Jessica D Ayers

Jessica D Ayers
Boise State University | BSU · Department of Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

27
Publications
8,304
Reads
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114
Citations
Introduction
I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Boise State University. I study the behavioral manifestations of genetic conflict, or how the genes we inherit from our parents fight with each other and the impact that this conflict has on our behavior. Find more up to date information about me and my projects at www.jessicadayers.org
Education
August 2016 - May 2021
Arizona State University
Field of study
  • Social Psychology
August 2013 - May 2016
California State University, Fullerton
Field of study
  • Experimental psychology
August 2009 - May 2013
California State University, Fullerton
Field of study
  • Psychology and Anthropology

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Theoretical considerations and early empirical findings suggested facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) may be relevant to person perception because it is associated with behavioral dispositions. More recent evidence failing to find fWHR-behavior links suggests that mismatch or byproduct hypotheses may be necessary to explain fWHR-based trait inferen...
Article
Friendships provide social support and mental health benefits, yet the COVID-19 pandemic has limited interactions with friends. In August 2020, we asked participants (N = 634) about their friendships during the pandemic as part of a larger study. We found that younger people and people with higher subjective SES reported more negative effects on th...
Article
Here, we identify a novel reason why women are often criticized and condemned for (allegedly) sexually permissive behavior due to their choice of clothing. Combining principles from coordinated condemnation and sexual economics theory, we developed a model of competition that helps explain this behavior. We hypothesized that women collectively cond...
Preprint
There is no question that competition is part of life, but until recently researchers have not investigated women’s competition. A meta-analysis of 14 published effects with 61 effect sizes (N = 2,100) assessed the size of the effect of women’s competition. Since few studies have comprehensively assessed female intrasexual competition, competition...
Article
Background: COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020. Resulting containment protocols altered the day-to-day lives of people around the globe, impacting typical physical activity patterns. Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-method study was to understand how physical activity changes occurred during the first few months of the COVID-19...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships with genetic relatives have been extensively studied in the evolutionary social sciences, but affinal, i.e., in-laws, relationships have received much less attention. Yet, humans have extensive interactions with the kin of their mates, leading to many opportunities for cooperative and conflictual interactions with extended kinship net...
Preprint
Full-text available
After decades of research on the topic of reciprocity, there is still no consensus about the meaning of the term. Instead, there has been a proliferation of reciprocity terms with varied definitions, some of which overlap in ways that lead to confusion for scholars studying cooperation. In this paper, we provide a summary of 35 reciprocity terms an...
Preprint
Given the importance of friendships during challenging times and the mixed associations reported between personality traits and disease-related behaviors, we investigated the influence of personality traits on friendships during the COVID-19 pandemic and how both influenced risky behaviors. In November 2020, we asked participants about their reacti...
Preprint
Friendships are valuable social relationships that provide many psychological and health benefits. However, friendships can also be costly and exploitative. How do we ensure maximum benefits while reducing potential costs from friendships? One way is to have “rules” (heuristics for assessing value -- if a rule is broken, then the friendship provide...
Article
Friendships can help us solve a number of challenges, increasing our welfare and fitness. Across evolutionary time, some of the many challenges that friendships helped to solve may have differed between men and women. By considering the specific and potentially distinct recurrent problems men's and women's friendships helped them solve, we can deri...
Article
Background: Physical activity (PA) mitigated psychological distress during the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet not much is known about whether PA had effects on stress in subsequent months. We examined the relationship between change over time in COVID-related stress and self-reported change in PA between March and July 2020. Methods:...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite continued transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and sustained recommendations to wear protective face coverings, many people remained reluctant to comply throughout the early months of the pandemic. In the present study we surveyed an international cohort of participants on three different occasions from July to August, 2020 (N = 695) to examine the r...
Preprint
Full-text available
What explains differences in attitudes towards wearing protective face masks to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus? We investigated potential drivers of attitudes about mask wearing as part of a longitudinal study during the COVID-19 pandemic (N-participants = 711, N-countries = 36), focusing on people’s perceptions and feelings about seeing...
Preprint
Here, we identify a novel reason why women are often criticized and condemned for (allegedly) sexually permissive behavior, such as their choice of dress. Combining principles from coordinated condemnation and sexual economics theory, we developed a model of competition that accounts for women’s competition in the absence of mating-relevant advanta...
Preprint
Friendships are important for social support and mental health, yet social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic have limited people’s ability to interact with their friends during this difficult time. In August of 2020, we asked participants about changes in their friendships as a result of the pandemic - including changes in the quality of frie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing protective facial masks has become a divisive issue, yet little is known about what drives differences in mask wearing across individuals. We surveyed 711 people around the world, asking about mask wearing and several other variables. We found that people who reported greater perceived risk of i...
Preprint
Relationships with genetic relatives have been extensively studied in the evolutionary social sciences, but affinal relationships have received much less attention, and virtually no work has examined both cooperation and conflict among affines from an evolutionary perspective. Yet humans have extensive interactions with the kin of their mates, i.e....
Article
Need-based transfer systems pool risk among interdependent individuals. Such arrangements are bound by two simple rules: Ask for help only when in need and, if you are able, give help to others who ask. But there may be a temptation for individuals to break these rules for short-term personal profit. Here, we study one factor that may enforce hones...
Preprint
Full-text available
Do crises bring people together or pull them apart? Here we examine how people’s willingness to help others and their perceived interdependence with others changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and assess what factors are associated with any change. We collected data at 4 time points from the same cohort of 497 paid participants, starting on March...
Preprint
Fitness interdependence refers to the degree to which two or more organisms influence each other’s success in replicating their genes. We designed a new scale of perceived fitness interdependence that explicitly measures how individuals’ feelings and outcomes covary with the outcomes of specific partners (e.g., “When [target] succeeds, I feel good....
Preprint
Previous research suggests that facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) may be associated with behavioral tendencies and social judgments. Mounting evidence against behavioral links, however, has led some researchers to invoke evolutionary mismatch to explain fWHR-based inferences. To examine whether such an explanation is needed, we leveraged a large...
Article
Smartphone use changes the landscape of social interactions, including introducing new social dilemmas to daily life. The challenge of putting down one's smartphone is an example of a classic coordination problem from game theory: the stag hunt game. In a stag hunt game, there are two possible coordination points, one that involves big payoffs for...
Preprint
Need-based transfer systems function to pool risk. Such arrangements are bound by two simple rules: Ask for help only when in need and, if you are able, give help to others who ask. But there is a temptation for individuals to break these rules for short-term personal profit. Here, we study one factor that may enforce honesty in need-based transfer...
Article
Full-text available
Some acts of human cooperation are not easily explained by traditional models of kinship or reciprocity. Fitness interdependence may provide a unifying conceptual framework, in which cooperation arises from the mutual dependence for survival or reproduction, as occurs among mates, risk-pooling partnerships and brothers-in-arms.

Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Documenting the complexities as nuances of female intrasexual competition.
Project
This project is concerned with determining the underlying rules of friendship and how these rules relate to the traits we want our friends to have.