Associate Professor

Joshua Tybur

Associate Professor

Phone: +31(0)205983088
Room: 1B-45

Personal webpage


I am currently involved in a number of projects. A selection includes:
  • A five year ERC Starting Grant funded project, The Human Behavioral Immune System: Consequences for Health and Innovation. The project involves testing basic aspects of our anti-pathogen psychology, including how pathogen-avoidance affects our health psychology, our food psychology, and our attitudes toward innovations.
  • With Francesca Righetti: Testing how hormonal fluctuations relate to satisfaction, trust, and sacrifice within romantic couples.
  • With Tingting Ji and Mark van Vugt: Understanding how people’s perceptions of others integrate categorizations based on group membership with other characteristics (e.g., an individual’s sex and age), and how these integrations impact perceptions of threats posed by individuals and resulting attitudes toward those individuals.
  • With Daniel Balliet and Paul van Lange: Developing a theoretical model to explain how people understand the their interdependence with others.
  • With Richard Ronay: Testing how “power poses” affect testosterone and risk-taking.
  • With Catherine Molho and Daniel Balliet: Investigating how emotional responses (e.g., disgust versus anger) to anti-social behaviors are differentially associated with punishment tactics (e.g., direct versus indirect aggression).


After completing my bachelor studies in social psychology at Arizona State University, I enrolled in the evolutionary psychology Ph.D. program at the University of New Mexico in 2004. The program offered an interdisciplinary training across the evolutionary behavioral sciences housed within anthropology, biology, and psychology departments. Then, after completing my Ph.D. in 2009, I worked as a postdoc in health psychology under the advisement of Angela Bryan. I started as Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology at VU University in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. I teach courses on research methodology, statistics, and evolutionary approaches to human behavior. I also manage the Evolutionary Social and Organizational Psychology (EVSOP) lab group, where researchers from my department, from other departments at the VU (e.g., biology), and from other universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany visit to discuss and enrich research ideas inspired by evolutionary theory.

Research interests

My research interests are described in detail here:


Google Scholar

Cognition, Behavior, Evolution Network

Recent publications

BC Jones, AC Hahn, CI Fisher, H Wang, M Kandrik, AJ Lee, JM Tybur & ... (2018) Hormonal correlates of pathogen disgust: Testing the Compensatory Prophylaxis Hypothesis. Evolution and Human Behavior 39 (2), 166-1694
JM Ackerman, JM Tybur & CR Mortensen (2018) Infectious disease and imperfections of self-image. Psychological science 29 (2), 228-2411
D Balliet, JM Tybur, J Wu, C Antonellis & PAM Van Lange (2018) Political Ideology, Trust, and Cooperation. Journal of Conflict Resolution 62 (4), 797-818
D Balliet, JM Tybur & PAM Van Lange (2017) Functional interdependence theory: An evolutionary account of social situations. Personality and Social Psychology Review 21 (4), 361-38813
TR Kupfer & JM Tybur (2017) Pathogen disgust and interpersonal personality. Personality and Individual Differences 116, 379-3841
JM Tybur & CD Navarrete (2017) INTERRUPTING BIAS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE. Politics of Social Psychology
CE Ashton-James, JM Tybur & T Forouzanfar (2017) Interpersonal behavior in anticipation of pain: a naturalistic study of behavioral mimicry prior to surgery. Pain Reports 2 (4), e605
J Wu, D Balliet, JM Tybur, S Arai, PAM Van Lange & T Yamagishi (2017) Life history strategy and human cooperation in economic games. Evolution and Human Behavior 38 (4), 496-5051
C Molho, JM Tybur, E Güler, D Balliet & W Hofmann (2017) Disgust and anger relate to different aggressive responses to moral violations. Psychological science 28 (5), 609-6196
KJ Jonas, J Cesario, M Alger, AH Bailey, D Bombari, D Carney & ... (2017) Power poses–where do we stand?. Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology 2 (1), 139-1413
R Ronay, JM Tybur, D van Huijstee & M Morssinkhof (2017) Embodied power, testosterone, and overconfidence as a causal pathway to risk-taking. Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology 2 (1), 28-437
R Ronay & JM Tybur (2017) The wolf will live with the lamb. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40
NJ Van Doesum, JM Tybur & PAM Van Lange (2017) Class impressions: Higher social class elicits lower prosociality. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 68, 11-2013
F van Leeuwen, A Dukes, JM Tybur & JH Park (2017) Disgust sensitivity relates to moral foundations independent of political ideology.. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences 11 (1), 925
I van Delft, C Finkenauer, JM Tybur & F Lamers-Winkelman (2016) Disgusted by sexual abuse: Exploring the association between disgust sensitivity and posttraumatic stress symptoms among mothers of sexually abused children.
JM Tybur, Y Inbar, L Aarøe, P Barclay, FK Barlow, M De Barra, DV Becker & ... (2016) Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113 (44), 12408-1241318
RE De Vries, JM Tybur, TV Pollet & M van Vugt (2016) Evolution, situational affordances, and the HEXACO model of personality. Evolution and human behavior 37 (5), 407-42116
JM Tybur, M Laakasuo, J Ruff & F Klauke (2016) How pathogen cues shape impressions of foods: the omnivore's dilemma and functionally specialized conditioning. Evolution and Human Behavior 37 (5), 376-3863
SLK Gruijters, JM Tybur, RAC Ruiter & K Massar (2016) Sex, germs, and health: pathogen-avoidance motives and health-protective behaviour. Psychology & health 31 (8), 959-9753
I Delft, C Finkenauer, JM Tybur & F Lamers‐Winkelman (2016) Disgusted by sexual abuse: Exploring the association between disgust sensitivity and posttraumatic stress symptoms among mothers of sexually abused children. Journal of traumatic stress 29 (3), 237-2441

View full list of publications on Google Scholar