Mark van Vugt

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Mark van Vugt on Bookbits radio.

Mark van Vugt (born 9 May 1967, Amsterdam) is a Netherlands evolutionary psychologist who holds a professorship in group and organizational psychology at the VU University (Vrije Universiteit) Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Van Vugt has affiliate positions at the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at University of Oxford, UK, and the University of Kent, UK. Mark van Vugt studied psychology at the University of Groningen, followed by a PhD in applied social psychology at the University of Maastricht during which he worked on research into environmental sustainability and transportation as social dilemma and tragedy of the commons problems.

After receiving his PhD in 1996, Mark van Vugt was hired by the University of Southampton, UK, to work as a lecturer in psychology, followed by a professorship in 2004 at the University of Kent, UK. Mark currently holds a professorship in psychology at the VU University (Vrije Universiteit) Amsterdam, bringing evolutionary and Darwinian thinking into the field of social psychology and organisational psychology. His research covers all areas of evolutionary psychology as applied to topics such as altruism, leadership, group dynamics, business, management, intergroup conflict and warfare, social dilemma, organisational psychology, volunteering and environmental protection.

He is the lead author of a popular science book on leadership with British science journalist Anjana Ahuja which has been translated in over ten languages. He is also co-author of books on social dilemma and the evolution of cooperation and a textbook on how to apply social psychology with professor Bram Buunk.[citation needed] His research has been discussed in various popular science media outlets as the Nature, New Scientist, The Times, The Guardian, CNN, BBC, and ABC.

Van Vugt has a blog on the international popular psychology website Psychology Today, titled "Naturally Selected: Understanding the Human Animal in the Workplace".[1]

Mark van Vugt also blogs on the website of the main Dutch daily newspaper de 'Volkskrant' applying evolutionary insights to societal issues.

Van Vugt further co-writes a monthly column for the Dutch magazine 'Management Team' about leadership and evolutionary psychology.

Mark van Vugt has served on the editorial board of various journals in psychology such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and sat on various panels on the psychology teaching and psychology research funding. He is an affiliate member of the British Academy project "From Lucy to Language". He is currently leading, together with Robin Dunbar of the University of Oxford, a series of lectures for the Economic and Social Research Council highlighting the role of Darwinian and evolutionary psychology in solving societal problems such as poverty, environmental protection, charity, business, management, and leadership.


  1. ^ [1]

Mark van Vugt's blog on Psychology Today [2]

Mark van Vugt "Selected" book lecture at Royal Society in London in September 2010 on YouTube [3]

Reviews of the book have appeared in Nature [4] and the New Scientist [5]

Mark Van Vugt's work on the evolutionary psychology of environmental protection and sustainability was discussed in the New Scientist [6]

Mark van Vugt's evolutionary lessons in leadership failure appear in blogs on the Mind [7]

Mark van Vugt gives Darwin lecture at Academia for Sciences in Czech Republic [8]

External links[edit]

Selected books[edit]

Buunk, A. P., & Van Vugt, M. (2013). Applying social psychology: From problems to solutions. London: Sage Publications. Second edition.

Van Vugt, M., & Ahuja, A. (2010). Selected: Why some people lead, why others follow, and why it matters. The Evolutionary Science of Leadership. London: Profile Books/New York: Harper.[10]

Van Vugt, M., Snyder, M., Tyler, T., & Biel, A. (Eds.). (2000). Cooperation in modern society: Promoting the welfare of communities, states, and organizations. London: Routledge.

Selected journal articles[edit]

Balliet, D., Li, N., Macfarlan, S., & Van Vugt, M. (2011). Sex differences in cooperation: A meta-analytic review of social dilemmas. Psychological Bulletin.

Spisak, B., Homan, A., Grabo, A., & Van Vugt, M. (2011). Facing the situation: Testing a biosocial contingency model of leadership in intergroup relations using masculine and feminine faces. The Leadership Quarterly

Dunbar, R, Baron, R., Frangou, A., Pearce, E., van leeuwen, E., Stow, J., Partridge, G., Macdonald, I., Barra, V., & van Vugt, M (2011). Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain trhreshold. Proceedings of the Royal Society-B doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1373

Brosnan, S. F., Newton-Fisher, N. E., & Van Vugt, M. (2009). A melding of minds: When primatology meets social psychology. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 129-147.

Hardy, C. L., & Van Vugt, M. (2006). Nice guys finish first: The competitive altruism hypothesis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 1402-1413.

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. (2006). Evolutionary origins of leadership and followership. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 354-372.

Van Vugt, M., De Cremer, D., & Janssen, D. (2007). Gender differences in competition and cooperation: The male warrior hypothesis. Psychological Science. 18, 19-23.

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