoretically implicated i...
Preprint
Over 150 years ago, Darwin (1871) argued that humans had evolved to inflict and resist damage in violent combat. Until now, however, no research in human fighting ability has examined the anatomical structures that specifically contribute to damage resistance and infliction. Numerous taxa, however, have evolved physiological outgrowths (i.e., appen...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter describes the three products of evolution – adaptations, byproducts, and noise – along with subcategories of these umbrella terms. We discuss key features and misconceptions about each, as well as evidentiary criteria for distinguishing between them. Our discussion includes examples from biology and psychology and from both human and n...
Chapter
The cognitive revolution reshaped our understanding of psychology by considering the mind as an assemblage of information-processing mechanisms. A central proposition of this computational theory of mind was that, to understand human behavior, we must attend to the information-processing mechanisms responsible for producing it. Despite the indispen...
Article
Full-text available
Short-term mating strategies involve casual sex, multiple partners, and short-time intervals before initiating intercourse. Such strategies should be difficult to implement in the presence of high levels of sexual disgust. Researchers have therefore suggested—and found evidence for—the hypothesis that individuals with a stronger proclivity for shor...
Chapter
Full-text available
Historically, psychology has been characterized by a dichotomy between branches that focus on human nature and those that focus on individual differences. Initial “grand theories” of personality, such as those advanced by Freud, Maslow, and others, were interested in universal psychological features. For Freud, the emphasis was on sexual and aggres...
Presentation
Full-text available
Objective: This study developed a dating application simulation to explore the relationship between the attractiveness of potential mates ("matches") on heterosexual individuals' 1) desire to have sex with the match and 2) likelihood of using a condom with the match during sexual intercourse. Method: We created a dating application simulation call...
Article
Although research has begun to elucidate why women form close friendships with homosexual males, little research has investigated individual differences in women's tendency to befriend gay men. Because (1) gay men do not have the motive to mate with women or to compete with them for straight male partners and (2) attractive women are more likely to...
Article
Pepper & Nettle use an evolutionary framework to argue that “temporal discounting” is an appropriate response to low socioeconomic status (SES), or deprivation. We suggest some conceptual refinements to their “appropriate-response” perspective, with the hope that it usefully informs future research on and public policy responses to the relationship...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the widespread use of high-heeled footwear in both developing and modernized societies, we lack an understanding of this behavioral phenomenon at both proximate and distal levels of explanation. The current manuscript advances and tests a novel, evolutionarily anchored hypothesis for why women wear high heels, and provides convergent suppor...
Article
Full-text available
Women have consistently higher levels of disgust than men. This sex difference is substantial in magnitude, highly replicable, emerges with diverse assessment methods, and affects a wide array of outcomes—including job selection, mate choice, food aversions, and psychological disorders. Despite the importance of this far-reaching sex difference, so...
Article
Burkart et al.'s impressive synthesis will serve as a valuable resource for intelligence research. Despite its strengths, the target article falls short of offering compelling explanations for the evolution of intelligence. Here, we outline its shortcomings, illustrate how these can lead to misguided conclusions about the evolution of intelligence,...
Article
Full-text available
Previous findings indicate that heterosexual women experience a greater sense of comfort and trust in their friendships with gay men than in their friendships with heterosexual individuals. In the present studies, we tested a hypothesis that not only explains why women exhibit increased trust in gay men but also yields novel predictions about when...
Article
Integrating evolutionary psychological and molecular genetic research may increase our knowledge of the psychological correlates of specific genes, as well as enhance evolutionary psychology's ability to explain individual differences. We tested the hypothesis that men's sexual jealousy mechanisms functionally calibrate their psychological output a...
Article
Full-text available
People who are more avoidant of pathogens are more politically conservative, as are nations with greater parasite stress. In the current research, we test two prominent hypotheses that have been proposed as explanations for these relationships. The first, which is an intragroup account, holds that these relationships between pathogens and politics...
Article
Drawing on the writings of 315 undergraduate participants who wrote for four consecutive days, 20 minutes each day, about the biggest problem in their lives (North, Pai, hixon, & holahan, 2011), the present study analyzes the text of the writings to characterize the biggest problems in the lives of emerging adults. Specifically, we used two analyti...
Article
The field of personality psychology offers a wealth of robust empirical research and a successful descriptive taxonomy, but neither explains the origins of the structure of human personality nor elaborates a generative framework for predicting the specific conditions that evoke the development of distinct personality traits. Exploration of traditio...
Article
Full-text available
The current study tested the hypotheses that (1) psychological adaptations calibrate Openness to Experience to facilitate or deter pursuit of short-term mating, and (2) this calibration varies as a function of mating strategy, physical attractiveness, and sex—individual differences that shift the costs and benefits of alternative personality strate...
Article
This paper reports independent studies supporting the proposal that human standards of attractiveness reflect the output of psychological adaptations to detect fitness-relevant traits. We tested novel a priori hypotheses based on an adaptive problem uniquely faced by ancestral hominin females: a forward-shifted center of mass during pregnancy. The...
Chapter
Full-text available
An evolutionary perspective yields fresh insights into the nature of human friendships and the emotions associated with these relationships. This approach sheds light on how specific types of friendship would have benefited ancestral humans in the currency of natural selection—reproductive success—as well as in the currency of subjective well-being...
Article
An evolutionary task analysis predicts a connection between disgust and human mating, two important but currently disconnected areas of psychology. Because short-term mating strategies involve sex with multiple partners after brief temporal durations, such a strategy should be difficult to pursue in conjunction with high levels of sexual disgust. O...
Article
a b s t r a c t In selecting opposite-sex friends (OSFs), men prioritize physical attractiveness, whereas women prioritize physical prowess and economic resources. This parallel with mate preferences suggests mating mecha-nisms may partially drive OSF preferences. Selection would have favored activation of mating mecha-nisms when the probabilistic...
Article
Full-text available
Although antiexploitation adaptations, such as cheater-detection mechanisms, have been well explored, comparatively little research has focused on identifying adaptations for exploitation. The present study had two purposes: (1) to identify observable cues that afford information about which women are sexually exploitable and (2) to test the hypoth...
Article
Previous research suggests men are sexually attracted to women displaying cues to sexual exploitability. During human evolutionary history, men’s agreeableness, orientation towards casual sex, and relationship status may have been recurrently associated with greater net benefits of pursuing a sexually exploitative strategy. We hypothesized these th...
Article
An evolutionary perspective predicts that the intensity of the disgust response should depend on the ancestral costs and benefits of coming into contact with disease vectors. Previous research advanced the compensatory behavioral prophylaxis hypothesis: progesterone-induced immunosuppression should be accompanied by increased disgust and contaminan...
Article
For the same reason that fathers could not have been certain their mates’ offspring were their genetic progeny during human evolutionary history, full siblings could not have been certain that they shared paternal genes. Previous kin recognition research suggests facial resemblance is a cue men use to help solve the adaptive problem of paternity un...
Article
Full-text available
During human evolution, men and women faced distinct adaptive problems, including pregnancy, hunting, childcare, and warfare. Due to these sex-linked adaptive problems, natural selection would have favored psychological mechanisms that oriented men and women toward forming friendships with individuals possessing characteristics valuable for solving...
Article
Full-text available
Replies to comments on Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations (see record 2010-02208-001) by Confer et al. The purpose of which was to clarify the logic of evolutionary psychology and clear up some of the more common misunderstandings about it. In this response, we address the key points raised by the commenta...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary psychology has emerged over the past 15 years as a major theoretical perspective, generating an increasing volume of empirical studies and assuming a larger presence within psychological science. At the same time, it has generated critiques and remains controversial among some psychologists. Some of the controversy stems from hypothese...

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