Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., Harvard University; B.S., Duke University
Office hours: By appointment
Office: Library Ground, Room 02
Phone: (617) 735-9707
My research interests lie in understanding the biological and ecological factors that influence cooperation and competition between human beings. Much of the theory behind my research stems from findings from research on humans' closest genetic relatives, common chimpanzees and bonobos. To this end, I work one day per week with biological anthropolgoists at Harvard University. My own research examines the influence of age, sex, kinship, social structure, mating system, dominance status, and familiarity on degree of cooperation and competition that occurs between individuals ranging in age from infancy through adulthood. Most of my research occurs in preschool and elementary schools where I examine sex differences in the use of various cooperative and competitive strategies. I employ methods drawn from the fields of animal behavior, evolutionary biology, cognition, economics, anthropology, neuroscience, sociology, and developmental psychology. I strongly encourage students interested in working on my research projects to contact me early in the Fall to discuss opportunities for collaboration.
- PSYCH2303 Child and Adolescent Psychology
- PSYCH2304 Adulthood and Aging
- PSYCH2701 Research Methods in Psychology
- PSYCH4100 Experimental Psychology
- FYS1101 War: What is it good for?
- FYS 1101: The Animal Within Us
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Duke University and a Doctorate in psychology from Harvard University. I have taught in Canada and England and arrived at Emmanuel in the fall of 2005.
Currently, I am an Associate Editor of The British Journal of Developmental Psychology. I also serve as an ad hoc reviewer for many developmental psychology journals. I am a member of the Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association (Developmental Psychology section), the American Anthropological Association (Evolutionary Anthropology section), the Society for Research in Child Development, Sigma Xi, and the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
- Benenson, J. F., Tennyson, R., & Wrangham, R. W. (2011). Male more than female infants imitate propulsive motion. Cognition, 121, 262-267.
- Benenson, J. F., Markovits, H., Emery Thompson, M., & Wrangham, R. W. (2011). Social exclusion threatens adult females more than males. Psychological Science, 22, 538-544.
- Markovits, H., & Benenson, J. F. (2010). Males outperform females in translating social relations into spatial positions. Cognition, 117, 332-340.
- Benenson, J. F., Rivard, R., & Markovits, H. (2010). Food availability differentially influences young males' and females' cognitive process in accordance with sexual selection theory. Biology Letters, 6, 250-252.
- Benenson, J. F. (2009). Dominating versus eliminating the competition: Sex differences in human intrasexual aggression. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32, 268-269.
- Benenson, J. F., Markovits, H., Emery Thompson, M., & Wrangham, R. W. (2009). Strength determines coalitional strategies in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 276, 2589-2595.
- Benenson, J. F., Markovits, H., Fitzgerald, C., Geoffroy, D., Fleming, J., Kahlenberg, S., & Wrangham, R. W. (2009). Males' greater tolerance of same-sex peers. Psychological Science, 20, 184-190.
- Benenson, J. F., Hodgson, L., Heath, S., & Welsh, P. J. (2008). Human sex differences in the use of social ostracism as a competitive tactic. International Journal of Primatology, 29, 1019-1035.
- Benenson, J. F., Antonellis, T. J., Cotton, B. J., Noddin, K. E., & Campbell, K. A. (2008). Sex differences in children's use of coalitions to obtain scarce resources. Animal Behaviour, 76, 497-505.