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I am an evolutionary social scientist interested in how humans respond adaptively to culturally structured social worlds.

Two main foci of my research are:

1. Intergroup interactions and social cognition. Specifically, I examine humans’ psychological adaptations for processing ethnic social categories using cross-cultural and developmental research. My primary geographic focus has been among agro-pastoralists in the Peruvian Altiplano along the Quechua-Aymara linguistic border

2. Cross-cultural variation in social effects on reproduction. I examine why and how family members and religiosity affect fertility outcomes across space and time. I also work on why social learning processes influence reproductive decision-making so much and how this can give rise to puzzling phenomena such as the demographic transition, below replacement fertility, and cross-site variation in life history decisions.

I am also starting projects on the origins of ritual participation at a new pilgrimage site, and inter-site variation in collective action on vicuña hunts, both in the Peruvian Altiplano.

See list of publications on Google Scholar or on my personal website


PhD Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles

BA Anthropology & Psychology, University of California, Berkeley


Co-instructor - Social Psychology

Newest selected publications

Moya, C., Cruz y Celis Peniche, P., Kline, MA. and Smaldino, PE. (2020) 'Dynamics of behavior change in the COVID world'. American Journal of Human Biology, 32 (5). pp. 1 - 8. ISSN: 1042-0533 Open Access Link

Journal article

Kline, MA., Gervais, MM., Moya, C. and Boyd, RT. (2019) 'Irrelevant-action imitation is short-term and contextual: Evidence from two under-studied populations'. Developmental Science, 23 (3). pp. e12903. ISSN: 1363-755X

Journal article

Wertz, AE. and Moya, C. (2019) 'Pathways to cognitive design'. Behavioural Processes, 161. pp. 73 - 86. ISSN: 0376-6357

Journal article

Lang, M., Purzycki, BG., Apicella, CL., Atkinson, QD., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., et al. (2019) 'Moralizing gods, impartiality and religious parochialism across 15 societies'. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286 (1898). pp. 1 - 10. ISSN: 0962-8452 Open Access Link

Journal article

Mattison, S., Moya, C., Reynolds, A. and Towner, MC. (2018) 'Evolutionary demography of age at last birth: Integrating approaches from human behavioural ecology and cultural evolution'. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373 (1743). pp. 20170060 - 20170060. ISSN: 0962-8436

Journal article
More publications(15)