James Roney

James Roney


Research Area

Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology


Jim Roney received a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Psychology/Human Development from the University of Chicago. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2002, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Mind and Biology before joining the UCSB faculty in 2004. His research combines evolutionary psychology with human behavioral endocrinology and is broadly focused on discovering the evolved functions of hormones as they relate to the regulation of human psychology and behavior.


My research takes a functional approach to human endocrinology and seeks to delineate how hormones produce coordinated output effects that are adaptive responses to specific input conditions. One broad line of research has investigated reactive hormone increases that occur during initial encounters with potential mates, which generally replicate patterns seen in many nonhuman species and suggest an endocrine code for human partner choice. A second major line of research has investigated how shifts in ovarian hormones across the menstrual cycle predict functional changes in women’s motivational priorities.

Selected Publications

Roney, J. R., & Simmons, Z. L. (2017). Ovarian hormone fluctuations predict within-cycle shifts in women's food intake. Hormones and Behavior, 90, 8-14.

Roney, J. R. (2016). Theoretical frameworks for human behavioral endocrinology. Hormones and Behavior, 84,97-110.

Eisenbruch, A. B., Grillot, R. L., Maestripieri, D., & Roney, J. R. (2016). Evidence of partner choice heuristics in a one-shot bargaining game. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37, 429-439.

Roney, J. R., & Simmons, Z. L. (2015). Elevated psychological stress predicts reduced estradiol concentrations in young women. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 1, 30-40.

Roney, J. R., & Simmons, Z. L. (2013). Hormonal predictors of sexual motivation in natural menstrual cycles. Hormones and Behavior, 63, 636-645.

Lukaszewski, A. W., & Roney, J. R. (2011). The origins of extraversion: Joint effects of facultative calibration and genetic polymorphism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 409-421.

Roney, J. R., Simmons, Z. L., & Lukaszewski, A. W. (2010). Androgen receptor gene sequence and basal cortisol concentrations predict men's hormonal responses to potential mates. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 277, 57-63.

Roney, J. R. (2009). The role of sex hormones in the initiation of human mating relationships. In P. T. Ellison & P. B. Gray (Eds.), The endocrinology of social relationships (pp. 246-269). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.