Associate Professor

Joshua Tybur

Associate Professor

Phone: +31(0)205983088
Room: MF-C570

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 Annika Karinen and Reinout de Vries: Testing accuracy in assessing others’ disgust sensitivity.
  • 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).
  • With Cagla Cinar: Better understanding how food neophobia varies across meat and plant categories.
  • With Paola Perone: Investigating the effects of hunger on reactions to pathogen cues.
  • With Florian van Leeuwen, Yoel Inbar, and Michael Bang Peterson: Testing how pathogen avoidance motives relate to prejudice against gay men, lesbian women, and other sexual minorities.


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

RA Klein, M Vianello, F Hasselman, BG Adams, RB Adams Jr, S Alper & ... (2018) Many Labs 2: Investigating variation in replicability across samples and settings. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science 1 (4), 443-49032
G Palomo-Vélez, JM Tybur & M van Vugt (2018) Unsustainable, unhealthy, or disgusting? Comparing different persuasive messages against meat consumption. Journal of Environmental Psychology 58, 63-71
BC Jones, AC Hahn, CI Fisher, H Wang, M Kandrik, AJ Lee, JM Tybur & ... (2018) Reply to Fleischman and Fessler's (2018) comment on" Hormonal correlates of pathogen disgust: Testing the Compensatory Prophylaxis Hypothesis". Evolution and Human Behavior 39 (4), 470-471
JM Tybur, C Molho & D Balliet (2018) Moralized Disgust versus Disgusting Immorality. The Moral Psychology of Disgust, 11
J Billingsley, D Lieberman & JM Tybur (2018) Sexual Disgust Trumps Pathogen Disgust in Predicting Voter Behavior During the 2016 US Presidential Election. Evolutionary Psychology 16 (2), 14747049187641702
JM Tybur, Ç Çınar, AK Karinen & P Perone (2018) Why do people vary in disgust?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 373 …1
D Balliet, JM Tybur, J Wu, C Antonellis & PAM Van Lange (2018) Political Ideology, Trust, and Cooperation: In-group Favoritism among Republicans and Democrats during a US National Election. Journal of Conflict Resolution 62 (4), 797-8185
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), 166-16917
JM Ackerman, JM Tybur & CR Mortensen (2018) Infectious disease and imperfections of self-image. Psychological science 29 (2), 228-2414
D Balliet, JM Tybur & PAM Van Lange (2017) Functional interdependence theory: An evolutionary account of social situations. Personality and Social Psychology Review 21 (4), 361-38835
TR Kupfer & JM Tybur (2017) Pathogen disgust and interpersonal personality. Personality and Individual Differences 116, 379-3847
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)
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), 496-5053
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), 609-61916
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), 139-1417
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), 28-4314
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, 11-2023
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), 9211

View full list of publications on Google Scholar