Adar Eisenbruch, PhD
I study the traits that make us attracted to other people, and how we form relationships with the people we like (more on this below). I earned a PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2017), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Evolutionary Psychology Laboratory at Harvard University. I was an Associate Researcher at Future Laboratories and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the State University of New York, Purchase, and I am currently an Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Mary College.
My research takes an evolutionary approach to the psychology of cooperation. In particular, I study mechanisms for choosing cooperative partners and dividing resources. My work has shown that people's criteria for choosing cooperative partners, and intuitions about fair divisions of the resources generated through cooperation, match the demands of the environment in which humans evolved. For example, people want to be friends with, and are generous towards, individuals who look like skilled hunter-gatherers -- even though this trait is irrelevant to most of our current lives. This line of research generates novel predictions and explanations within the fields of social cognition, moral psychology, and behavioral economics. I am currently conducting research on how these cognitive adaptations explain economic and social decisions made by individuals and institutions, and ways that we can use this understanding to make these decisions fairer and more efficient.
I also do research in behavioral endocrinology, particularly the role of hormones in adjusting motivational priorities across different behavioral domains. My work has shown that hormones respond to different challenges and opportunities in the environment (for example, the presence of a potential mate), and calibrate multiple cognitive and physiological systems in order to adaptively respond to those situations.