Laith Al-Shawaf, Ph.D.

Laith Al-Shawaf, Ph.D.

Laith Al-Shawaf, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Psychology
COLU 4047
Tuesday: 2:00pm-3:00pm & 4:20pm-5:20pm
& By Appointment

Professional Summary

Dr. Laith Al-Shawaf joined the Psychology Department at UCCS in 2017 and was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) in 2019. 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, Germany. Laith has worked as a statistical consultant for an online dating company, has taught and conducted research in several different countries, and is a member of the Arab-German Young Academy (AGYA), as well as an academic adviser at Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB). He's thrilled to have joined the UCCS team!

Dr. Al-Shawaf is currently accepting graduate students. He invites you to reach out to him if you’re interested in joining his lab.

Laith is especially interested in taking graduate students with some or more of the following qualifications (please note that these are preferred, NOT mandatory):

  • Background in evolutionary psychology or evolutionary biology
  • Background in neuroscience, behavioral endocrinology, or other areas of biopsychology
  • Dual background in psychology & philosophy
  • Strong statistical skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Familiarity with the following research tools: galvanic skin response (GSR), virtual reality (VR), and/or facial expression analysis (the lab is equipped with these tools)
  • Interest in evolutionary approaches to psychopathology

Please note that these are preferred qualifications, NOT mandatory ones. If any of these apply to you, you should consider that a strength. By contrast, if none of these apply to you but your record is strong in other respects, don’t hold back from reaching out!

Areas of Interest

Evolution, emotion, cognitive bias, personality and individual differences, and 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
2)  Personality and individual differences
3)  Error Management Theory and the evolution of cognitive bias
4)  Human mating

Research Gate Profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laith_Al-Shawaf

Education

Ph.D. 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

Courses

  • PSY 1000 - General Psychology
  • PSY 3250 - Personality Psychology & Individual Differences
  • PSY 3300 - Evolutionary Psychology
  • PSY 4270 - Seminar in Biopsychology
  • PSY 6430 - Contemporary Issues in Psychology

Organizations

  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Human Behavior and Evolution Society
  • The Heterodox Academy
  • The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA)

Honors & Awards

  • Rising Star, the Association for Psychological Science (APS), 2019
  • 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       

Selected Publications

Evolution, Natural Selection, and Evolutionary Psychology

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M. G., Barbaro, N., & Wehbe, Y. S. (in press). The Products of Evolution: Conceptual Distinctions, Evidentiary Criteria, and Empirical Examples. In Shackelford, T. K. (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology.

Lewis, D. M. G., Al-Shawaf, L., Thompson, M. B., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Evolved psychological mechanisms. In T. K. Shackelford (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. 

Lewis, D. M. G., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Evolutionary Personality Psychology. In Corr, P., & Matthews, G. (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Wehbe, Y, & Buss, D.M. (2019). Context, Environment, and Learning in Evolutionary Psychology. In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New York: Springer.

Al-Shawaf, L., Zreik, K. A., & Buss, D.M. (2018). 13 Misunderstandings about Natural Selection. In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.

Al-Shawaf, L., & Lewis, D.M.G. (2018). The Handicap Principle. In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.

Al-Shawaf, L., & Zreik, K. A. (2018). Richard Dawkins on Constraints on Natural Selection. In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.

Al-Shawaf, L., & Lewis, D.M.G. (2017). Evolutionary psychology and the emotions. In V. Zeigler-Hill and T.K. Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Conroy-Beam, D., Asao, K., & Buss, D. M. (2017). Evolutionary Psychology: A How-To GuideAmerican Psychologist, 72(4), 353-373.

Emotions

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Ghossainy, M.E. and Buss, D.M. (2018). Experimentally inducing disgust reduces desire for short-term mating. Evolutionary Psychological Science. 

Al-Shawaf, L., & Lewis, D.M.G. (2017). Evolutionary psychology and the emotions. In V. Zeigler-Hill and T.K. Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer.

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

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

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Alley, T. R., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Mating strategy, disgust, and food neophobiaAppetite85, 30-35.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., & Buss, D. M (2017). Sex differences in disgust: Why are women more easily disgusted than men? Emotion Review.

Al-Shawaf, L., & Lewis, D.M.G. (2013). Exposed intestines and contaminated cooks: Sex, stress, & satiation predict disgust sensitivityPersonality and Individual Differences, 54, 698-702.

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

Sell, A., Sznycer, D., Al-Shawaf, L., Lim, J., Krauss, A., Feldman, A., Rascanu, R., Sugiyama, L., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2017). The grammar of anger: Mapping the computational architecture of a recalibrational emotionCognition168, 110-128.

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. (2017). Cross-cultural regularities in the cognitive architecture of prideProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(8), 1874-1879.

Mating and Friendship

Atari, M., Chaudhary, N., & Al-Shawaf, L. (in press). Mate preferences in three Muslim-majority countries: Sex differences and personality correlates. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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

Chaudhary, N., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D.M. (2018). Mate competition in Pakistan: Mate value, mate retention, and competitor derogationPersonality and Individual Differences, 130, 141-146.

Lewis, D. M. G., Russell, E. M., Al-Shawaf, L., Ta, V., Senveli, Z., Ickes, W., & Buss, D. M. (2017). Why Women Wear High Heels: Evolution, Lumbar Curvature, and AttractivenessFrontiers in Psychology8, 1875. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01875

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Janiak, M., & Akunebu, S. (2018). Integrating molecular genetics and evolutionary psychology: Sexual jealousy and the androgen receptor (AR) genePersonality and Individual Differences, 120, 276-282.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Russell, E.M., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship. In M. Demir (Ed.), Friendship and Happiness, pp.37-57. Springer.

Lewis, D.M.G., *Russell, E., *Al-Shawaf, L., and Buss, D.M. (2015). Lumbar curvature: A previously undiscovered standard of attractivenessEvolution & Human Behavior, 36(5), 345-350.

*The second and third author made equal contributions to the manuscript.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., & Yilmaz, C (2015). The Openness-calibration hypothesisPersonality and Individual Differences81, 53-60.

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 statusPersonality 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 friendshipEvolutionary Psychology, 9(4): 543-563.