There are large variations in the socio-ecological niches of humans. Like other species, humans evolved phenotypic plasticity responses to the variability of their environment, and these plastic responses can explain a large part of the variability of human behaviors and cultures. Different environmental parameters have been proposed to explain differences in human behaviors (e.g. mortality, pathogens load).
A dominant framework to understand the diversity of phenotypes in humans in the fast-slow continuum. Inspired by comparison across species, the fast slow continuum framework studies how humans allocate resources between survival, growth and reproduction. Yet, the fast-slow continuum approach is not very satisfactory to explain variation in human behavior. A lot of traits do not cluster in the expected ways. There is also a lack of formal modeling to understand how environmental factors affect human phenotypes. Here, we try to investigate further the logic of human behavioral plasticity, and the origins of cultural variability across space and time.
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Mell, H., Baumard, N., & André, J. B. (in press). Time is money. Waiting costs explain why selection favors steeper time discounting in deprived environments. Evolution and Human Behavior
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Mell, H., Safra, L. Algan, Y, Baumard, N and Chevallier, C. (2018) Childhood Environmental Harshness Predicts Coordinated Health and Reproductive Strategies: A Cross-sectional Study Of A Nationally Representative (France) Sample`. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39(1), 1-8.