Department of Anthropology

Edward H. Hagen

Position: Professor
Office: VSCI 130Q
Phone: 360-546-9257

Curriculum vitae: PDF

Biographical sketch

I received my BA in mathematics from UC Berkeley, spent some time working in the organic polymer lab of Bruce Novak, then at UC Berkeley, before finally deciding to pursue anthropology at UC Santa Barbara, where I got my Ph.D. in 1999. Shortly thereafter I took a postdoc position in Peter Hammerstein's group at the Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt University, Berlin. I moved to WSU in 2007.


Director of the Bioanthropology lab

Focus on evolutionary medicine

During the last century, medicine has made great strides conquering infectious disease and nutritional deficiencies. In contrast, there has been almost no progress reducing the burden of non-infectious diseases. My research takes an evolutionary approach to non-infectious diseases, with a focus on mental health.

I investigate tobacco use in the larger context of human use of plant secondary compounds. I investigate depression, suicide, and deliberate self-harm as potential signaling strategies. Child growth and development is a research theme that grew out of my work on postpartum depression. I have also recently begun testing evolutionary models of leadership, as part of my more general interest in the evolution of human social organization. Finally, I have published a number of theoretical papers on evolutionary approaches to ontogeny, cognition, and behavior.


Anth 260 Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Anth 309 Cultural Ecology
Anth 395 Topics in Anthropology
Anth 468 Sex, Evolution, and Human Nature
Anth 469 Genes, Culture and Human Diversity
Anth 490 Integrative Themes in Anthropology
Anth 561 Current Trends in Physical Anthropology
Anth 562 Evolutionary Method and Theory

Research projects

Selected publications

Articles and Chapters

PDF Hagen EH and Sullivan RJ 2017. The evolutionary significance of drug toxicity over reward. Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction, S. Ahmed and H. Pickard, eds.
PDF Hagen EH and Thornhill R 2017. Testing the psychological pain hypothesis for postnatal depression: Reproductive success versus evidence of design. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, 1, 17-23.
LNK Meehan CL, Hagen EH and Hewlett BS 2017. Persistence of Infant Care Patterns Among Aka Foragers. In: Hunter-gatherers in a Changing World (Reyes-García and Pyhälä, eds.). Springer.
LNK Rosenström T, Fawcett TW, Higginson AD, Metsä-Simola N, Hagen EH, Houston AI, Martikainen P 2017. Adaptive and non-adaptive models of depression: A comparison using register data on antidepressant medication during divorce.
PDF Hagen EH and Rosenström T 2016. Explaining the sex difference in depression with a unified bargaining model of anger and depression. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.
PDF Hagen EH, Garfield M, Sullivan RJ 2016. The low prevalence of female smoking in the developing world: gender inequality or fetal protection? Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.
PDF Roulette CJ, Hagen EH and Hewlett BS 2016. A biocultural investigation of gender differences in tobacco use in an egalitarian hunter-gatherer population. Human Nature.
PDF Placek CD and Hagen EH 2015. Fetal protection: The Roles of Social Learning and Innate Food Aversions in South India. Human Nature.
PDF Roulette CJ, Kazanji M, Breurec S, and Hagen EH 2015. High Prevalence of Cannabis Use Among Aka Foragers of the Congo Basin and Its Possible Relationship to Helminthiasis. American Journal of Human Biology.
PDF Syme KL, Garfield ZH, Hagen EH 2015. Testing the bargaining vs. inclusive fitness models of suicidal behavior against the ethnographic record. Evolution and Human Behavior.
PDF Hagen EH 2014. Invariant world, invariant mind. Evolutionary psychology and its critics. In: The handbook of evolutionary psychology, 2nd edition. D. Buss, ed. Wiley.
PDF Roulette CJ, Mann H, Kemp BM, Remiker M, Roulette JW, Hewlett BS, Kazanji M, Breurec S, Monchy D, Sullivan RJ, and Hagen EH 2014. Tobacco use vs. helminths in Congo basin hunter-gatherers: Self-medication in humans? Evolution and Human Behavior, 35, 397–407.
PDF Hagen EH, Roulette CJ and Sullivan RJ 2013. Explaining human recreational use of 'pesticides': The neurotoxin regulation model of substance use vs. the hijack model and implications for age and sex differences in drug consumption. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 4.
PDF Placek CD and Hagen EH 2013. A test of three hypotheses of pica and amylophagy among pregnant women in Tamil Nadu, India. American Journal of Human Biology.
PDF Walker RS, Beckerman S, Flinn MV, Gurven M, von Rueden CR, Kramer KL, Greaves RD, Córdoba L, Villar D, Hagen EH, Koster JM, Sugiyama L, Hunter TE, and Hill KR 2013. Living with Kin in Lowland Horticultural Societies. Current Anthropology, 54, 96-103.
PDF Hagen EH, Chater N, Gallistel CR, Houston A, Kacelnik A, Kalenscher T, Nettle D, Oppenheimer D, Stephans DW 2012. Decision making: what can evolution do for us? In: Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making, P Hammerstein and J Stevens (eds.). The MIT Press.
PDF Hagen EH 2011. Evolutionary Theories of Depression: A Critical Review. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 56, 716–726.
PDF Hess NH, Helfrecht C, Hagen EH, Sell A and Hewlett BS 2010. Interpersonal aggression among Aka hunter-gatherers of the Central African Republic: Assessing the effects of sex, strength, and anger. Human Nature, 21, 330-354.
PDF Hagen EH and Barret HC 2009. Cooperative breeding and adolescent siblings: Evidence for the ecological constraints model? Current Anthropology, 50, 727-737.
PDF Hagen EH and Hammerstein P 2009. Did Neanderthals and other early humans sing? Seeking the biological roots of music in the loud calls of primates, lions, hyenas, and wolves. Musicae Scientiae, 291-320.
Hagen EH, Hammerstein P, and Hess NH 2009. Theoretical aspects of communication and language. In S. Nolfi and M. Mirolli, editors, Evolution of Communication and Language in Embodied and Situated Agents. Springer Verlag.
PDF Hagen EH, Sullivan RJ, Schmidt R, Morris G, Kempter R and Hammerstein P 2009. Ecology and neurobiology of toxin avoidance and the paradox of drug reward. Neuroscience, 160, 69-84.
PDF Hagen EH 2008. Non-bizarre delusions as strategic deception. In: Medicine and Evolution: Current Applications, Future prospects, Sarah Elton and Paul O'Higgins (eds.). Taylor and Francis.
PDF Hagen EH, Watson PJ and Hammerstein P 2008. Gestures of Despair and Hope: A View on deliberate self-harm from economics and evolutionary biology. Biological Theory, 3, 123-138.
PDF Quinlan RJ and Hagen EH 2008. New Genealogy: It's Not Just for Kinship Anymore. Field Methods.
PDF Sullivan RJ, Hagen EH and Hammerstein P 2008. Revealing the paradox of drug reward in human evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 275, 1231-1241.
PDF Hagen EH and Barrett HC 2007. Perinatal sadness among Shuar women: support for an evolutionary theory of psychic pain. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 21, 22-40.
PDF Hagen EH and Symons D 2007. Natural Psychology. In: The Evolution of Mind: Fundamental Questions and Controversies, S. Gangestad and J. Simpson (eds.). The Guilford Press.
PDF Madrigal L, Ware B, Hagen EH, Blell M and Otárola F 2007. The East Indian diaspora in Costa Rica: Inbreeding avoidance, marriage patterns, and cultural survival. American Anthropologist, 109, 330-337.
PDF Hagen EH and Hammerstein P 2006. Game theory and human evolution: A critique of some recent interpretations of experimental games. Theoretical Population Biology, 69, 339-348.
PDF Hagen EH, Barrett HC and Price ME 2006. Do Human Parents Face a Quantity-Quality Tradeoff?: Evidence From a Shuar Community. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 130, 405-418.
PDF Hammerstein P, Hagen EH and Laubichler MD 2006. The Strategic View of Biological Agents. Biological Theory, 1, 191-194.
PDF Hammerstein P, Hagen EH, Herz AVM and Herzel H 2006. Robustness: A Key to Evolutionary Design. Biological Theory, 1, 90-93.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2006. Sex differences in indirect aggression: Psychological evidence from young adults. Evolution and Human Behavior, 27, 231-245.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2006. Psychological adaptations for assessing gossip believability. Human Nature, 17, 337-354.
Hagen EH 2005. Controversial issues in evolutionary psychology. In: The handbook of evolutionary psychology, D. Buss (ed.). Wiley, 145-176.
PDF Hagen EH and Hammerstein P 2005. Evolutionary Biology and the Strategic View of Ontogeny: Genetic Strategies Provide Robustness and Flexibility in the Life Course. Research in Human Development, 2, 83-97.
PDF Hammerstein P and Hagen EH 2005. The second wave of evolutionary economics in biology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 20, 604-609.
PDF Laubichler MD, Hagen EH and Hammerstein P 2005. The strategy concept and John Maynard Smith's influence on theoretical biology. Biology and Philosophy, 20, 1041-1050.
McElreath R, Clutton-Brock RTH, Fehr E, Fessier DMT, Hagen EH, Hammerstein P, Kosfeld M, Milinski M, Silk JB and Tooby J 2005. The Role of Cognition and Emotion in Cooperation. In: Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation, P. Hammerstein (ed.). MIT Press.
PDF Hagen EH 2003. The Bargaining Model of Depression, In: Genetic and Cultural Evolution of Cooperation, P. Hammerstein (ed.). MIT Press, 95-123.
PDF Hagen EH and Bryant GA 2003. Music and dance as a coalition signaling system. Human Nature, 14, 21-51.
ABS Sell A, Hagen EH, Cosmides L and Tooby J 2003. Evolutionary theory: Implications for Cognitive Science. In: Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group, 2, 47-53.
PDF Hagen EH 2002. Depression as bargaining: The case postpartum. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23, 323-336.
PDF Sullivan RJ and Hagen EH 2002. Psychotropic substance-seeking: evolutionary pathology or adaptation? Addiction, 97, 389-400.
PDF Hagen EH, Hames RB, Craig NM, Lauer MT and Price ME 2001. Parental investment and child health in a Yanomamo village suffering short-term food stress. Journal of Biosocial Science, 33, 503-528.
PDF Hagen EH 1999. The Functions of Postpartum Depression. Evolution and Human Behavior, 20, 325-359.
PDF Novak BM, Hagen EH, Hoff S and Viswanathan A 1994. Synthesis and Photochemistry of Sulfonium Ion Polymers. Arylated and Alkylated Poly (p-phenylene sulfide) Derivatives. Macromolecules, 27, 1985-1986.


ABS Roulette CJ and Hagen EH 2012. Tobacco, cannabis, parasites, and life history strategies in hunter-gatherers from the Central African Republic. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Supp.
PDF Hagen EH, Roulette C, Hewlett BS, Sullivan RJ, Laganier R 2009. Drug use as potential protection against pathogens: Tobacco vs. helminth load in Aka foragers.
PDF Helfrecht C, Hess NH, Hagen E, Sell A and Hewlett B 2009. Anger and aggression among Aka hunter-gatherers. The evolution of human aggression. Utah.
PDF Hagen EH and Sullivan RJ 2007. Plant neurotoxins and brain development: Implications for encephalization in Homo. Human Biology Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia.
PDF Hagen EH 2004. Megadontia and bipedalism: Did habitual bipedalism evolve in early hominids to reduce the energetic costs of increasing head weight? American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 123, 105-106.
PDF Walker PL and Hagen EH 1994. A topographical approach to dental microwear analysis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 37, 203.


PDF Sullivan RJ and Hagen EH 2011. But is it evolution...? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34, 322-323.
PDF Hagen EH 2009. Human natures -- A review of the 10000 year explosion. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 453–455.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2009. Informational warfare: Coalitional gossiping as a strategy for within-group aggression.
PDF Schmidt R, Morris G, Hagen EH, Sullivan RJ, Hammerstein P, and Kempter R 2009. The dopamine puzzle. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
PDF Hammerstein P and Hagen EH 2006. Evolutionary genetics: Broken cogs or strategic agents? Science, 312, 530.
Walker PL and Hagen EH 2005. Human Evolution: A Multimedia Guide to the Fossil Record. W.W. Norton.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2001. Review of Mean Genes: From Sex to Money to Food: Taming Our Primal Instincts (J. Burnham and J. Phelan). Politics and the Life Sciences, 20, 244.
PDF Hagen EH and Hess NH 2000. Sweet savage love: FA, BO, and SES in the EEA. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 604-605.
PDF Hagen EH 1993. African pygmy settlement pattern. Graduate seminar paper.

Ed Hagen (lower left) and Barry Hewlett (center) with research team
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