UCLA » College » Social Sciences » Anthropology
Faculty

Daniel M.T. Fessler


Professor


Contact Information

Email    dfessler@anthro.ucla.edu
Office  390 Haines
Phone  310-794-9252
I am an evolutionary anthropologist whose principal focus is contemporary humans.

Please see my personal website for complete information on research, publications, and teaching, including course evaluations.

Combining anthropological, psychological, and biological theories and methods, I approach a variety of aspects of human behavior, experience, and health from an integrative perspective in which humans are viewed as both the products of complex evolutionary processes and the possessors of acquired cultural idea systems and behavioral patterns.

When colleagues are being polite, they refer to my research interests as “eclectic”. Labels applied to my work include evolutionary psychology, biological anthropology, and evolutionary medicine.

My research, itself an ever-evolving process, currently focuses on a number of domains, including: emotions; disease avoidance; morality; prosociality and cooperation; conflict, aggression, and risk-taking; cultural transmission; food and eating; and sex and reproduction.

 

Photos

Degrees

Ph.D., University of California San Diego (1995)

Selected Publications

Gervais, M.M. and Fessler, D.M.T. (in press) On the deep structure of social affect: Attitudes, emotions, sentiments, and the case of “contempt”.  Behavioral and Brain Sciences (target article). PDF

Fessler, D.M.T. & Holbrook, C.  (2016) Synchronized behavior increases assessments of the formidability and cohesion of coalitions.Evolution & Human Behavior 37(6):502-509. PDF

Clint, E. and Fessler, D.M.T. (2016) Insurmountable heat: The evolution and persistence of defensive hyperthermia. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 91(1)25-46. PDF

Fessler, D.M.T., Barrett, H.C., Kanovsky, M., Stich, S., Holbrook, C., Henrich, J., Bolyanatz, A.H., Gervais, M.M., Gurven, M., Kushnick, G., Pisor, A.C., von Rueden, C., & Laurence, S. (2015) Moral parochialism and contextual contingency across seven societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. LINK

Fessler, D.M.T., Pisor, A.C., and Navarrete, C.D. (2014) Negatively-biased credulity and the cultural evolution of beliefs. PLOS ONE 9(4), e95167. PDF

Fessler, D.M.T., Tiokhin, L.B., Holbrook, C., Gervais, M.M., and Snyder, J.K. (2014) Foundations of the Crazy Bastard Hypothesis: Nonviolent physical risk-taking enhances conceptualized formidability. Evolution & Human Behavior 35(1):26-33. PDF

Fessler, D.M.T., Holbrook, C., and Gervais, M.M. (2014) Men’s physical strength moderates conceptualizations of prospective foes in two disparate societies. Human Nature. PDF

Fessler, D.M.T. and Holbrook, C. (2013) Friends shrink foes: The presence of comrades decreases the envisioned physical formidability of an opponent. Psychological Science 24(5):797-802. PDF

Amir, D. and Fessler, D.M.T. (2013) Boots for Achilles: Progesterone's reduction of cholesterol is a second-order adaptation. Quarterly Review of Biology 88(2):97-116. PDF 



Research

Evolutionary psychology, biological anthropology; emotions, cooperation, aggression, social control, risk taking, ingestive and reproductive behaviors, morality, cultural evolution; Indonesia

Graduate Students

  • Edward Clint (evolutionary medicine; he is stuck with me as Chair)
  • Theo Samore (emotions, interpersonal assessment; Clark Barrett Co-Chair)

Previous Courses by Term

2017 Spring Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Journal Club Seminars: Anthropology

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2017 Winter Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

Journal Club Seminars: Anthropology

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2016 Fall Quarter

Journal Club Seminars: Anthropology

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2016 Spring Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2016 Winter Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Current Problems in Biological Anthropology

2015 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2015 Spring Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2015 Winter Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2014 Fall Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2014 Spring Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2014 Winter Quarter

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Current Problems in Biological Anthropology

2013 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2013 Spring Quarter

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2013 Winter Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Current Problems in Biological Anthropology

2012 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2012 Spring Quarter

Journal Club Seminars: Anthropology

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2012 Winter Quarter

Journal Club Seminars: Anthropology

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2011 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

Journal Club Seminars: Anthropology

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Biological Anthropology Colloquium

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2011 Spring Quarter

Some Like It Hot: Evolution and Psychology of Food Preferences

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2011 Winter Quarter

Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

Current Problems in Biological Anthropology

2010 Fall Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2009 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2008 Fall Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2007 Fall Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2007 Spring Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2006 Spring Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2005 Fall Quarter

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2005 Spring Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

Current Problems in Biological Anthropology

2004 Winter Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2003 Fall Quarter

Human Evolution

2002 Fall Quarter

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2002 Winter Quarter

Human Evolution

2001 Fall Quarter

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2001 Spring Quarter

Selected Topics in Anthropology

2001 Winter Quarter

Human Evolution

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2000 Fall Quarter

Biological Anthropology Colloquium

2000 Spring Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2000 Winter Quarter

Human Evolution

Biological Anthropology in Review

1999 Winter Quarter

Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

1998 Fall Quarter

Biological Anthropology in Review

Previous Courses by Course

ANTHRO 297
Selected Topics in Anthropology

2017 Spring Quarter

2017 Winter Quarter

2016 Fall Quarter

2012 Spring Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2005 Fall Quarter

2002 Fall Quarter

ANTHRO 193
Journal Club Seminars: Anthropology

2017 Spring Quarter

2017 Winter Quarter

2016 Fall Quarter

2012 Spring Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

ANTHRO 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2017 Spring Quarter

2017 Winter Quarter

2016 Spring Quarter

2015 Fall Quarter

2015 Spring Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2013 Fall Quarter

2012 Fall Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

ANTHRO 194
Research Group Seminars: Anthropology

2017 Spring Quarter

2017 Winter Quarter

2016 Fall Quarter

2016 Spring Quarter

2016 Winter Quarter

2015 Fall Quarter

2015 Spring Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Fall Quarter

2014 Spring Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Fall Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2012 Fall Quarter

2012 Spring Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2011 Winter Quarter

ANTHRO 124P
Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior

2017 Winter Quarter

2016 Winter Quarter

2014 Fall Quarter

2014 Spring Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2010 Fall Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

2008 Fall Quarter

2007 Fall Quarter

2007 Spring Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

2005 Spring Quarter

2004 Winter Quarter

2001 Winter Quarter

2000 Spring Quarter

1999 Winter Quarter

ANTHRO 220
Current Problems in Biological Anthropology

2016 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2011 Winter Quarter

2005 Spring Quarter

ANTHRO 202
Biological Anthropology Colloquium

2011 Fall Quarter

2000 Fall Quarter

ANTHRO 88SB
Some Like It Hot: Evolution and Psychology of Food Preferences

2011 Spring Quarter

ANTHRO 7
Human Evolution

2003 Fall Quarter

2002 Winter Quarter

2001 Winter Quarter

2000 Winter Quarter

ANTHRO 197M
Selected Topics in Anthropology

2002 Fall Quarter

2001 Fall Quarter

2001 Spring Quarter

ANTHRO 120G
Biological Anthropology in Review

2000 Winter Quarter

1998 Fall Quarter