Laith Al-Shawaf, Ph.D.

Laith Al-Shawaf, Ph.D.

Laith Al-Shawaf, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Co-Director of Undergraduate Education
Psychology
COLU 4047
By Appointment (remote)

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 a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. Laith is a member of the Arab-German Young Academy (AGYA) and an academic adviser at Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB). The Association for Psychological Science (APS) named him a Rising star in 2019. 

Dr. Al-Shawaf may be accepting graduate students.

Laith is 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 or evolutionary biology
  • Background in neuroscience, behavioral endocrinology, or other areas of biopsychology
  • Dual background in psychology & philosophy
  • Strong statistical skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Familiarity with the following research tools: galvanic skin response (GSR), virtual reality (VR), and/or facial expression analysis (the lab is equipped with these tools)
  • Interest in evolutionary approaches to psychopathology

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 bias, personality & individual differences.

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 (disgust, anger, pride, shame, guilt, gratitude, and others)
2)  Personality and individual differences
3)  Error Management Theory and the evolution of cognitive bias

4)  Evolutionary approaches to psychopathology 

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

Education

Ph.D. Psychology (secondary concentration in Applied Statistical Modeling), University of Texas-Austin, 2014
B.A. Psychology (secondary concentrations 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
  • PSY 6430 - Contemporary Issues in Psychology

Organizations

  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Human Behavior and Evolution Society
  • The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA)

Honors & Awards

  • Rising Star, the Association for Psychological Science (APS), 2019
  • 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., Lewis, D. M. G., Barbaro, N., & Wehbe, Y. S. (in press). The Products of Evolution: Conceptual Distinctions, Evidentiary Criteria, and Empirical Examples. In Shackelford, T. K. (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology.

Lewis, D. M. G., Al-Shawaf, L., Thompson, M. B., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Evolved psychological mechanisms. In T. K. Shackelford (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. 

Lewis, D. M. G., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Evolutionary Personality Psychology. In Corr, P., & Matthews, G. (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Wehbe, Y, & Buss, D.M. (2019). Context, Environment, and Learning in Evolutionary Psychology. In T.K. Shackelford and V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New York: Springer.

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 GuideAmerican Psychologist, 72(4), 353-373.

Emotions

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Ghossainy, M.E. and Buss, D.M. (2018). Experimentally inducing disgust reduces desire for short-term mating. Evolutionary Psychological Science. 

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., Conroy-Beam, D., Asao, K., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Human emotions: An evolutionary psychological perspectiveEmotion Review, 1-14.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Disgust and mating strategyEvolution & Human Behavior, 36, 199-205.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Alley, T. R., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Mating strategy, disgust, and food neophobiaAppetite85, 30-35.

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

Al-Shawaf, L. (2016). The evolutionary psychology of hungerAppetite, 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 emotionCognition168, 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 prideProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(8), 1874-1879.

In the News

Al-Shawaf - Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Al-Shawaf named Rising Star by Association for Psychological Science
https://communique.uccs.edu/?p=120089

Representative & Recent Service/Leadership Roles

UCCS Psychology Department Co-Director of Undergraduate Education, 2020-Present

The Co-Director of Undergraduate Education assists a committee that is responsible for determining course offerings, psychology major and minor requirements, and department policies related to undergraduate education. The Co-Director of Undergraduate Education also handles student requests for course substitutions, waivers of degree requirements, and course transfer requests, and acts as a liaison to advisors in Student Success.