About the APE Lab
We study the behavioral manifestations of genetic conflict - or how the genes we inherit from our parents “fight” with each other and the impact that this conflict has on behavior and psychological processes. You can learn more about some of the nuances in genetic conflict here. Specifically, we are interested in how understanding how these “disagreements” at the genetic level influence the ways individuals grow, develop, behave, and, ultimately, influence their social relationships during their lives including maternal-fetal relationships, familial and affinal (in-law) relationships, and friendships and rivalries.
Dr. Jessica D. Ayers
Director and PI
Dr. Jessica D. Ayers is an Evolutionary Social Psychologist and the director of the APE Lab at Boise State University. As an undergraduate, Dr. Ayers realized that she was interested in one simple question: why do people act the way they do? Her interest in this question led Dr. Ayers to earn her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Anthropology and her M.A. in Experimental Psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Arizona State University.
APE Lab members Spring 2023
Left to right: Conner Avila, Glenn Reese, Zoe Lister, Madelyn Cardwell, Caley Lynch, Abigail Elliott, Megan Hughes, Dr. Ayers
Not pictured: Elyse Englestadter
APE Lab members Fall 2022
Left to right: Dr. Ayers, Abigail Elliott, Madelyn Cardwell, Ranya Al-Mandawi, Megan Hughes
Not pictured: Megan Kirtner, Stela Nina
How genetic conflict theory can inform studies of human nature
Published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in February 2024.
COVID-19 and friendships: Agreeableness and neuroticism are associated with more concern about COVID-19 and friends' risky behaviors
Published in Personality and Individual Differences in October 2023.
Competitive scenarios increase competition in women: A meta-analysis
Published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences in early 2023.
A factor analytic examination of women's and men's friendship preferences
Published in Personality and Individual Differences in February 2023.
Recent Lab SciComm
Here are some of our recent science communication (SciComm) publications from the lab.
Friendship research is getting an update – and that’s key for dealing with the loneliness epidemic
SciComm piece published in The Conversation that discusses why more research on friendship is needed to address loneliness.
Pregnancy is a genetic battlefield – how conflicts of interest pit mom’s and dad’s genes against each other
SciComm piece published in The Conversation that discusses what genetic conflict is.
APE Lab Blog
Read about the independent research projects that research assistants are working on in the lab!