The Human Behavior and Evolution Society presents three annual awards to recognize outstanding scholarship and contributions to the field. We are pleased to congratulate the exceptional winners of the 2021 society awards.
Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution
This award recognizes excellent young scientists who have made distinguished theoretical and/or empirical contributions to the study of evolution and human behavior.
This year’s Early Career winner is Willem Frankenhuis, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht. Willem runs the Developmental Evolutionary Ecological Psychology Lab. You can find out more about Willem and his work on his website.
Lifetime Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution
This award is given to HBES members who have made distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in evolution and human behavior.
This year’s Lifetime Career winner is Hillard Kaplan, Professor, Economic Science Institute, School of Pharmacy, and The George L. Argyros School of Business at Chapman University. You can learn more about Hillard on his website.
Margo Wilson Award
This award is made by the editors of Evolution and Human Behavior for best paper published in the journal in the previous year.
This year’s winner is one of the first, if not THE first, paper to propose that pathogen elimination activates a coordinated physiological and psychological response and is best characterized as an emotion program. The landscape of basic human emotions has expanded to now include the critical condition of sickness. The paper also received a large amount of media coverage at the time of publication.
Schrock, J. M., Snodgrass, J. J., & Sugiyama, L. S. (2020). Lassitude: The emotion of being sick. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41(1), 44-57.
Our long co-evolutionary history with infectious agents likely began soon after the rise of the first single-celled organisms. This ongoing evolutionary arms race has generated complex host adaptations, many highly conserved, for resisting infection (e.g., innate and acquired immune systems, infection-sensitive developmental programs, sexual reproduction). A large body of evidence suggests that, in humans, pathogen-avoidance disgust is an emotion that motivates avoidance of cues associated with pathogens, thereby reducing infection. However, the question of whether there is an emotion that coordinates resistance to active infection has received less attention. We propose that lassitude is such an emotion. It is triggered by cues of active infection and coordinates the fight against infection by: (a) reducing energetically expensive movement to make more energy available to the immune system, (b) reducing exposure to additional infections and injuries that would compound the immune system’s workload, (c) promoting thermoregulatory behaviors that facilitate immunity, (d) regulating food consumption to be beneficial for the host but detrimental to pathogens, and (e) deploying strategies that elicit caregiving behavior from social allies. Lassitude exhibits the core features of an emotion – it is triggered by cues of an adaptive problem (i.e., infection), generates a characteristic facial expression (e.g., slack facial muscles, drooping eyelids, slightly parted lips), and has distinct qualia (e.g., profound tiredness, reduced appetite, feelings of vulnerability, altered temperature perception, increased pain sensitivity). We outline the information-processing structure of lassitude, review existing evidence, suggest directions for future research, and discuss implications of lassitude for models of human evolution.