Research interests: Evolutionary psychology, evolution of sociality, psychology of cooperation and punishment, ecological rationality, psychology of foraging
Max received his B.A and then Ph.D in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in the area of Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology.
Max's primary line of research focuses on the evolutionary origins and computational design of the mechanisms underlying human cooperation and social behavior. Why are we more generous, trusting and cooperative, but also vengeful and punitive than an otherwise rational analysis would predict? He has been exploring how the answers to these questions neatly fall out by considering reliable features of the ancestral ecology and simple cognitive mechanisms that could evolve to benefit from them.