Mark van Vugt

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+31 20 59 85323
faculteit der gedrags- en bewegingswetenschappen ( sectie sociale & organisatiepsychologie )
Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, Work and Organizational Psychology

Research interests

My main expertise lies in developing and applying theories from evolutionary psychology, social and organizational psychology, evolutionary biology, evolutionary anthropology and game theory to analyze various group dynamic processes in humans. In my research I focus on such themes as leadership, organizational behavior, power, status, altruism, cooperation, conflict, group cohesion, group decision-making, and intergroup relations.  I have a keen interest in applying evolutionary theoretical insights to understand and develop interventions in various societal domains such as management and leadership, environmental sustainability and conservation, politics and citizen welfare, war and peace, economics and finance, poverty and charity.


I regularly disseminate scientific knowledge to the public via public lectures, books, and blogs on websites such as Psychology Today and the Volkskrant.





Recent publications


Van Vugt, M., Griskevicius, V. & Schultz, P. W. (2014). Naturally green: Harnessing stone age psychological biases to foster environmental behavior. Social Issue and Policy Review, 8, 1-32.

Van der Wal, A., Krabbendam, A.C., Schade, H., & van Vugt, M. (2013). Do Natural Landscapes Reduce Future Discounting in Humans? Proceedings of the Royal Society-B.280(1773).

Johnson, D. D. P., Price, M. E., & Van Vugt, M. (2013). Darwin’s invisible hand: Market competition, evolution and the firm. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 90, S128-S140.

McDonald, M., Navarrete, C. & Van Vugt, M (2012). The male warrior hypothesis. Philosophical Transactions. vol. 367no. 1589670-679;doi: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0301

Van Vugt, M., & Ahuja, A. (2010/11). Selected:Why some people lead, why others follow, and why it matters. London: Profile Books/Harper Collins. (translated so far in over 10 different languages)

Van Vugt, M. (2009). Averting the tragedy of the commons: Using social psychological science to protect the environment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 169-173.

Van Vugt, M., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. (2008). Leadership, followership, and evolution: Some lessons from the past. American Psychologist, 63, 182-196. 





I am currently teaching undergraduate and Masters level courses on evolution and human behavior, group dynamics, leadership, organizational behavior and applied psychology.

I am a dedicated teacher and have authored and co-authored various student text books, including on applying psychology.


Fur further details see my personal website:



My Personal Website

My Blog on PsychologyToday

Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at University of Oxford

Human Behavior and Evolution Society






Laboratorium Toegepaste Psychologie (LTP) - Bestuurder Amstelveen, 01 januari 2014
Laatste wijzigingen Nevenwerkzaamheden: Amsterdam 27 januari 2017