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Upcoming Event!

faculty research roundup

Thursday, October 29, 2020 2:15PM


 Faculty Research Roundup

 Join us for this years Faculty Research Roundup where our faculty will talk about their research along with potential opportunities for students. This year, we are hosting this event onlin through zoom and all are welcome to attend.


RSVP to Brittany Kiser to receive a virtual link.

JamesThursday, November 5, 2020 2:15-4:00pm 


 Evolution Rationalizes Human Risk and Time Preferences

James Holland Jones, Ph.D.

  Associate Professor, Department of Earth System Science, Woods Institution for the Environment, Stanford University  
Ph.D. Anthropology, Harvard University, MA, US


RSVP to Brittany Kiser to receive a virtual link.

Evolution Rationalizes Human Risk and Time Preferences

Abstract: By almost any measure, Homo sapiens is a spectacularly successful species. From humble origins approximately two million years ago, humans have grown to a population that exceeds seven billion and have colonized -- and come to dominate -- nearly every terrestrial biome. This phenomenal growth suggests that, on average, our ancestors made very good decisions. Yet an avalanche work from psychology and economics suggests that the decision-making software that our brains run seems to be profoundly flawed — that we are, in a word, irrational. How can we reconcile this paradox? Humans are biological entities and, as such, we are subject to the laws of evolution. However, when the rules for rational decision-making were discovered and formalized, this fact was ignored. It turns out that the rules for a living organism, anchored in the present and subject to a force of selection which is extremely averse to extinction, are quite different from the rules of abstract, formal rationality. I will show how the all-important need to avoid extinction in a world that is at best incompletely known has profound implications for preferences, utility, and rationality. By ignoring the condition of existential uncertainty, the theory of rational decision-making has developed distorted expectations of how an organism working in its own best interest should behave. I will discuss some of the classic distortions from the rational choice paradigm relating to time and risk preferences revealed by behavioral economics and show how thinking about the way that selection shaped human decision-making rationalizes preferences and has the potential to unify an otherwise disparate collection of anomalies.


Covid-19 @ The U

There are many changes happening currently and the Department of Anthropology and larger university community are here to help in this challenging time. The department will continue to post updates and resources.



A number of services are available to students at this time. Below are ones we're frequently asked about. For an updated comprehensive list of services that remain open please visit


Emergency Funds Application

Students can apply for emergency grants based upon need and available funding. If you are facing financial difficulties during this time, please submit an application.

Feed U Pantry

The FeedU pantry in the Union building is closed. For information on requesting food for a curbside pick up, visit the Union’s Covid-19 page at

Parking proration

Students who will no longer use their parking permit for the remainder of the semester may request a prorated refund by emailing Permits purchased in August or mid-September 2019, are not eligible for the prorated refund as their value has already been utilized.

Campus Recreation Services

The Eccles Student Life Center is closed until further notice, but staff still are streaming classes in yoga, cardio boxing and Pilates, among others. Check the schedule to sign up.


Student Wellness Center

While STD testing and pleasure packs are on hold, the Student Wellness Center still is providing many virtual services, including victim-survivor advocacy and Zoom office hours with health educators beginning April 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.

University Counseling Center

Counseling services are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments provided by telephone or secure video feed.

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 801-581-6431 if you are experiencing symptoms such as high fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Victim-Survivor Advocates

Victim-Survivor Advocates provide free, confidential and trauma-informed support services to students, faculty and staff who have experienced interpersonal violence (i.e. domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and rape, sexual harassment, stalking, etc.). Schedule an appointment here.

Crisis Intervention & Hospital Diversion

University of Utah Health provides free crisis response and hospital diversion programs that aim to keep all our family members, friends and neighbors safe. Services are available 24/7 here.


Anthropology Advising

Questions about anthropology? Ready to declare as an anthropology major? Book an advising appointment with Anthropology Advisor Dr. Shawn Carlyle


At this time, undergraduate Advisors in CSBS are continuing to be available to you through phone and video appointments.  Please visit this link to schedule an appointment or email advisors with questions.

You can also contact an advisor directly via email – though this may not replace the need for a full appointment. You can find advisor contact information in the same link above.

Additionally, the following advisors will hold “Chat” time for Walk-In Wednesday on March 18th from 1-3pm:

  • Ally Marringa and Stacy Morris for ANTH, ENVST, GEOG/GIS
  • Nic O’Shea from ECON, HSP and POLS
  • Taryn Horner and Maddi Olsen for CRIM, FCHD, PSY and SOC

We are using a “chat” feature on ConnexEd, which you can access here. Sort the CSBS advisors by Major, and that will lead you to appointment scheduling cards for each advisor, and you can now select “Chat with Advisor” and instant message with one of these advisors.

Finally, if you have any questions and do not know who or how to reach out to anyone, then email Bobbi Davis, CSBS Director for Student Services, at or call 801-581-7579.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


Donate to Anthropology Students

With the help of alumni, donors and friends of Anthropology, we provide scholarships to reward meritorious students and assist those who face financial burdens in funding their education. 


Undergraduate Programs

Anthropology Major

Anthropology is the study of human beings; their cultures, biology, behaviors, and their changes through time (evolution). 


Anthropology Minor

Because we study all aspects of humans, anthropology is holistic and inter-disciplinary and anthropologists work hand-in-hand with other sciences such as biology, physiology, sociology and psychology—just to name a few.


Integrative Human Biology Minor (IHB)

Engage in research in human form and function, human evolution and biological variation, human behavior, and the roles humans play in local and global ecosystems. Students will acquire the broad but rigorous background they will need as professionals in the 21st-century health sciences and many other fields that engage directly with aspects of human adaptation and welfare.



Have a question about anthropology? Ready to declare?



Last Updated: 10/26/20