Christopher R. von Rueden

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Selection in species with aggressive social interactions favours the evolution of cognitive mechanisms for assessing physical formidability (fighting ability or resource-holding potential). The ability to accurately assess formidability in conspecifics has been documented in a number of non-human species, but has not been demonstrated in humans. Here, we(More)
Recent research has shown that humans, like many other animals, have a specialization for assessing fighting ability from visual cues. Because it is probable that the voice contains cues of strength and formidability that are not available visually, we predicted that selection has also equipped humans with the ability to estimate physical strength from the(More)
In many human societies, high male social status associates with higher fertility, but the means by which status increases lifetime fitness have not been systematically investigated. We analyse the pathways by which male status begets reproductive success in a small-scale, Amerindian society. Men who are more likely to win a dyadic physical confrontation,(More)
Small-scale human societies range from foraging bands with a strong egalitarian ethos to more economically stratified agrarian and pastoral societies. We explain this variation in inequality using a dynamic model in which a population's long-run steady-state level of inequality depends on the extent to which its most important forms of wealth are(More)
This paper assesses selective pressures that shaped primate life histories, with particular attention to the evolution of longer juvenile periods and increased brain sizes. We evaluate the effects of social complexity (as indexed by group size) and foraging complexity (as indexed by percent fruit and seeds in the diet) on the length of the juvenile period,(More)
While social-status hierarchies are common to all human societies [Boehm, C. (1999). Hierarchy in the forest: The evolution of egalitarian behavior. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; Sahlins, M. (1958). Social stratification in Polynesia. AES Monogram 25. Seattle: University of Washington Press; Service, E. R. (1971). Primitive social organization: An(More)
The five-factor model (FFM) of personality variation has been replicated across a range of human societies, suggesting the FFM is a human universal. However, most studies of the FFM have been restricted to literate, urban populations, which are uncharacteristic of the majority of human evolutionary history. We present the first test of the FFM in a largely(More)
Hunting performance may be one of the most important routes to high prestige or social status among men in hunter-gatherer societies. Higher social status based on hunting performance has been linked to higher biological fitness outcomes almost everywhere this relationship has been investigated. This paper explores the proximate pathways underlying the(More)
Children may be viewed as public goods whereby both parents receive equal genetic benefits yet one parent often invests more heavily than the other. We introduce a microeconomic framework for understanding household investment decisions to address questions concerning conflicts of interest over types and amount of work effort among married men and women.(More)
☆ Funding was provided by NIH/NIA (R01AG024119 a ⁎ Corresponding author. E-mail address: (M. Gurven). 1090-5138/$ – see front matter © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Al Article history: Initial receipt 31 May 2013 Final revision received 7 September 2013