My research expertise is on human cooperation, the reasons for its existence, and the psychological mechanisms that underlie cooperative action. In particular, I investigate the importance of reputation within human social relationships, including competition over a reputation for generosity (i.e., competitive altruism). As an evolutionary psychologist, my research draws from evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, mathematical game theory, experimental economics, anthropology, and social psychology. By using this approach, my research tries to understand when and why people help others, what design features in the brain promote generosity, what selective pressures could have resulted in the brain being designed this way, and how we can harness this knowledge to promote cooperation.
My research typically uses experimental economic games (such as the well-known Prisoner’s Dilemma and public goods games) where participants can make decisions that benefit themselves, others, or both. In addition, I am beginning to develop mathematical models (evolutionary game theory) to advance our theoretical understanding of cooperation.
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Want a video? Here is my keynote talk at the University of Toronto Symposium on the Mind (UTISM) in 2012, as recorded by the conference organizers.
These are for personal use only and not for commercial use or redistribution. An asterisk (*) indicates a student or post-doc in my lab at the time of the work.
SUBMITTED OR UNDER REVIEW
*Sparks, A., *Mishra, S., *Rotella, A., & Barclay, P. (under review). Betting your reputation: Public (but not private) Prisoner’s Dilemma defection is associated with behavioral risk-taking.
*O’Connor, J., & Barclay, P. (submitted). The influence of voice pitch on perceptions of trustworthiness across social contexts
*O’Connor, J., & Barclay, P. (submitted). Female voice pitch as an honest cue to trustworthiness.
Barclay, P., & Barker, J. (submitted). Greener than thou: partner choice creates competition to save the environment.
ARTICLES IN PRESS
Montano, K. J., Tigue, C. C., Isenstein, S. G. E., Barclay, P., & Feinberg, D. (in press). The effect of voice pitch on trusting behavior. Accepted for publication in Evolution and Human Behavior.
Driscoll, R. L., Barclay, P., & Fenske, M. (in press). To be spurned no more: The affective and behavioural consequences of social and non-social rejection. Accepted for publication in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. [LINK]
Arnocky, S., Piché, T., Albert, G., Ouellette, D., & Barclay, P. (in press) Altruism predicts mating success in humans. In press in British Journal of Psychology. [LINK]
*Mishra, S., Barclay, P., & *Sparks. (in press). The relative state model: Integrating need-based and ability-based pathways to risk-taking. In press in Personality and Social Psychological Review. [LINK] [PDF]
Tybur, J. M., Inbar, Y., Aarøe, L., Barclay, P., Barlow, F.K., de Barra, M., Becker, D.V., Borovoi, L., Choi, I., Choi, J.A., Consedine, N.S., Conway, A., Conway, J.R., Conway, P., Cubela Adoric, V., Demirci, E., Fernández, A.M., Ferreira, D.C.S., Ishii, K., Jakšić, I., Ji, T., van Leeuwen, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Li, N.P., McIntyre, J.C., Mukherjee, S., Park, J., Pawlowski, B., Petersen, M.B., Pizarro, D., Prodromitis, G., Prokop, P., Rantala, M.J., Reynolds, L.M., Sandin, B., Sevi, B., de Smet, D., Srinivasan, N., Tewari, S., *Wilson, C., Young, J.C., & Žeželj, I. (forthcoming). Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations. Accepted for publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.[LINK]
PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
*Sparks, A., Burleigh, T., & Barclay, P. (2016). We can see inside: Accurate predictions of Prisoner’s Dilemma decisions after a brief face-to-face interaction. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37, 210-216. [LINK] [PDF]
Barclay, P., & Benard, S. (2013). Who cries wolf, and when: manipulation of perceived threats to preserve rank in cooperative groups. PLOS ONE, 8(9), e73863. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073863. [LINK with PDF]
Barclay, P. (2013). Strategies for cooperation in biological markets, especially for humans. Evolution & Human Behavior, 34(3), 164-175. [LINK] [PDF] * This paper is one of the most cited articles in Evolution & Human Behavior since 2011.
*Sparks, A., & Barclay, P. (2013). Eyes increase generosity, but not for long: the limited effect of a false cue. Evolution & Human Behavior, 34, 317-322. [LINK] [PDF] * This paper is also one of the most cited articles in Evolution & Human Behavior since 2011.
Barker, J., Barclay, P., & Reeve, H.K. (2013). Competition over personal resources favors contributions to shared resources in human groups. PLOS ONE, 8(3), e58826. [LINK with PDF]
Kiyonari, T., & Barclay, P. (2008). Cooperation in social dilemmas: free-riding may be thwarted by second-order rewards rather than punishment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(4), 826-842. [LINK] [PDF]
BOOKS AND BOOK CHAPTERS
*Kafashan, S., *Sparks, A., *Rotella, A., & Barclay, P. (2016). Why Heroism Exists: Evolutionary Perspectives on Extreme Helping. In S.T.Allison, G.R.Goethals, & R.M.Kramer (Eds.) The Handbook of Heroism and Heroic Leadership, pp. 36-57. Routledge. [PDF]
Barclay, P. (2015). Reputation. In D. Buss (Ed.) Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology (2nd Ed.), pp. 818-828. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons. [PDF]
Barclay, P., & Van Vugt, M. (2015). The evolutionary psychology of human prosociality: adaptations, mistakes, and byproducts. In D. Schroeder & W. Graziano (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Prosocial Behavior, pp. 37-60. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. [PDF] * Note: most of this chapter was later reused with permission in the authored book “Social Dilemmas: The Psychology of Human Cooperation” by P. Van Lange, D. Balliet, C. D. Parks, & M. Van Vugt, published in 2014 by Oxford University Press. I am first author of the corresponding chapter there.
*Kafashan, S., *Sparks, A., Griskevicius, V., & Barclay, P. (2014). Prosocial behaviour and social status. In J. T. Cheng, J. L. Tracy, & C. Anderson (Eds.) The Psychology of Social Status, pp. 139-158. New York, NY: Springer. [PDF]
Barclay, P., & Kiyonari, T. (2014). Why sanction? Functional causes of punishment and reward. In P. Van Lange, B. Rockenbach, & T. Yamagishi (Eds.) Social Dilemmas: New Perspectives on Reward and Punishment, pp. 182-196. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. [PDF]
Barclay, P. (2011). The evolution of charitable behaviour and the power of reputation. In C. Roberts (Ed.) Applied Evolutionary Psychology, pp. 149-172. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. [PDF]
Barclay, P. (2010). Reputation and the Evolution of Generous Behavior. Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY. * Note: this is essentially a very lengthy book chapter based on my PhD thesis introduction & discussion, but the publisher released it as a stand-alone book. [PDF]
COMMENTARIES, REPORTS, & OTHER NON-PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
Barclay, P. (forthcoming). Attractiveness biases are the tip of the iceberg in biological markets. Accepted for publication in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Barclay, P., & Krupp, D. B. (2016). The burden of proof for a cultural group selection account. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, 21-22. [PDF]
Krupp, D. B., Kim, J., Taylor, P., & Barclay, P. (2014). Cooperation and competition in large classrooms. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. [PDF]
*Sparks, A., *Mishra, S., & Barclay, P. (2013). Fundamental freedoms and the psychology of threat, bargaining, and inequality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36, 36-37. [PDF]
Barclay, P. (2013). Pathways to Abnormal Revenge and Forgiveness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(1), 17-18. [PDF]
Barclay, P. (2012). Proximate and ultimate causes of Strong Reciprocity and punishment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35(1), 16-17. [PDF]
Krupp, D. B., & Barclay, P. (2010). Margo Wilson (1942-2009). Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 8(1), 1-3. [PDF]
Barclay, P. (2008). Using the hatchet and burying it afterwards – A review of “Beyond revenge: The evolution of the forgiveness instinct”. Invited book review for Evolution & Human Behavior, 29(6), 450-451. [PDF]
Barclay, P. (2006). Dissertation abstract: Reputational benefits of altruism and altruistic punishment. Experimental Economics, 9(2), 181-182.
Krupp, D.B., Barclay, P., Daly, M., Kiyonari, T., Dingle, G., & Wilson, M. (2005). Let’s add some psychology (and maybe even some evolution) to the mix. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 28(6), 828-829. [PDF]
Barclay, P., & Daly, M. (2003). Humans should be individualistic and utility-maximizing, but not necessarily “rational”. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 26(2), 154-155. [PDF]