Alan Fiske

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Alan Page Fiske
Known forSocial relationship theories
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Los Angeles
ThesisMaking Up Society: Four Models for Constructing Social Relations Among the Moose of Burkina Faso (1985)

Alan Page Fiske (born 1947) is an American professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, known for studying the nature of human relationships and cross-cultural variations between them.[1]

Early life[edit]

Fiske was born in 1947. His father, Donald W. Fiske, was a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.[2] His sister, Susan Fiske, is a social psychologist and Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at the Princeton University Department of Psychology.[3]

Fiske earned a bachelor's degree (Cum Laude) in Social Relations from Harvard College in 1968. He went on to earn a master's degree in 1973 and a PhD in 1985, both from the University of Chicago, focusing on cross-cultural problems and human development.[4]


Between earning degrees, Fiske worked as a director and consultant to the Peace Corps in Bangladesh and Upper Volta, and as consultant to USAID for the Central African Republic.[4]

Fiske held various professorships at the University of Pennsylvania, UCSD, Swarthmore College, and Bryn Mawr College, before obtaining a full professorship at UCLA in 2002. There he is former director of the Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture, and of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development.[4] His areas of research interest include psychological anthropology, social relationships, and theories of violence.[5] Fiske is the author of Relational Models Theory[6] and, with Tage Rai, the author of Virtuous Violence Theory.[7]


  • Structures of Social Life: The Four Elementary Forms of Human Relations (1991). New York: Free Press (Macmillan).
  • A.P. Fiske & N. Haslam 1996. "Social Cognition Is Thinking About Relationships". Current Directions in Psychological Science. 5:143-148.
  • A.P. Fiske & N. Haslam 1997. "Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder of Pathology of the Human Disposition to Perform Socially Meaningful Rituals? Evidence of Similar Content". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 185:211-222.
  • A.P. Fiske, S. Kitayama, H. Markus, & D. Nisbett 1997. "The Cultural Matrix of Social Psychology". In Handbook of Social Psychology, 4th Ed. Gilber, S. Fiske, & G. Lindzey, Eds. pp. 915–981. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • "Complementarity Theory: Why Human Social Capacities Evolved to Require Cultural Complements" (2000). Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4:76-94.
  • M. Iacoboni, M. D. Lieberman, B. J. Knowlton, I. Molnar-Szakacs, M. Moritz, J. Throop, & A. P. Fiske 2004. "Watching Social Interactions Produces Dorsomedial Prefrontal and Medial Parietal BOLD fMRI Signal Increases Compared to a Resting Baseline". NeuroImage 21:1167–1173.
  • "Four Modes of Constituting Relationships: Consubstantial Assimilation; Space, Magnitude, Time and Force; Concrete Procedures; Abstract Symbolism" (2004) In N. Haslam, Ed., Relational Models Theory: A Contemporary Overview. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Tage Rai & A. P. Fiske 2011. "Moral Psychology is Relationship Regulation: Moral Motives for Unity, Hierarchy, Equality, and Proportionality". Psychological Review 118:57–75. DOI: 10.1037/a0021867
  • Daniel Nettle, Karthik Panchanathan, Tage Rai, & A. P. Fiske 2011. "The Evolution of Giving, Sharing, and Lotteries". Current Anthropology 52:747–756.
  • "Metarelational Models: Configurations of Social Relationships" (2011). European Journal of Social Psychology 42:2–18. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.847.


  1. ^ Human Sociality, Alan Fiske
  2. ^ "Donald W. Fiske". The University of Chicago News Office. The University of Chicago. April 10, 2003. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "Susan T. Fiske: Award for distinguished scientific contributions". American Psychologist. 65 (8): 695–706. 2010. doi:10.1037/a0020437. PMID 21058759.
  4. ^ a b c Curriculum vitae, Alan Fiske, Social Sciences division of UCLA
  5. ^ Faculty page for Alan Fiske, UCLA
  6. ^ Fiske, Alan P. (1992). "The four elementary forms of sociality: Framework for a unified theory of social relations". Psychological Review. 99 (4): 689–723. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.99.4.689. PMID 1454904.
  7. ^ Fiske, Alan Page; Rai, Tage Shakti (2014). Virtuous violence: hurting and killing to create, sustain, end, and honor social relationships. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781316104668. ISBN 9781316104668.