Edward H. Hagen

Ed Hagen (lower left) with Bagandou research team in the Central African Republic
Ed Hagen (lower left) with Bagandou research team in the Central African Republic
  • Professor, Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Evolutionary approaches to substance use and mental health, child growth and development
  • Office: VSCI 130Q
  • Phone: 360-546-9257
  • Email: edhagen@wsu.edu

Biographical sketch ▾

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.

Research statement ▾

Research statement

Director of the Bioanthropology lab

Blog: https://grasshoppermouse.github.io

Twitter: @ed_hagen

Mastodon: @edhagen@fediscience.org

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 and knowledge specialization 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.

Projects ▾


Field sites ▾

Field sites

Courses ▾


Funding ▾


Date Title Funding source Collaborators Amount
2023 Doctoral Dissertation Research: The behavioral ecology of children's signals of need NSF. 2314670 Michael Gaffney $38250
2020 Investigating Adaptive Knowledge Specialization and the Evolution of Science and Religion Templeton. Aaron Lightner $50000
2019 Doctoral Dissertation Research: Testing theories of mutualism in the context of rapid culture change NSF. 1918523 Aaron Lightner $25127
2019 Does fetal protection help explain low female smoking rates in high fertility populations? WSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program. Tiffany Alvarez $14130
2019 Suicidality as a credible cry for help WSU Vancouver. Michael Gaffney $1500
2018 Doctoral Dissertation Research: Testing evolutionary theories of leadership in a population of transitional foragers NSF. 1823324 Zachary Garfield $24350
2017 Framing in economics games WSU Vancouver. Aaron Lightner $432
2016 Testing multi-disciplinary theories of leadership using a cross-cultural database NSF. BCS1628509 Zachary Garfield $91619
2014 First experimental test of the effects of immune activation on behavioral immune strategies in pregnancy. WSU Office of Research, WSU Vancouver. Caitlyn Placek $10000
2014 Testing multi-disciplinary theories of suicide using a cross-cultural database NSF. BCS1355469 Kristen Syme $61395
2012 Do nicotine and THC consumption reduce the risk of helminth reinfection in central African foragers? WSU Office of Research. Casey Roulette $10699
2010 Cultural Models, Patterns of Smoking, and Acculturation Among Aka Foragers and their Ngandu Farming Neighbors WSU Office of Research. Casey Roulette $19764
2010 Impact of helminth treatment on smoking behavior among Aka foragers and Ngandu farmers WSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program. Casey Roulette, Barry Hewlett $35000
2008 Drug Abuse Behavior in Two African Populations: An Evolutionary Biocultural Perspective WSU College of Arts and Sciences. Casey Roulette, Barry Hewlett $5363
Total: $387629

Publications ▾


LNK Lightner AD, Pisor AC, Hagen EH 2023. In need-based sharing, sharing is more important than need. Evolution and Human Behavior.
PDF Gaffney MR, Adams KH, Syme KL, Hagen EH 2023. Response to "Are depression and suicidality evolved signals? Evidently, no". Evolution and Human Behavior.
PDF Hagen EH and Blackwell A and Lightner A and Sullivan RJ 2023. Homo medicus: The transition to meat eating, increased pathogen pressure, and the constitutive and inducible use of pharmacological plants in Homo. American Journal of Biological Anthropology.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2023. The impact of gossip, reputation, and context on resource transfers among Aka hunter-gatherers, Ngandu horticulturalists, and MTurkers. Evolution and Human Behavior.
PDF Hagen EH 2022. The Biological Roots of Music and Dance: Extending the Credible Signaling Hypothesis to Predator Deterrence. Human Nature.
LNK Syme KL and Hagen EH 2022. Bargaining and interdependence: common parent-offspring conflict resolution strategies among Chon Chuuk and their implications for suicidal behavior. American Anthropologist.
LNK Smith CB, Rosenström T, and Hagen EH 2022. Strength is negatively associated with depression and accounts for some of the sex difference: a replication & extension. Evolution, Medicine and Public Health.
LNK Lightner AD and Hagen EH 2022. All models are wrong, and some are religious: Supernatural explanations as abstract and useful falsehoods about complex realities. Human Nature.
PDF Gaffney M, Adams K, Syme KL, Hagen EH 2022. Depression and suicidality as evolved credible signals of need in social conflicts. Evolution and Human Behavior.
PDF Hagen EH 2022. The hungry, striving, sociable, parasitized, and slightly buzzed monkey. American Journal of Biological Anthropology.
PDF Mehr S, Krasnow M, Bryant G, Hagen EH 2021. Origins of music in credible signaling. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 44.
PDF Lightner AD, Garfield ZH, Hagen EH 2021. Religion: The WEIRDest concept in the world? Religion, Brain, and Behavior.
PDF Lightner AD, Heckelsmiller C, Hagen EH 2021. Ethnomedical specialists and their supernatural theories of disease. Review of Philosophy and Psychology (under review).
PDF Hagen EH and Syme KL 2021. Credible sadness, coercive sadness: Depression as a functional response to adversity and strife. Oxford Handbook of Evolution and the Emotions.
PDF Lightner AD, Heckelsmiller C, Hagen EH 2021. Ethnoscientific expertise and knowledge specialisation in 55 traditional cultures. Evolutionary Human Sciences.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2021. Competitive gossip: The impact of resource value, resource contestedness, and coalitions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
PDF Lightner AD and Hagen EH 2021. Acculturation and market integration are associated with greater trust among Tanzanian Maasai pastoralists. Evolutionary Human Sciences.
PDF Hagen EH and Sugiyama, LS 2020. In Memoriam: Napoleon A. Chagnon (1938–2019). Human Nature.
PDF Garfield ZH and Hagen EH 2020. Investigating evolutionary models of leadership among recently settled Ethiopian hunter-gatherers. The Leadership Quarterly, 31, 101290.
PDF Placek CD, Magnan RE, Srinivas V, Jaykrishna P, Ravi K, Khan A, Madhivanan P and Hagen EH 2020. The impact of information about tobacco-related reproductive vs. general health risks on South Indian women's tobacco use decisions. Evolutionary Human Sciences, e4.
PDF Syme KL and Hagen EH 2020. Mental health is biological health: Why tackling “diseases of the mind” is an imperative for biological anthropology in the 21st century. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology.
PDF Garfield ZH, Syme KL, Hagen EH 2020. Universal and variable leadership dimensions across human societies. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41, 397–414.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2019. Gossip, Reputation, and Friendship in Within-group Competition. In: Oxford Handbook of Gossip and Reputation. Oxford University Press.
PDF Garfield ZH, Hubbard R, Hagen EH 2019. Evolutionary models of leadership: tests and synthesis. Human Nature, 30, 23–58.
PDF Hagen EH and Tushingham S 2019. The prehistory of psychoactive drug use. Cognitive Archaeology: Psychology in Prehistory. Tracy B. Henley, Matthew Rossano and Edward Kardas, Eds. Routledge.
PDF Lane AA, McGuire MK, McGuire MA, Williams JE, Lackey KA, Hagen EH, et al 2019. Household composition and the infant fecal microbiome: The INSPIRE study. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
PDF Garfield ZH, Von Rueden CR, Hagen EH 2019. The evolutionary anthropology of political leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 30, 59-80.
PDF Hagen EH and Sullivan RJ 2018. The evolutionary significance of drug toxicity over reward. Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction, S. Ahmed and H. Pickard, eds.
PDF Meehan CL, Lackey KA, Hagen EH, Williams JE, Roulette J, Helfrecht C, McGuire MA, McGuire MK 2018. Social networks, cooperative breeding, and the human milk microbiome. American Journal of Human Biology.
PDF Syme KL and Hagen EH 2018. When Saying “Sorry” Isn’t Enough: Is Some Suicidal Behavior a Costly Signal of Apology? Human Nature.
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.
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.
PDF Lightner AD, Barclay P, and Hagen EH 2017. Radical framing effects in the ultimatum game: the impact of explicit culturally transmitted frames on economic decision-making. Royal Society Open Science.
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 Placek CD, Madhivanan P, and Hagen EH 2017. Innate food aversions and culturally transmitted food taboos in pregnant women in rural southwest India: Separate systems to protect the fetus?
PDF Helfrecht C, Hagen EH, DeAvila D, Bernstein RM, Dira SJ, Meehan CL 2017. DHEAS patterning across childhood in three sub‐Saharan populations: Associations with age, sex, ethnicity, and cortisol. American Journal of Human Biology.
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 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 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 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, 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 2014. Invariant world, invariant mind. Evolutionary psychology and its critics. In: The handbook of evolutionary psychology, 2nd edition. D. Buss, ed. Wiley.
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 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 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.
-- 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, 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 Sullivan RJ and Hagen EH 2011. But is it evolution...? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34, 322-323.
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 Hess NH and Hagen EH 2009. Informational warfare: Coalitional gossiping as a strategy for within-group aggression.
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 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 2009. Human natures -- A review of the 10000 year explosion. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 453–455.
-- 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 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 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.
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, Roulette C, Hewlett BS, Sullivan RJ, Laganier R 2009. Drug use as potential protection against pathogens: Tobacco vs. helminth load in Aka foragers.
PDF Quinlan RJ and Hagen EH 2008. New Genealogy: It's Not Just for Kinship Anymore. Field Methods.
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 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 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 Symons D 2007. Natural Psychology. In: The Evolution of Mind: Fundamental Questions and Controversies, S. Gangestad and J. Simpson (eds.). The Guilford Press.
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 Sullivan RJ 2007. Plant neurotoxins and brain development: Implications for encephalization in Homo. Human Biology Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia.
PDF Hess NH and Hagen EH 2006. Psychological adaptations for assessing gossip believability. Human Nature, 17, 337-354.
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 Hess NH and Hagen EH 2006. Sex differences in indirect aggression: Psychological evidence from young adults. Evolution and Human Behavior, 27, 231-245.
PDF Hammerstein P and Hagen EH 2006. Evolutionary genetics: Broken cogs or strategic agents? Science, 312, 530.
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 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.
-- Hagen EH 2005. Controversial issues in evolutionary psychology. In: The handbook of evolutionary psychology, D. Buss (ed.). Wiley, 145-176.
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.
-- Walker PL and Hagen EH 2005. Human Evolution: A Multimedia Guide to the Fossil Record. W.W. Norton.
-- 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 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 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 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.
-- 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 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, 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 and Hess NH 2000. Sweet savage love: FA, BO, and SES in the EEA. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 604-605.
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.
PDF Walker PL and Hagen EH 1994. A topographical approach to dental microwear analysis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 37, 203.
PDF Hagen EH 1993. African pygmy settlement pattern. Graduate seminar paper.
PDF Novak BM, Hagen EH, and Viswanathan A 1992. Photogenerated Conducting Organic Polymers. US Patent US5376502.