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Pathogenic diseases impose selection pressures on the social behaviour of host populations. In humans (Homo sapiens), many psychological phenomena appear to serve an antipathogen defence function. One broad implication is the existence of cross-cultural differences in human cognition and behaviour contingent upon the relative presence of pathogens in the(More)
Throughout the world people differ in the magnitude with which they value strong family ties or heightened religiosity. We propose that this cross-cultural variation is a result of a contingent psychological adaptation that facilitates in-group assortative sociality in the face of high levels of parasite-stress while devaluing in-group assortative sociality(More)
Why are religions far more numerous in the tropics compared with the temperate areas? We propose, as an answer, that more religions have emerged and are maintained in the tropics because, through localized coevolutionary races with hosts, infectious diseases select for three anticontagion behaviours: in-group assortative sociality; out-group avoidance; and(More)
In this study, we hypothesize that the worldwide distribution of cognitive ability is determined in part by variation in the intensity of infectious diseases. From an energetics standpoint, a developing human will have difficulty building a brain and fighting off infectious diseases at the same time, as both are very metabolically costly tasks. Using three(More)
Researchers using the parasite-stress theory of human values have discovered many cross-cultural behavioural patterns that inform a range of scholarly disciplines. Here, we apply the theory to major categories of interpersonal violence, and the empirical findings are supportive. We hypothesize that the collectivism evoked by high parasite stress is a cause(More)
Comparative methodology is controversial in biology and the related field of research on behavioral and psychological traits across human cultures. We critically examine this controversy. We argue that the widely held opinion of non-independence among historically-related cultures and species errs by not recognizing and incorporating into research the two(More)
The parasite-stress model of human sociality proposes that humans' ontogenetic experiences with infectious diseases as well as their evolutionary historical interactions with these diseases exert causal influences on human psychology and social behavior. This model has been supported by cross-national relationships between parasite prevalence and human(More)
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Alzheimer's disease (AD) shares certain etiological features with autoimmunity. Prevalence of autoimmunity varies between populations in accordance with variation in environmental microbial diversity. Exposure to microorganisms may improve individuals' immunoregulation in ways that protect against autoimmunity, and we suggest that(More)
Assortative mating for adiposity, whereby levels of adiposity in romantic partners tend to be positively correlated, has implications for population health due to the combined effects of partners' levels of adiposity on fertility and/or offspring health. Although assortative preferences for cues of adiposity, whereby leaner people are inherently more(More)
Recent studies suggest that individuals who are particularly concerned about infectious diseases show stronger preferences for exaggerated sex-typical characteristics in potential mates' faces. However, these studies have generally investigated individual differences in women's mate preferences and relied on questionnaires to assess disease-related(More)