We study emergent social phenomena and the causes of violence and warfare. Much as sub-cellular processes can give rise to emergent structures and complex behavior, humans also produce emergent phenomena unintentionally, such as the structured villages seen in the satellite imagery above. ​We focus on how biological and psychological mechanisms interact with social processes and physical constraints to shape human behavior. Our major questions concern collective behavior, social institutions, and the origins of violence and warfare.


We prioritize understanding behavior in its real-world context. Thus we rely heavily on naturalistic field studies and maintain a long-term fieldsite among traditional populations in southwest Ethiopia. 

Recent News

  • Luke Glowacki awarded the 2019 New Investigator Award for the European Human Behavior and Evolution Association.  

Contact Us

Mailing Address

Department of Anthropology

Pennsylvania State University

420 Carpenter Building

University Park, PA 16802 



Glowacki 'at' psu 'dot' edu

Glowacki 'at' fas 'dot' harvard 'dot' edu