Co-Directors of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology


Leda Cosmides and John Tooby are best known for their work in pioneering the new field of evolutionary psychology.  This multidisciplinary new approach weaves together evolutionary biology, cognitive science, human evolution, hunter gatherer studies, neuroscience, and psychology into a new approach to discovering the mechainsms of the human mind and brain.      According to this new view, by understanding the adaptive problems our hunter-gatherer ancestors faced during their evolution, researchers can uncover the detailed functional designs of the emotions, reasoning “instincts” and motivations that human evolution produced. 

Cosmides and Tooby are professors of psychology and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where they co-direct the Center for Evolutionary Psychology.  They were educated at Harvard and Stanford (postdoctoral). Awards for their research include the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research, the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award; an National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, and a J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship, and John Tooby has been president of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.

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