Kristen Syme

Kristen Syme
Kristen Syme
  • PhD, Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Evolution of suicide
  • Graduated: 2020
  • Advisor: Edward H. Hagen

Biographical sketch ▾

Biographical sketch

I received my BA in anthropology from the University of Delaware where I developed an interest in using evolutionary theory to investigate mental health and behavioral phenomena that are diagnosed and treated as diseases and deviations according to the Western medical paradigm. I conducted my MA research on suicidal behavior in 53 cultures and received my MA in 2014.

Research statement ▾

Research statement

My research interests broadly concern the evolved interpersonal functions of psychological and behavioral phenomena. My MA thesis tested two evolutionary models of suicidal behavior against the ethnographic record, and my dissertation research is a continuation of this project. I am presently conducting an exploratory investigation on bargaining strategies and parent-offspring conflict with an immigrant Micronesian population in the Vancouver WA/Portland, OR area.

Projects ▾


Publications ▾


LNK Syme KL and Hagen EH 2021. Parent-Offspring Conflict and Bargaining Behaviors in Adolescence and Young Adulthood among Chon Chuuk (Chuukese) Micronesians. 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.
LNK Gaffney M, Adams K, Syme KL, Hagen EH 2021. Depression and suicidality as evolved credible signals of need in social conflicts. Preprint.
PDF Garfield ZH, Syme KL, Hagen EH 2020. Universal and variable leadership dimensions across human societies. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41, 397–414.
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 Syme KL and Hagen EH 2018. When Saying “Sorry” Isn’t Enough: Is Some Suicidal Behavior a Costly Signal of Apology? Human Nature.
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.