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    Jaimie Arona Krems

    Assistant Professor of Psychology
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Krems is a social psychologist with interdisciplinary training. Her research draws on theoretical perspectives from cognitive + evolutionary anthropology, relationship science, + animal behavior to investigate how people create + navigate their social worlds.


    Krems' primary research focus is on friendship. Much of her work is driven by thinking first about women. Historically, social science research often assumed men's cognition + behavior to be defaults. Thinking systematically about women + some of the sex/gender-typical challenges they have recurrently faced generates novel research directions + facilitates the discovery of phenomena relevant across sex/gender (e.g., modes of friendship maintenance, competition tactics).


    Krems is an National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award-winner for her work on friendship. Her research has been published in Nature Human Behaviour, the Journal of Social and Personality Psychology, Psychological Science, + Evolution and Human Behavior. She currently serves as an elected member of the Executive Council at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES), where she is also chair of the Grievance Committee + creator/co-developer of the ADAPT (Advancing Diversity Through Anthropological and Psychological Training) Program, which provides undergraduates with access to rare, high-quality mentorship in evolutionary social science. Krems served as an Open Science Advisor at Psychological Science + currenty occupies other editorial positions at Evolution and Human Behavior (beg. 2024) + Human Nature. She has been named an HBES Rising Star + Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.





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    Nina Rodriguez

    Nina is a third-year graduate student at UCLA, working with Dr. Krems + Dr. Daniel Sznycer.


    Nina received her M.A. at California State University-Fullerton, where she conducted research on personality and status motivation from an adaptationist perspective. Her research interests include female competition, status acquisition, personality variation, and the influence of emotion and motivation on behavior. Her current work explores how people---and particularly women and other 'lower-power' individuals---bargain for better treatment in their social relationships.






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    Tori Short

    Tori is a fourth-year graduate student at Oklahoma State University, working with Dr. Jennifer Byrd-Craven + Dr. Krems.


    Her research utilizes approaches from developmental, evolutionary, and social psychology to examine the biological processes and behavioral strategies of female competition and health maintenance. Considering the growing focus on positive reframing and self-image within society, Tori’s most recent work focuses on exploring how self-esteem may differentially cue mate- and friendship-value.





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    Krystal Duarte

    Krystal is a third-year graduate student and McNair Scholar at Oklahoma State University, working with Dr. Jennifer Byrd-Craven + Dr. Krems. 


    Krystal has previously worked on projects investigating romantic infatuation and flirting. Her interests involve understanding the challenges that women face in navigating sex/gender-typical aspects of competition and how women navigate these challenges.





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    Yunsuh (Nike) Wee


    Yunsuh (Nike) is a second-year graduate student working at Oklahoma State University working with Dr. Daniel Sznycer + Dr. Krems.


    She is interested in issues of (a) value (e.g., how do people come to value things and other people) and (b) social processes surrounding information (e.g., what cognitive architecture regulates how people share information).


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    Vanessa Zankich


    Vanessa is a first-year graduate student at UCLA, working with Dr. Krems. Broadly speaking, she is interested in identifying what kinds of social information people employ in order to navigate the complex challenges that characterize friendship formation, maintenance, and dissolution. Her research interests include self-disclosure, sociocultural identity, and prosocial/antisocial emotions (e.g., empathy, jealousy, envy) and behaviors (e.g., loyalty, competition, gossip).


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    Hyewon Hong


    Information coming soon!
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    Elias Acevedo


    Elias is a first-year grad student at UCLA, working with Dr. Martie Haselton + Dr. Krems.


    Elias received his M.A. from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where he conducted research on emotion and error management biases. His research interests include emotion, status, value computation, and integrating predictive processing models of cognition with an adaptationist framework.



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    Lisa Walsh

    Lisa Walsh (she/her) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the UCLA Marriage and Close Relationships Lab. She completed her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology at the University of California, Riverside under the mentorship of Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. In broadest terms, her work aims to investigate the links between interpersonal relationships (with friends, family, and romantic partners) and well-being, as well as understand the effects of positive social behaviors (e.g., expressing gratitude, doing acts of kindness).


    Learn more about Lisa here.




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    Victor Kaufman

    Victor Kaufman (he/him) is a former graduate student and current Research Scientist of the UCLA Marriage and Close Relationships Lab. He received a master's degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2015 and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at UCLA in 2020. He primarily studies adult friendship and how close relationship processes uniquely affect well-being. He is also interested in psychometrics and how its application can aid our measurement of various phenomena in close relationships.


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    David Pinsof

    David received his PhD from UCLA in 2018, where he studied psychology and biological anthropology. David's research focuses on political attitudes, mating strategies, signaling theory, the psychology of status, public opinion, mathematical models of alliance formation, and the origins of political belief systems.


    He writes for a popular audience at everythingisbullshit.substack.com






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    What is the psychology that enables people to interact with other people? Sznycer uses theories of selection pressures along with data from ancestral + modern humans to produce computation-level descriptions of our social psychology. His lab's research focus is on value computation, emotion, communication, morality, + institutions.


    Krems + Sznycer often co-advise graduate students.

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    Williams is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Hamilton College, where she is also Director of Jurisprudice, Law and Justice Studies. She earned her JD and PhD concurrently.


    Her work is multi-faceted, exploring stereotyping and prejudice at theintersection of justice and legal studies, friendship, and social affordances.

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    The UCLA Center for Friendship Research has a multi-pronged mission:
    (1) Create + galvanize a multidisciplinary community of researchers
    (2) Support cutting-edge friendship research
    (3) Facilitate the hands-on training of future faculty elucidating friendship
    (4) Communicate our findings broadly to improve friendships around the world
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    The UCLA Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture (BEC) unites scholars exploring the connections among evolution, culture, the mind, + society.


    BEC provides a framework to facilitate research and training on the interaction among natural selection, cultural transmission, social relations, and psychology.


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    OCEAN (The Oklahoma Center for Evolutionary Analysis) is housed in the Department of Psychology at Oklahoma State University. OCEAN incorporates faculty + graduate students from across disciplinary boundaries---each using an evolutionary approach to understand social cognition + behavior.


    OCEAN was founded in 2019 by Jennifer Byrd-Craven + Jaimie Arona Krems. OCEAN includes Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Jaimie Arona Krems, Daniel Sznycer, Juliana French, + multiple affiliated researchers.


    Graduate Students

    • Dr. Devanshi Patel, NIH Postdoctoral Scholar
    • Dr. Laureon Merrie, Associate UX Researcher, MeasuringU
    • Dr. Jarrod Bock, VAP, Oklahoma State University (formerly Assistant Professor of Psychology at Towson University)
    • Dr. Ashley Rankin, Research Coordinator (Pre-Award Grants Officer), University of Oregon

    Undergraduate Students

    • Malina Lemmons, graduate student (Quantitative Psychology), University of British Columbia
    • Ian Mumma, graduate student (Political Science), University of Delaware
    • Brett Keenan, graduate student (Social Psychology) at University of Oklahoma
    • De'Ja Broyles, graduate student (Psychology), University of Denver
    • Anna Crosswhite, graduate student (Counseling), Oklahoma State University
    • Mikayla Tolliver, graduate student + NSF GRFP recipient (Social Psychology) at University of Arkansas
    • Darling Arredondo, graduate student (Counseling), Oklahoma State University
    • Garrett Dugan, graduate student (Political Science) at University of Nebraska - Lincoln

    Not listed and want to be? Email Dr. Krems!









  • News & Links

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