Publications

2009
Tingley, D., & Walter, B. (2009). Experimental Evidence for Reputation Building and Deterrence. In Reputation and Civil War . Cambridge University Press. walter-repbuildingchapter.pdf
Tingley, D., & Walter, B. (2009). Experimental Evidence for Reputation Building and Deterrence. In Reputation and Civil War: Why Separatist Conflicts Are So Violent . Cambridge UP.
McDermott, R., Tingley, D., Cowden, J., Frazzetto, G., & Johnson, D. D. P. (2009). Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) predicts behavioral aggression following provocation. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences , 106, 2118-2123.Abstract

Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) has earned the nickname “warrior gene” because it has been linked to aggression in observational and survey-based studies. However, no controlled experimental studies have tested whether the warrior gene actually drives behavioral manifestations of these tendencies. We report an experiment, synthesizing work in psychology and behavioral economics, which demonstrates that aggression occurs with greater intensity and frequency as provocation is experimentally manipulated upwards, especially among low activity MAOA (MAOA-L) subjects. In this study, subjects paid to punish those they believed had taken money from them by administering varying amounts of unpleasantly hot (spicy) sauce to their opponent. There is some evidence of a main effect for genotype and some evidence for a gene by environment interaction, such that MAOA is less associated with the occurrence of aggression in a low provocation condition, but significantly predicts such behavior in a high provocation situation. This new evidence for genetic influences on aggression and punishment behavior complicates characterizations of humans as “altruistic” punishers and supports theories of cooperation that propose mixed strategies in the population. It also suggests important implications for the role of individual variance in genetic factors contributing to everyday behaviors and decisions.

pnas-2009.pdf
2006
Tingley, D. (2006). Evolving Political Science: Biological Adaptation, Rational Action, and Symbolism in Political Science. Politics and Life Sciences , 25, 23-41.Abstract
Political science, as a discipline, has been reluctant to adopt theories and methodologies developed in fields studying human behavior from an evolutionary standpoint. I ask whether evolutionary concepts are reconcilable with standard political-science theories and whether those concepts help solve puzzles to which these theories classically are applied. I find that evolutionary concepts readily and simultaneously accommodate theories of rational choice, symbolism, interpretation, and acculturation. Moreover, phenomena perennially hard to explain in standard political science become clearer when human interactions are understood in light of natural selection and evolutionary psychology. These phenomena include the political and economic effects of emotion, status, personal attractiveness, and variations in information-processing and decision-making under uncertainty; exemplary is the use of ‘‘focal points’’ in multiple-equilibrium games. I conclude with an overview of recent research by, and ongoing debates among, scholars analyzing politics in evolutionarily sophisticated terms.
Tingley_EvPS_RatChoice_PSC_06_final.pdf
Tingley, D. (2006). Neurological Imaging as Evidence in Political Science: A Review, Critique, and Guiding Assessment. Social Science Information , 45, 5-33. neuro2006.pdf

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