Laith Al-Shawaf, PhD

Laith Al-Shawaf, PhD

Laith Al-Shawaf, PhD

Assistant Professor
Psychology

Columbine Hall 4047

Office Hours :
Thursday: 2:00pm-4:00pm & 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!

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

His lab equipment includes VR, galvanic skin response (GSR) technology, and facial expression analysis software. He’s 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
  • Background in neuroscience, behavioral endocrinology, or other areas of biopsychology
  • Strong statistical skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Familiarity with the following: galvanic skin response (GSR), virtual reality (VR), and/or facial expression analysis
  • Students who have a background in both psychology and philosophy

Again, 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 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

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

Education

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

Courses

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

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

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., 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 Guide. American Psychologist, 72(4), 353-373.

Emotions

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., 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., 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.

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

Al-Shawaf, L. (2016). The evolutionary psychology of hunger. Appetite, 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 emotion. Cognition, 168, 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 pride. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(8), 1874-1879.

Mating (and Friendship)

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

Chaudhary, N., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D.M. (2018). Mate competition in Pakistan: Mate value, mate retention, and competitor derogation. Personality 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 Attractiveness. Frontiers 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) gene. Personality 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 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., & Yilmaz, C (2015). The Openness-calibration hypothesis. Personality and Individual Differences, 81, 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 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.