Andrew W. Delton

Associate Professor
Center for Behavioral Political Economy
Department of Political Science
College of Business
Stony Brook University

My Google Scholar Page

My Vita

andrew.delton@stonybrook.edu


2010 PhD, Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Primary Field: Evolutionary Psychology
Minors: Quantitative Methods, Cognitive Science, Human Development

2006 MA, Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

2003 BS, Psychology, Arizona State University


There are two strands to my research. One strand is to discover the evolved psychology that underpins human sociality and morality. This includes research on cooperation, generosity, and emotions like anger, compassion, shame, and gratitude. I view human psychology as a series of information-processing systems, each one designed to solve a common problem faced throughout human evolution. The second strand of my research is to apply this knowledge to understand politics, including voting, partisanship, and public goods. Current work includes a forthcoming book on the politics of preventing disasters. I am also interested in how our evolved psychology gives rise to political thought, focusing on liberalism, rights, and toleration. I use many methods to study these topics, particularly experimental economic games.


Publications

Delton, A. W., Kane, J. V., Petersen, M. B., Robertson, T. E., & Cosmides, L. (in press). Partisans use emotions as social pressure: Feeling anger and gratitude at exiters and recruits in political groups. Party Politics. [PDF]

Andrews, T. M., Delton, A. W., & Kline, R. (in press). Is a rational politics of disaster possible? Making useful decisions for others in an experimental disaster game. Political Behavior. [PDF]

Del Ponte, A., Delton, A. W., & DeScioli, P. (2021). Altruism and spite in politics: How the mind makes welfare tradeoffs about political parties. Political Behavior, 43, 1289-1310. [PDF]

DeScioli, P., Cho, B., Bokemper, S., & Delton, A. W. (2020). Selfish and cooperative voting: Can the majority restrain themselves? Political Behavior, 42, 261-283. [PDF, Supplement]

Delton, A. W. (2020). Book review of Why We Disagree About Human Nature (2018), edited by E. Hannon and T. Lewens. Quarterly Review of Biology, 95, 66. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., DeScioli, P., & Ryan, T. J. (2020). Moral obstinacy in political negotiations. Political Psychology, 41, 3-20. [PDF, Supplement]

Ryan, T. J., Delton, A. W., & DeScioli, P. (January 28, 2019). The shutdown took so long to end because it became a moral issue. Read at The Conversation or in Salon. [Op-Ed]

*Sznycer, D., *Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2019). The ecological rationality of helping others in need: Potential helpers integrate cues of recipients' need and willingness to sacrifice. Evolution and Human Behavior, 40, 34-45. [PDF, Supplement]
*Shared first-authorship between Sznycer and Delton

*Andrews, T. M., Delton, A. W., & Kline, R. (2018). High risk-high reward investments to mitigate climate change. Nature Climate Change, 8, 890-894. [PDF, Supplement, Web, NCC News & Views, our Nature blog post]
*Alphabetical authorship; Andrews is corresponding author

Andrews, T. M. & Delton, A. W. (2018). Beyond market behavior: Evolved cognition and folk political economic beliefs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, e160. [Comment on Boyer & Petersen, "Folk-economic beliefs: An evolutionary cognitive model.] [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Petersen, M. B., & Robertson, T. E. (2018). Partisan goals, emotions, and political mobilization: The role of motivated reasoning in pressuring others to vote. Journal of Politics, 80, 890-992. [PDF, Supplement]

Delton, A. W., Petersen, M. B., DeScioli, P., & Robertson, T. E. (2018). Need, compassion, and support for social welfare. Political Psychology, 39, 907-924. [PDF, Supplement]

DeScioli, P., Shaw, A., and Delton, A. W. (2018). Share the wealth: Redistribution can increase economic efficiency. Political Behavior, 40, 279-300. [PDF]

Robertson, T. E., Sznycer, D., Delton, A. W., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2018). The true trigger of shame: Social devaluation is sufficient, wrongdoing is unnecessary. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39, 566-573. [PDF, Supplement]

Delton, A. W. & Krasnow, M. M. (2017). The psychology of deterrence explains why group membership matters for third-party punishment. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38, 734-743. [PDF, Supplement]

*Del Ponte, A., Delton, A. W., Kline, R., & Seltzer, N. A. (2017). Passing it along: Experiments on creating the negative externalities of climate change. Journal of Politics, 79, 1444-1488. [PDF, Supplement]
*Alphabetical authorship; Delton and Kline are corresponding authors

*Krasnow, M. M., *Delton, A. W., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2016). Looking under the hood of third-party punishment reveals design for personal benefit. Psychological Science, 27, 405-418. [PDF, Supplement]
*Shared first-authorship between Krasnow and Delton.

*Krasnow, M. M. & *Delton, A. W. (2016). Are humans too generous and too punitive? Using psychological principles to further debates about human social evolution. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 799. [PDF]
*Shared first-authorship between Krasnow and Delton.

Krasnow, M. M. & Delton, A. W. (2016). The sketch is blank: No evidence for an explanatory role for cultural group selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, 43-44. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E. (2016). How the mind makes welfare tradeoffs: Evolution, computation, and emotion. Current Opinion in Psychology, 7, 12-16. [PDF]

*Krasnow, M. M., *Delton, A. W., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2015). Group cooperation without group selection: Modest punishment can recruit much cooperation. PLoS ONE, 10, e0124561. [PLoS, PDF]
*Shared first-authorship between Krasnow and Delton.

Delton, A. W. & Krasnow, M. M. (2015). Adaptationist approaches to moral psychology. In J. Decety and T. Wheatley (Eds.), The moral brain (pp. 19-34). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [PDF]

Kirkpatrick, M., Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., de Wit, H. (2015). Prosocial effects of MDMA: A measure of generosity. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 29, 661-668. [PDF]

Delton, A. W. & Krasnow, M. M. (2014). An independent replication that the evolution of direct reciprocity under uncertainty explains one-shot cooperation. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35, 547-548. [PDF]

Robertson, T. E., Delton, A. W., Klein, S. B., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2014). Keeping the benefits of group cooperation: Domain-specific responses to distinct causes of social exclusion. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35, 472-480. [PDF, Supplement]

Delton, A. W. & Sell, A. (2014). The co-evolution of concepts and motivation. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 115-120. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Nemirow, J., Robertson, T. E., Cimino, A., & Cosmides, L. (2013). Merely opting out of a public good elicits moralization: An error management approach to cooperation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 621-638. [PDF]

*Krasnow, M. M., *Delton, A. W., Tooby, J., Cosmides, L., (2013). Meeting now suggests we will meet again: Implications for debates on the evolution of generosity. Nature Scientific Reports, 3, 1747, DOI:10.1038/srep1747. [PDF]
*Shared first-authorship between Krasnow and Delton.

Griskevicius, V., Ackerman, J. M., Cantu, S., Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., Simpson, J. A., Emery Thompson, M., & Tybur, J. M. (2013). When the economy falters, do people spend or save? Responses to resource scarcity depend on childhood environments. Psychological Science, 24, 197-205. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Cosmides, L., Guemo, M., Robertson, T. E., & Tooby, J. (2012). The psychosemantics of free riding: Dissecting the architecture of a moral concept. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 1252-1270. [PDF, Supplement]

Delton, A. W. & Robertson, T. E. (2012). The social cognition of social foraging: Partner selection by underlying valuation. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33, 715-725. [PDF, Supplement]

*Sznycer, D., *Takemura, K., *Delton, A. W., Sato, K., Robertson, T. E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2012). Cross-cultural differences and similarities in proneness to shame: An adaptationist and ecological approach. Evolutionary Psychology, 10, 352-370. [PDF]
*Shared first-authorship among Sznycer, Takemura, and Delton.

Krasnow, M. M. & Delton, A. W. (2012). Is there evidence for special design of a group-selected psychology? Comment on Steven Pinker's The false allure of group selection. Edge. Retrieved from http://edge.org/conversation/the-false-allure-of-group-selection#mkad [PDF]

Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., Ackerman, J. M., Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., & White, A. E. (2012). The financial consequences of too many men: Sex ratio effects on saving, borrowing, and spending. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 69-80. [PDF]

Klein, S. B., Robertson, T. E., Delton, A. W., Lax, M. L. (2012). Familiarity and personal experience as mediators of recall when planning for future contingencies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 240-245. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Krasnow, M. M., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2011). The evolution of direct reciprocity under uncertainty can explain human generosity in one-shot encounters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, 13335-13340. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Krasnow, M. M., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2011). Reply to McNally and Tanner: Generosity evolves when cooperative decisions must be made under uncertainty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,108, E972. [PDF]

Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., Delton, A. W., & Robertson, T. E. (2011). The influence of mortality and socioeconomic status on preferences for risk and delayed rewards: A life history theory approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 1015-1026. [PDF]

Griskevicius, V., Delton, A. W., & Robertson, T. E., Tybur, J. M. (2011). Environmental contingency in life-history strategies: Influence of mortality and socioeconomic status on reproductive timing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 241-254. [PDF]

Klein, S. B., Robertson, T. E., & Delton, A. W. (2011). The future-orientation of memory: Planning as a key component mediating the high levels of recall found with survival processing. Memory, 19, 121-139. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Krasnow, M. M., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2010). Evolution of fairness: Rereading the data. Science, 329 (5990), 389. [PDF]

Delton, A. W. & Cimino, A. (2010). Exploring the newcomer concept: Experimental tests of a cognitive model. Evolutionary Psychology, 8, 317-335. [PDF]

Cimino, A. & Delton, A. W. (2010). On the perception of newcomers: Toward an evolved psychology of intergenerational coalitions. Human Nature, 21, 186-202. [PDF]

Klein, S. B., Robertson, T. E., & Delton, A. W. (2010). Facing the future: Memory as an evolved system for planning future acts. Memory and Cognition, 38, 13-22. [PDF]

Kenrick, D. T., Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., Becker, D. V., & Neuberg, S. L. (2007). How the mind warps: A social evolutionary perspective on cognitive processing disjunctions. In J. P. Forgas, M. G. Haselton, & W. Von Hippel (Eds.), The evolution of the social mind: Evolutionary psychology and social cognition (pp. 49-68). New York: Psychology Press. [PDF]

Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., & Kenrick, D. T. (2006). The mating game isn't over: A reply to Buller's critique of the evolutionary psychology of mating. Evolutionary Psychology, 4, 262-273. [PDF]

Maner, J. K., Kenrick, D. T., Becker, D. V., Robertson, T. E., Hofer, B., Neuberg, S. L., Delton, A. W., Butner, J., & Schaller, M. (2005). Functional projection: How fundamental social motives can bias interpersonal perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 63-78. [PDF]

Maner, J. K., Kenrick, D. T., Becker, D. V., Delton, A. W., Hofer, B., Wilbur, C. J., & Neuberg, S. L. (2003). Sexually selective cognition: Beauty captures the mind of the beholder. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 1107-1120. [PDF]