Mark Schaller

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (77)354.05 Total impact

  • Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most discussions of rigor and replication focus on empirical practices (methods used to collect and analyze data). Typically overlooked is the role of conceptual practices: The methods scientists use to arrive at and articulate research hypotheses in the first place. This article discusses how the conceptualization of research hypotheses has implications for methodological decision-making and, consequently, for the replicability of results. The article identifies three ways in which empirical findings may be non-replicable, and shows how all three kinds of non-replicability are more likely to emerge when scientists take an informal conceptual approach, in which personal predictions are equated with scientific hypotheses. The risk of non-replicability may be reduced if scientists adopt more formal conceptual practices, characterized by the rigorous use of “if-then” logic to articulate hypotheses, and to systematically diagnose the plausibility, size, and context-dependence of hypothesized effects. The article identifies benefits that are likely to arise from more rigorous and systematic conceptual practices, and identifies ways in which their use can be encouraged to be more normative within the scholarly culture of the psychological sciences.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015
  • Steven L. Neuberg · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The article provides an overview of key insights that have emerged from an evolutionary approach to the psychology of prejudice. Within this framework, prejudices and related phenomena are viewed as products of adaptations designed by natural selection to manage fitness-relevant threats and opportunities faced by ancestral populations. This framework has generated many novel, nuanced, and empirically supported predictions regarding (1) the specific contents of prejudices, (2) the specific categories of people who are likely to elicit these prejudices, and (3) the specific contexts within which these prejudices are either more, or less, likely to be evoked.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015
  • Mark Schaller · Damian R Murray · Adrian Bangerter
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 'behavioural immune system' is composed of mechanisms that evolved as a means of facilitating behaviours that minimized infection risk and enhanced fitness. Recent empirical research on human populations suggests that these mechanisms have unique consequences for many aspects of human sociality-including sexual attitudes, gregariousness, xenophobia, conformity to majority opinion and conservative sociopolitical attitudes. Throughout much of human evolutionary history, these consequences may have had beneficial health implications; but health implications in modern human societies remain unclear. This article summarizes pertinent ways in which modern human societies are similar to and different from the ecologies within which the behavioural immune system evolved. By attending to these similarities and differences, we identify a set of plausible implications-both positive and negative-that the behavioural immune system may have on health outcomes in contemporary human contexts. We discuss both individual-level infection risk and population-level epidemiological outcomes. We also discuss a variety of additional implications, including compliance with public health policies, the adoption of novel therapeutic interventions and actual immunological functioning. Research on the behavioural immune system, and its implications in contemporary human societies, can provide unique insights into relationships between fitness, sociality and health. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This theme issue has highlighted the links between sociality, health and fitness in a broad range of organisms, and with approaches that include field and captive studies of animals, comparative and meta-analyses, theoretical modelling and clinical and psychological studies of humans. In this concluding chapter, we synthesize the results of these diverse studies into some of the key concepts discussed in this issue, focusing on risks of infectious disease through social contact, the effects of competition in groups on susceptibility to disease, and the integration of sociality into research on life-history trade-offs. Interestingly, the studies in this issue both support pre-existing hypotheses, and in other ways challenge those hypotheses. We focus on unexpected results, including a lack of association between ectoparasites and fitness and weak results from a meta-analysis of the links between dominance rank and immune function, and place these results in a broader context. We also review relevant topics that were not covered fully in this theme issue, including self-medication and sickness behaviours, society-level defences against infectious disease, sexual selection, evolutionary medicine, implications for conservation biology and selective pressures on parasite traits. We conclude by identifying general open questions to stimulate and guide future research on the links between sociality, health and fitness. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
  • Michael Muthukrishna · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychological research on social influence illuminates many mechanisms through which role differentiation and collaborative interdependence may affect cultural evolution. We focus here on psychological processes that produce specific patterns of asymmetric influence, which in turn can have predictable consequences for the emergence and transmission of group-level traits. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X13002938 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:9292310,author = {Muthukrishna,Michael and Schaller,Mark},title = {Individual-level psychology and group-level traits},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {37},issue = {03},month = {6},year = {2014},issn = {1469-1825},pages = {265--266},numpages = {2},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X13002938},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X13002938},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all Individual-level psychology and group-level traits Michael Muthukrishna and Mark Schaller (2014). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 37 , Issue03 , June 2014 pp 265-266 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9292310 The code will display like this Individual-level psychology and group-level traits Michael Muthukrishna and Mark Schaller (2014) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 37, Issue03, June 2014 pp 265-266 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X13002938 Michael Muthukrishna and Mark Schaller (2014). Individual-level psychology and group-level traits . Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, pp 265-266 doi:10.1017/S0140525X13002938 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • Steven L Neuberg · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The connection between selfish genes and selfish goals is not merely metaphorical. Many goals that shape contemporary cognition and behavior are psychological products of evolutionarily fundamental motivational systems and thus are phenotypic manifestations of genes. An evolutionary perspective can add depth and nuance to our understanding of “selfish goals” and their implications for human cognition and behavior. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X13002136 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:9248778,author = {Neuberg,Steven L. and Schaller,Mark},title = {The selfish goal meets the selfish gene},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {37},issue = {02},month = {4},year = {2014},issn = {1469-1825},pages = {153--154},numpages = {2},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X13002136},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X13002136},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all The selfish goal meets the selfish gene Steven L. Neuberg and Mark Schaller (2014). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 37 , Issue02 , April 2014 pp 153-154 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9248778 The code will display like this The selfish goal meets the selfish gene Steven L. Neuberg and Mark Schaller (2014) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 37, Issue02, April 2014 pp 153-154 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X13002136 Steven L. Neuberg and Mark Schaller (2014). The selfish goal meets the selfish gene . Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, pp 153-154 doi:10.1017/S0140525X13002136 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Behavioral and Brain Sciences
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    Damian R Murray · Mark Schaller · Peter Suedfeld
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to a "parasite stress" hypothesis, authoritarian governments are more likely to emerge in regions characterized by a high prevalence of disease-causing pathogens. Recent cross-national evidence is consistent with this hypothesis, but there are inferential limitations associated with that evidence. We report two studies that address some of these limitations, and provide further tests of the hypothesis. Study 1 revealed that parasite prevalence strongly predicted cross-national differences on measures assessing individuals' authoritarian personalities, and this effect statistically mediated the relationship between parasite prevalence and authoritarian governance. The mediation result is inconsistent with an alternative explanation for previous findings. To address further limitations associated with cross-national comparisons, Study 2 tested the parasite stress hypothesis on a sample of traditional small-scale societies (the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample). Results revealed that parasite prevalence predicted measures of authoritarian governance, and did so even when statistically controlling for other threats to human welfare. (One additional threat-famine-also uniquely predicted authoritarianism.) Together, these results further substantiate the parasite stress hypothesis of authoritarianism, and suggest that societal differences in authoritarian governance result, in part, from cultural differences in individuals' authoritarian personalities.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · PLoS ONE
  • Damian R. Murray · Daniel N. Jones · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study (n = 411) investigated the relationship between chronic individual differences in germ aversion and sociosexual attitudes (short-term mating orientation, long-term mating orientation, and anticipated future sexual promiscuity), and also tested whether the magnitudes of these relations differ depending on the temporary perceptual salience of disease threat. Results revealed person-by-situation interactions. When the threat of disease was temporarily salient, germ aversion correlated negatively with short-term mating orientation and with future sexual promiscuity, and correlated positively with long-term mating orientation; these effects were either weaker or nonexistent under control conditions. These effects emerged most clearly among women.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Personality and Individual Differences
  • Mark Schaller · Steven L. Neuberg
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An evolutionary perspective on human cognition provides a foundation for research programs that identify unique linkages between specific threats and specific prejudices directed against specific categories of people. It also provides a set of logical tools that help identify conditions under which these prejudices are exaggerated or inhibited. We focus here on two kinds of threats: The threat of interpersonal violence and the threat of infectious disease. The inferred threat of interpersonal violence leads to a fear prejudice against members of coalitional outgroups. This prejudice (along with a set of cognitive consequences) emerges especially under conditions that connote vulnerability to interpersonal harm. The inferred threat of infectious disease leads to a disgust prejudice against individuals whose morphological appearance or behavior deviates from normative standards. This prejudice emerges especially under conditions that connote vulnerability to infection. Together, these lines of research yield insights about the origins of prejudices directed against many different categories of people (many of whom pose no real threat whatsoever) and also have useful implications for prejudice-reducing interventions. The results also indicate that the psychology of prejudice is best conceptualized as the psychology of prejudices (plural).
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2012
  • Mark Schaller · Steven L Neuberg
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Different groups, because they are perceived to pose different threats, elicit different prejudices. Collective action by disadvantaged groups can amplify the perception of specific threats, with predictable and potentially counterproductive consequences. It is important to carefully consider the threat-based psychology of prejudice(s) before implementing any strategy intended to promote positive social change. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X12001306 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:8776194,author = {Schaller,Mark and Neuberg,Steven L.},title = {Beyond prejudice to prejudices},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {35},issue = {06},month = {12},year = {2012},issn = {1469-1825},pages = {445--446},numpages = {2},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X12001306},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X12001306},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all Beyond prejudice to prejudices Mark Schaller and Steven L. Neuberg (2012). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 35 , Issue06 , December 2012 pp 445-446 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=8776194 The code will display like this Beyond prejudice to prejudices Mark Schaller and Steven L. Neuberg (2012) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 35, Issue06, December 2012 pp 445-446 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X12001306 Mark Schaller and Steven L. Neuberg (2012). Beyond prejudice to prejudices. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35, pp 445-446 doi:10.1017/S0140525X12001306 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • Mark Schaller · Damian R Murray
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At least four conceptually distinct mechanisms may mediate relations between parasite-stress and cultural outcomes: genetic evolution, developmental plasticity, neurocognitive flexibility, and cultural transmission. These mechanisms may operate independently or in conjunction with one another. Rigorous research on specific mediating mechanisms is required to more completely articulate implications of parasite stress on human psychology and human culture.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • Damian R. Murray · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Threat has been linked to conformity, but little is known about the specific effects of different kinds of threat. We test the hypothesis that perceived threat of infectious disease exerts a unique influence on conformist attitudes and behavior. Correlational and experimental results support the hypothesis. Individual differences in Perceived Vulnerability to Disease predict conformist attitudes; these effects persist when controlling for individual differences in the Belief in a Dangerous World. Experimentally manipulated salience of disease threat produced stronger conformist attitudes and behavior, compared with control conditions (including a condition in which disease-irrelevant threats were salient). Additional results suggest that these effects may be especially pronounced in specific domains of normative behavior that are especially pertinent to pathogen transmission. These results have implications for understanding the antecedents of conformity, the psychology of threat, and the social consequences of infectious disease. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · European Journal of Social Psychology
  • Mark Schaller · Steven L. Neuberg
    No preview · Chapter · Mar 2012
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    Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because immunological defence against pathogens is costly and merely reactive, human anti-pathogen defence is also characterized by proactive behavioural mechanisms that inhibit contact with pathogens in the first place. This behavioural immune system comprises psychological processes that infer infection risk from perceptual cues, and that respond to these perceptual cues through the activation of aversive emotions, cognitions and behavioural impulses. These processes are engaged flexibly, producing context-contingent variation in the nature and magnitude of aversive responses. These processes have important implications for human social cognition and social behaviour-including implications for social gregariousness, person perception, intergroup prejudice, mate preferences, sexual behaviour and conformity. Empirical evidence bearing on these many implications is reviewed and discussed. This review also identifies important directions for future research on the human behavioural immune system--including the need for enquiry into underlying mechanisms, additional behavioural consequences and implications for human health and well-being.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evolutionary psychology accounts of gender differences in sexual behaviors in general and men's sexual aggression, in particular, has been criticized for legitimizing males' sexual misconduct. To empirically assess such critiques, two studies examined how men's judgments of male sex crimes (solicitation of sex from a prostitute; rape) are influenced by exposure to (a) evolutionary psychological theories and (b) social-constructivist theories. Across two studies, a consistent pattern emerged compared with a control condition (a) exposure to evolutionary psychology theories had no observable impact on male judgments of men's criminal sexual behavior, whereas (b) exposure to social-constructivist theories did affect judgments, leading men to evaluate sex crimes more harshly. Additional results (from Study 2) indicate that this effect is mediated by perceptions of male control over sexual urges. These results have implications for journalists, educators, and scientists. Aggr. Behav. 37:440-449, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Aggressive Behavior
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three experiments investigate how stereotypes form as justifications for prejudice. The authors created novel content-free prejudices toward unfamiliar social groups using either subliminal (Experiment 1, N = 79) or supraliminal (Experiment 2, N = 105; Experiment 3, N = 130) affective conditioning and measured the consequent endorsement of stereotypes about the groups. Following the stereotype content model, analyses focused on the extent to which stereotypes connoted warmth or competence. Results from all three experiments revealed effects on the warmth dimension but not on the competence dimension: Groups associated with negative affect were stereotyped as comparatively cold (but not comparatively incompetent). These results provide the first evidence that-in the absence of information, interaction, or history of behavioral discrimination-stereotypes develop to justify prejudice.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
  • Mark Schaller · Justin H. Park
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Like many other animals, human beings engage in behavioral defenses against infectious pathogens. The behavioral immune system consists of a suite of psychological mechanisms that (a) detect cues connoting the presence of infectious pathogens in the immediate environment, (b) trigger disease-relevant emotional and cognitive responses, and thus (c) facilitate behavioral avoidance of pathogen infection. However, the system responds to an overly general set of superficial cues, which can result in aversive responses to things (including people) that pose no actual threat of pathogen infection. In addition, the system is flexible, such that more strongly aversive responses occur under conditions in which perceivers are (or merely perceive themselves to be) more vulnerable to pathogen infection. Recent research reveals many provocative implications—for the experience of disgust, for extraversion and social interaction, for xenophobia and other prejudices, and for the origins of cultural differences.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Current Directions in Psychological Science
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    Damian R Murray · Russell Trudeau · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: What are the origins of cultural differences in conformity? The authors deduce the hypothesis that these cultural differences may reflect historical variability in the prevalence of disease-causing pathogens: Where pathogens were more prevalent, there were likely to emerge cultural norms promoting greater conformity. The authors conducted four tests of this hypothesis, using countries as units of analysis. Results support the pathogen prevalence hypothesis. Pathogen prevalence positively predicts cultural differences in effect sizes that emerge from behavioral conformity experiments (r=.49, n=17) and in the percentage of the population who prioritize obedience (r=.48, n=83). Pathogen prevalence also negatively predicted two indicators of tolerance for nonconformity: within-country dispositional variability (r=-.48, n=33) and the percentage of the population who are left-handed (r=-.73, n=20). Additional analyses address plausible alternative causal explanations. Discussion focuses on plausible underlying mechanisms (e.g., genetic, developmental, cognitive).
    Preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
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    Steven L Neuberg · Douglas T Kenrick · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Humans likely evolved precautionary systems designed to minimize the threats to reproductive fitness posed by highly interdependent ultrasociality. A review of research on the self-protection and disease avoidance systems reveals that each system is functionally distinct and domain-specific: each is attuned to different cues; engages different emotions, inferences, and behavioral inclinations; and is rooted in somewhat different neurobiological substrates. These systems share important features, however. Each system is functionally coherent, in that perceptual, affective, cognitive, and behavioral processes work in concert to reduce fitness costs of potential threats. Each system is biased in a risk-averse manner, erring toward precautionary responses even when available cues only heuristically imply threat. And each system is functionally flexible, being highly sensitive to specific ecological and dispositional cues that signal greater vulnerability to the relevant threat. These features characterize a general template useful for understanding not only the self-protection and disease avoidance systems, but also a broader set of evolved, domain-specific precautionary systems.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
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    Damian R. Murray · Mark Schaller
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regional differences in disease prevalence are associated with a wide array of cross-cultural differences. However, the complex relationships among culture, disease, and other ecological variables remain underinvestigated. Future research into the origins of cultural differences will benefit from the availability of a numerical index identifying the extent to which infectious diseases have been historically prevalent within regions defined by geopolitical borders. This article introduces such an index. This index is based on disease prevalence data obtained from old epidemiological atlases and is calculated for 230 geopolitical regions (mostly nations) around the world.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology