I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton. Previously, I completed my Ph.D. in Psychological Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and spent time as a post-doctoral researcher at UC Berkeley and UCLA's Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture.
Broadly, my research focuses on mapping the psychological mechanisms which underpin human social behavior. To this end, I incorporate theory and methods from multiple disciplines -- social psychology, personality psychology, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, behavior genetics, behavioral ecology, and behavioral endocrinology. Specific questions addressed by my research program include:
-Why do people differ in their personalities? Do individual differences reflect the organizing influences of specific genetic polymorphisms (as proposed by evolutionary genetic models) or universal mechanisms of facultative calibration (as proposed by developmental-adaptationist models)?
-Why do logically and psychometrically distinct psychological, emotional, and behavioral traits covary in consistent ways within individuals, rather than varying independently?
-Why do some people have an appetite for social status in cooperative groups, while others are content with lower status? And why do people who achieve positions of high status and leadership tend to have certain characteristics?
-Are there separate psychological systems that regulate behavior across functionally-distinct types of relationships? If so, what are the commonalities and differences in how these systems select, maintain, and dissolve friendships, mateships, social exchange partnerships, etc.?
-How does social niche specialization (i.e. the division of labor) within groups facilitate performance on cooperative tasks and relate to personality differentiation?