ELIZABETH CASHDAN portrait
  • Professor, Anthropology Department
801-581-4672

Publications

  • Cashdan, E. (date unknown). Evolutionary Psychology and Anthropology. Sage. Accepted, .
  • Elizabeth Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan, What is a Human Universal? Human Behavioral Ecology and Human Nature. in Arguing About Human Nature, S. M. Downes and E. Machery, eds. Routledge Press. Accepted, .
  • Davis, H (date unknown). You don’t have to know where your kids are, just where they aren’t: Exploring free-range parenting in the Bolivian Amazon. (pp. 59–74). Springer. Accepted, .
  • Steven J. C. Gaulin (date unknown). S. J. C. Gaulin and E. Cashdan (eds.) Mobility and Spatial Reasoning, Human Nature Special issue Vol 27(1). Accepted, .
  • Elizabeth Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan and S. Downes, eds. Evolution of Human Aggression. (special issue) Human Nature 23(1). 2012. Accepted, .
  • Schug, M. (date unknown). Childhood experience reduces gender differences in spatial abilities: A cross-cultural study. Cognitive Science. Vol. 46. Accepted, .
  • E. Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan. Waist-to-Hip Ratio Across Cultures: Trade-o ffs between Androgen- and Estrogen-Dependent Traits. Current Anthropology 49(6):1099-1107. Accepted, .
  • K. Gagnon (date unknown). Not all those who wander are lost: Spatial exploration patterns and their relationship to gender and spatial memory. Cognition. Vol. 180, 108-117. Accepted, .
  • (date unknown). Do pathogens and other risks promote ethnocentrism and xenophobia? with Matt Steele. (Conference paper requested for publication, Human Nature special issue). Accepted, .
  • Davis, H. (date unknown). Spatial cognition, navigation, and mobility among children in a forager-horticulturalist population, the Tsiman of Bolivia. Cognitive Development. Vol. 52. Accepted, .
  • Cashdan (date unknown). Cashdan, E (2014). Biogeography of human infectious diseases: a global historical analysis. PLoS ONE 9(10): e106752. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106752. Accepted, .
  • Elizabeth Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan,F. Marlowe, A.Crittenden, C, Porter, B. Wood. Sex differences in spatial cognition among Hadza Foragers. Evolution and Human Behavior. 33(1):274-84. Accepted, .
  • Ruginski, I (date unknown). GPS use negatively affects environmental learning through spatial transformation abilities. J. of Environmental Psychology. Vol. 64, 12-20. Accepted, .
  • Crittenden, A. (date unknown). Harm avoidance and mobility during middle childhood and adolescence in young Hadza foragers. Human Nature. Vol. 32, 150–176. Accepted, .
  • Davis, H (date unknown). Cultural change reduces gender differences in mobility and spatial ability among forager-pastoralist children, the Twa of northern Namibia. Human Nature. Vol. 32, 178-206. Accepted, .
  • Lace M. Padilla (date unknown). Sex differences in virtual navigation influenced by scale and navigation experience. Psychonomic bulletin & Review. Vol. 24, 582--590. Accepted, .
  • ELIZABETH CASHDAN (date unknown). K. Gagnon, E. Cashdan, J. Stefanucci, & S. Creem-Regehr. Sex differences in exploration behavior and the relationship to harm avoidance. Human Nature 27(1):82-97. Accepted, .
  • ELIZABETH CASHDAN (date unknown). E. Cashdan, K. Kramer, H. Davis, L. Padilla, & R. Greaves. Mobility and navigation among the Yucatec Maya: Sex differences reflect parental investment, not mating competition. Human Nature 27(1): 35-50. Accepted, .
  • ELIZABETH CASHDAN (date unknown). L. Vashro, L. Padilla, & E. Cashdan. Sex Differences in mobility and spatial cognition: A test of the fertility and parental care hypothesis in Northwestern Namibia. Human Nature 27(1):16-34. Accepted, .
  • ELIZABETH CASHDAN (date unknown). E. Cashdan and S. J. C. Gaulin. Why Go There? Evolution of Mobility and Spatial Cognition in Women and Men. Human Nature 27(1):1-15. Accepted, .
  • ELIZABETH CASHDAN (date unknown). L. Vashro and E. Cashdan. Spatial cognition, mobility, and reproductive success in Northwestern Namibia. Evolution and Human Behavior 36(2):123–129. Accepted, .
  • Elizabeth Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan and S. Downes. Evolutionary perspectives on human aggression: Introduction to the special issue. Human Nature 23:1-4. Accepted, .
  • Wood, B. (date unknown). Gendered movement ecology and landscape use in Hadza hunter-gatherers. Nature Human Behavior. Vol. 5, 436–446. Accepted, .
  • Elizabeth Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan and M. Steele, Pathogen prevalence, group bias, and collectivism in the standard cross-cultural sample. Human Nature 24(1). Accepted, .
  • Elizabeth Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan. Sex Differences in Aggression: What Does Evolutionary Theory Predict? Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 32:273-74 (invited commentary). Accepted, .
  • Elizabeth Cashdan (date unknown). E. Cashdan. In-group loyalty or out-group avoidance? Isolating the links between pathogens and in-group assortative sociality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35:82 (invited comment). Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Accepted, .

Research Statement

I  use the theoretical perspectives of evolutionary ecology and evolutionary psychology to understand various aspects of human behavior.  My current research is focused on understanding sex differences in mobility, navigation, and spatial cognition.

My research has followed two primary threads over the years:

(1) Understanding the adaptive significance and proximate (hormonal) correlates of of sex differences in competition, aggression, and, most recently, spatial cognition.  Spatial ability is phylogenetically ancient  (unlike math and reading) and shows a surprisingly robust sex difference in humans and in some other species, where it is also related to sex differences in mobility.   This has suggested to evolutionists that these are evolved features and that to understand them we need to understand the selection pressures that shaped them. Our cross-disciplinary Spatial Cognition and Navigation project is studying this in the lab and in the field, and now includes five fieldsites. We have recently received additional funding to study the development of these abilities in children cross-culturally.

(2) Understanding the ecological determinants of how humans use space. This research thread includes my earlier work on hunter-gatherer mobility and territoriality, and more recent work on ethnic diversity and its environmental and biogeographic determinants.  Because some theorists have argued that infectious disease has been an important selection pressure shaping human culture, I have included this along with other environmental pressures in attempting to understand ethnic boundedness and global diversity.

Research Groups

  • Mobility and spatial reasoning in children across cultures , . Anthropology. 2016 - 2018. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: funded by NSF program in Developmental Sciences.
  • Spatial Cognition and Navigation (SCAN), . Anthropology and Psychology. 2013 - 2018. http://www.scanproject.org/. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: funded by NSF Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science program.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • MOBILITY AND SPATIAL REASONING. PI: - 2018. Total project budget to date:
  • AGE & SEX IN SPATIAL COGNITION. PI: - 2018. Total project budget to date: