Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Glenn E. Weisfeld

Glenn E. Weisfeld

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The theoretical approach I use to understand social behavior is based on evolutionary and ethological concepts. My early research was on peer relations among adolescents and employed observational, questionnaire, and cross-cultural methods to discover correlates of popularity and dominance. I'm now engaged in a comparative study of marital satisfaction with colleagues in England, Turkey,the U.S., Russia, the Netherlands, and China. Marriage is a universal status and so may exhibit cross-cultural commonalities in the correlates, such as in factors (e.g., humor, sexual infidelity) affecting marital stability. Other recent research concerns kin recognition through olfaction. We discovered that certain close relatives, especially opposite-sex siblings, have an aversion to each other's body odor; this may function in inbreeding avoidance. My theoretical interests include the adaptive value of humor, of pride and shame, and of universals in adolescent behavior. I am past President of the International Society for Human Ethology (Google ishe). In 2001 I received Wayne State's Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award.

Primary Interests:

  • Close Relationships
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Gender Psychology
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Sexuality, Sexual Orientation


Journal Articles:

  • Dong, Q., Weisfeld, G., Boardway, R., & Shen, J. (1996). Correlates of social status among Chinese adolescents. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 27, 467-493.
  • Weisfeld, G. E. (2006). Humor appreciation as an adaptive esthetic emotion. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 19, 1-26.
  • Weisfeld, G. E. (1997). Puberty rites as clues to the nature of human adolescence. Cross-Cultural Research, 31, 27-54.
  • Weisfeld, G. E. (1993). The adaptive value of humor and laughter. Ethology & Sociobiology, 14, 141-169.
  • Weisfeld, G. E. (1990). Sociobiological patterns of Arab culture. Ethology & Sociobiology, 11, 23-49.
  • Weisfeld, G. E., & Beresford, J. M. (1982). Erectness of posture as an indicator of dominance or success in humans. Motivation & Emotion, 6, 113-131.
  • Weisfeld, G. E., Czilli, T., Phillips, K. A., Gall, J. A., & Lichtman, C. M. (2003). Possible olfaction-based mechanisms in human kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 85, 279-295.
  • Weisfeld, G. E., Nowak, N. T., Lucas, T., Weisfeld, C. C., Imamoğlu, E. O., Butovskaya, M., Shen, J., & Parkhill, M. R. (2011). Do women seek humorousness in men because it signals intelligence? A cross-cultural test. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 24(4), 435-462.
  • Weisfeld, G. E., & Weisfeld, C. C. (2002). Marriage: An evolutionary perspective. Neuroendocrinology Letters, 23(4), 47-54.
  • Wendorf, C. A., Lucas,T., Imamoğlu, E. O., Weisfeld, C. C., & Weisfeld, G. E. (2011). Marital satisfaction across three cultures: Does the number of children have an impact after accounting for other marital demographics? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42(3), 340-354.

Other Publications:

  • Weisfeld, G. E. (1997). Discrete emotions theory with specific reference to pride and shame. In N. L. Segal, G. E. Weisfeld, & C. C. Weisfeld (Eds.), Uniting psychology and biology: Integrative perspectives on human development (pp. 419-443). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Weisfeld, G. E. (1997). Research on emotions and future developments in human ethology. In A. Schmitt, K. Atzwanger, K. Grammer, & K. Schafer (Eds.), New aspects of human ethology (pp. 26-46). New York: Plenum.
  • Weisfeld, G. E., & Janisse, H. C. (2005). Some functional aspects of human adolescence. In B. J. Ellis & D. F. Bjorklund (Eds.), Origins of the social mind: Evolutionary psychology and child development (pp. 189-218). New York: Guilford Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Brain and Behavior
  • Developmental Psychobiology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology of Adolescence
  • Evolutionary Psychology of the Emotions
  • Human Sexuality
  • Psychology of Adolescent Behavior and Development

Glenn E. Weisfeld
Department of Psychology
Wayne State University
5057 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202
United States of America

  • Phone: (313) 577-2835
  • Fax: (313) 577-7636

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