Laith Al-Shawaf, PhD

Laith Al-Shawaf, PhD

Laith Al-Shawaf, PhD

Assistant Professor

Columbine Hall 4047

Office Hours :
Thursday: 1:30pm-3:30pm & By Appointment

Professional Summary

Dr. Laith Al-Shawaf joined the psychology department at UCCS in 2017. Before that, he was an Assistant Professor at Bilkent University in Turkey and the youngest Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. Laith has worked as a statistical consultant for an online dating company, has taught and conducted research in several different countries, and is an elected member of AGYA, the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He's thrilled to have joined the UCCS team!

Areas of Interest

Evolution, emotion, cognitive biases, personality and individual differences, human mating

Laith is interested in having conscientious and dedicated research assistants join his lab to work on one or more of the following research programs:

1)      Emotions (especially, but not exclusively, the emotion of disgust)
2)      Personality and individual differences
3)      Error Management Theory
4)      Human mating (especially, but not limited to:)
          a.       Short-term vs. long-term mating
          b.       Standards of physical attractiveness


Ph.D. Evolutionary Psychology (secondary concentration in Applied Statistical Modeling), University of Texas-Austin, 2014
B.A. Psychology (minors in Philosophy and Cognitive Science), The American University of Beirut, 2009


PSY 1000 - General Psychology
PSY 3480 - Selected Topics in Psychology: Evolutionary Psychology
PSY 4270 - Seminar in Biopsychology: Personality & Individual Differences


American Psychological Society
Human Behavior and Evolution Society
The Heterodox Academy
The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA)

Honors & Awards

Elected member of AGYA, the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences & Humanities, 2016 - 
Visiting Fellow, College of Life Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, 2015-2016
Most Viewed Researcher in Psychology, ResearchGate (two weeks), 2015
Research Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin, 2014
Psychology Research Award, The University of Texas at Austin, 2013          
Full Merit Scholarship, American University of Beirut,  2006-2009      
Fawzi Azar Award, American University of Beirut, 2008           
Penrose Award, American University of Beirut, 2009           

Representative Publications

Al-Shawaf, L., & Lewis, D.M.G. (in press). Evolutionary psychology and the emotions. In V. Zeigler-Hill and T.K. Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., & Buss, D. M (in press). Sex differences in disgust: Why are women more easily disgusted than men? Emotion Review.

Al-Shawaf, L. (2016). The evolutionary psychology of hunger. Appetite, 105, 591-595.

Al-Shawaf, L. (2016). Could there be a male commitment skepticism bias and a female sexual overperception bias? Novel hypotheses based on Error Management Theory. Evolutionary Psychological Science, doi 10.1007/s40806-016-0052-x

Al-Shawaf, L., Conroy-Beam, D., Asao, K., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Human emotions: An evolutionary psychological perspective. Emotion Review, 1-14.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Disgust and mating strategy. Evolution & Human Behavior, 36, 199-205.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Alley, T. R., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Mating strategy, disgust, and food neophobia. Appetite, 85, 30-35.

Sznycer, D., Al-Shawaf, L., Bereby-Meyer, Y., Curry, O. S., De Smet, D., Ermer, E., Kim, S., Kim, S., Li, N. P., Lopez Seal, M. F., McClung, J., O, J., Ohtsubo, Y., Quillien, T., Schaub, M., Sell, A., van Leeuwen, F., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J. (in press). Cross-cultural regularities in the cognitive architecture of pride. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Conroy-Beam, D., Asao, K., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Evolutionary Psychology: A How-To Guide. American Psychologist.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Janiak, M., & Akunebu, S. (in press). Integrating molecular genetics and evolutionary psychology: Sexual jealousy and the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Personality and Individual Differences.

Lewis, D.M.G., *Russell, E., *Al-Shawaf, L., and Buss, D.M. (2015). Lumbar curvature: A previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness. Evolution & Human Behavior, 36(5), 345-350.
*The second and third author made equal contributions to the manuscript.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Conroy-Beam, D., Asao, K., & Buss, D.M. (2012). Friends with benefits II: Mating activation in opposite-sex friendship as a function of sociosexual orientation and relationship status. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 622-628.

Lewis, D. M., Conroy-Beam, D., Al-Shawaf, L., Raja, A., DeKay, W. T., Buss, D. M., & Stone, V. (2011). Friends with benefits: The evolved psychology of same- and opposite-sex friendship. Evolutionary Psychology, 9(4): 543-563.