My research focuses on an evolutionary-computational model of anger that I call the recalibrational theory. According to this theory, anger is an adaptation designed by natural selection that functions to regulate conflicts of interest. I have used anthropometric measurements, vignette studies, argument analyses, studies of aggression, computerized facial tomography and vocal analyses to demonstrate that many features of anger are functionally designed to respond to indications of a low Welfare Tradeoff Ratio (WTR) – i.e. an index of the weight another places on your welfare relative to their own when making decisions that impact you both.
Because evolutionary theories typically posit universal features of the mind, it is important to test them across cultures. Toward that end, my collaboraters and I have tested the various predictions of the recalibrational theory in eight diverse cultures: the Tsimane (Bolivia), the Colla of the Andes (Argentina), the BiAka (African Congo), the Shuar (Ecuador), the Danes (Denmark), and American, Romanian and Australian college students.