Dr. Christopher von Rueden looks at leadership through the lens of anthropology.
An anthropologist with expertise in small-scale societies, his research focuses on status hierarchy, including how status is acquired, the reproductive and health consequences of status, how status differences and leader-follower dynamics contribute to group performance, and the effects of demographic and ecological change on status hierarchy.
At the Jepson School, he teaches courses such as Leadership in Cultural and Historical Contexts and Leadership and the Social Sciences.
In addition to his work on status, Dr. von Rueden has published journal articles and presented on topics such as why humans differ in personality traits, and why we have such unique life histories among primates.
Dr. von Rueden conducts ethnographic fieldwork with the Tsimane’ forager-horticulturalists of lowland Bolivia. His work with the Tsimane’ is part of a larger project (the Tsimane’ Health and Life History Project) that investigates aging, health, and social behavior in a small-scale human population.
He is affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute and the Culture and the Mind Project. He is investigating social networks in traditional human societies with the Santa Fe Institute and studying the effects of culture on moral cognition with the Culture and the Mind Project.
Dr. von Rueden received a doctorate in anthropology, with an emphasis in cognitive science, from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Harvard University.
How social status affects your health (New York Times)
Mon., Dec. 15, 2014
Leader Emergence in Task Groups
Evolution of Cooperation and Morality
Social Gradient of Health
Origins of Personality Differences