Laith Al-Shawaf

Assistant Professor


Office: HZ-34B

Phone: +90 312 290 69 45


Personal Website:


I’m an Assistant Professor and a researcher in the Department of Psychology at Bilkent University. I’ve also recently been made a Fellow in the College of Life Sciences at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

Before moving to Turkey, I completed my Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin, where I worked with Dr. David Buss. My areas of specialization are evolutionary psychology and cognitive psychology, with a secondary Ph.D. concentration in applied statistical modeling.

Before that, I completed my undergraduate studies as a Merit Scholar at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, where my concentrations were in psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science.


  • Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, 2014


I’m currently spearheading three main lines of research: (a) the emotion of disgust and its relation to aspects of psychology such as stress, immune function, mating, and parenting, (b) a cross-cultural project investigating women’s defenses against sexual coercion, and (c) evolved information-processing biases in human mating and other domains of social cognition.

Representative Publications

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. (In press). Cross-cultural regularities in the cognitive architecture of pride. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Conroy-Beam, D., Asao, K., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Evolutionary Psychology: A How-To Guide. American Psychologist.

Lewis, D.M.G., Al-Shawaf, L., Janiak, M., & Akunebu, S. (in press). Integrating molecular genetics and evolutionary psychology: Sexual jealousy and the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Personality and Individual Differences.

Al-Shawaf, L. (2016). The evolutionary psychology of hunger. Appetite, 105, 591-595.

Al-Shawaf, L., Conroy-Beam, D., Asao, K., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Human emotions: An evolutionary psychological perspective. Emotion Review, 1-14.

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

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D.M.G., Alley, T. R., & Buss, D.M. (2015). Mating strategy, disgust, and food neophobia. Appetite, 85, 30-35.

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

Lewis, D.M.G., *Russell, E., *Al-Shawaf, L., and Buss, D.M. (2015). Lumbar curvature: A previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness. Evolution & Human Behavior, 36, 345-350.

*The second and third author made equal contributions to the manuscript.