Dylan Benkley

Dylan Benkley

Graduate Student



Leda Cosmides

Research Area

Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology


Dylan Benkley earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University. After working for a couple companies in the medical device industry he attended the UC Berkeley Post-baccalaureate program in Psychology earning his certificate in 2019. Dylan started his PhD in 2020 working with Leda Cosmides. When not doing research he loves getting into the outdoors to camp and hike.


My research is primarily focused on understanding the evolved mechanisms of prosocial behavior and the mechanisms that allow humans to cooperate in a variety of circumstances. I am interested in discovering how various selection pressures in our ancestral history may have created different adaptations for such behavior. I am also interested in the evolved social functions of emotions. Specifically, how can we map the computational architecture of the diverse set of emotions that humans have in order to understand their adaptive functions.

[Evolutionary Psychology, mechanisms of cooperation, prosocial behavior, evolved functions of emotions]