Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology

The graduate program in Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology crosses traditional disciplinary lines. Faculty and graduate students working and studying in this area are concerned with the developmental and evolutionary origins of human thought and behavior. Research is carried out on a wide variety of specific topics within this field, including social and cognitive development; the social functions of facial expression and vocal intonation; conflict, coalitions, and communication in social interaction; human mating psychology; and family violence and aggressive threat. Methodologies from a variety of fields are used to examine these processes--including social psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience.

In addition to the Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology Program within the Department, area members are involved in other relevant campus interdisciplinary programs including the Interdisciplinary Program in Human Development and the Center for Evolutionary Psychology. These programs bring together scholars in such diverse areas as Anthropology, Biology, Communication, Education, Linguistics, Psychology, and Sociology. The interdisciplinary approach to the developmental and evolutionary origins of human thought and behavior is unique in the University of California system. Graduate training is designed to foster a broad understanding of the diversity of processes that influence human interaction--with a combined emphasis on theoretical underpinnings and “real world” applications.