Prof. Tamás Bereczkei is Professor in Psychology, with biological and phylosophical background. His interest encompasses fields like sexual attractiveness, mate choice, reproductive behavior, altruism and prosocial behavior, socialization during childhood, and others (see Research and Publications). His main goal is to apply evolutionary approach to psychological problems, and then search for proximate mechanisms underlying adaptive designs. The results of these studies have been published in international journals such as Evolution and Human Behavior, Human Nature, Current Anthropology, Proceedings of Royal Society, Personality and Individual Differences, etc. He is leader of Evolutionary Research Group in the Institute of Psychology (University of Pécs, Hungary), and the co-editor of Journal of Evolutionary Psychology.
Phone/Fax: +36 72 501516 (Office)
Prof Bereczkei Tamas
PTE BTK Pszichologia Intezet
7624 Pecs, Ifjusag utja 6.
1. Altruism, Cooperation, Generosity
One of the key questions in evolutionary biology and psychology is why individuals help strangers without the possibility of return (Batson et a. 2003, Bowles and Gintis 2004, Gintis et al. 2003, Fehr and Rockenbach 2004). Several scholars raised the idea that during most stages of human evolution humans evolved in small groups with frequently repeated interactions and reputation-building mechanisms (Fehr and Rockenbach 2003, Johnson et al., 2003). Individual selection can favour cooperative strategies directed towards recipients that have helped others in the past. More...
It has been assumed that the manipulative behavior characteristic of Machiavellianism cannot work efficiently without the refined use of the theory of mind Good mind readers – that is, people who can easily project themselves into the thoughts of others and understand their intentions, beliefs and knowledge – can use this ability more efficiently for achieving their goals than people with weaker mindreading capacity. More...
3. Adult mindreading
In a study we have made an attempt to clarify the relationship between mindreading capacity and the ability and commitment for social contact (Paal and Bereczkei 2006). The basic hypothesis is that one’s achievement in theory of mind - the ability to construct mental representations of the mental states of other people – deeply influences the ways one shapes social relationships. In order to evaluate the individual differences in mindreading capacity, a series of 14 stories were read to participants, that required listeners to understand the perspective and intentions of the actors. More...
4. Homogamy, Sexual Imprinting
The studies of so-called homogamy have shown that the majority of mates resemble each other in a high number of traits. We suggest that imprinting-like mechanisms, rather than “direct” genetic detection (phenotype matching) are responsible for choosing similar mates. Under the influence of family background children internalize the phenotype of their opposite-sex parent as a template for acquiring mates. More...
5. Physical Attractiveness, Facial Beauty
Recently, we have achieved a research program in which certain general principles of attractiveness will be studied (Mesko 2007). First, we compose average female faces, then each facial trait on these faces is changed using a specific computer program (that means increasing or decreasing the measure of lip and jaw, enlarging or reducing the size of the eye, etc.). We are interested in the relationships among various facial features; how each of them contributes to the attractiveness judgment as a whole. More...
6. Mate Choice
According to the recent evolutionary theory, males and females have been selected for different kinds of mate preferences as behavioral adaptations in our ancestral past. These psychological algorithms, on the other hand, are open to ecological/cultural changes in the contemporary societies and, as a consequence, there are permanent trade-offs between the possible behavioral outputs in mate choice. More...
7. Life History Strategies
In an early study, Hungarian Gypsies were described as r-strategists compared to non-Gypsy Hungarians in terms of birth weight, fertility, mortality, etc (Bereczkei 1993). A more recent paper has revealed that the extensiveness of kinship networks and the degree of the relatives’ assistance with childcare were strongly predictive of fertility among Gypsies. More...
8. Parental Investment, Discriminative Childcare
Parental psychology has been shaped by selection to make adaptive decisions about the timing and amount of investment in offspring. The probability of future reproduction is expected to be higher when the resources available for a mother would have greater fitness returns if they have been consumed for the subsequent offspring, rather than for a present one. More...
9. Developmental Trajectories, Socialization
An evolutionary theory of socialization suggests that individuals have been selected for a capacity to adjust life histories in response to environmental conditions, and variations in developmental patterns are considered as adaptive answers to different circumstances. Humans possess innate learning rules that guide behaviour during an early sensitive period. More...
10. Evolutionary Psychology and Psychoanalysis
In one of our studies we attempted to reinterpret Freud’s key-concept, the Oedipus complex, or at least a few of its elements, and reconcile it with the evidence coming from the modern empirical science (Bereczkei and Gyuris 2007). Based on the results of former researches, we argued that the original Freudian assumptions about humans’ desire to establish incestuous relationship with the mother, and in general humans’ incestuous drives, cannot be justified. More...
Evolutionary psychology (in Hungarian and in English).
- Evolutionary approach to psychology
- Group formation
- Altruism, cooperation, generosity
- Dominance, aggression
- Sexual strategies
- Mate choice
- Fertility, reproduction
- Parental strategies
- Evolution of mind
- Evolutionary algorythms of reasoning and decisions
- Evolutionary origin of culture
Publications (selected publications in English)
- Putz, Á., Palotai, R., Csertő, I., & Bereczkei, T. (2016). Beauty stereotypes in social norm enforcement: The effect of attractiveness on third-party punishment and reward. Personality and Individual Differences, 88, 230-235. - pdf
- Paál, T., & Bereczkei, T. (2015). Punishment as a means of competition: implications for strong reciprocity theory. PloS one, 10(3), e0120394. - pdf
- Bereczkei, T., Papp, P., Kincses, P., Bodrogi, B., Perlaki, G., Orsi, G., & Deak, A. (2015). The neural basis of the Machiavellians’ decision making in fair and unfair situations. Brain and cognition, 98, 53-64.
- Bereczkei, T., Szabo, Z. P., & Czibor, A. (2015). Abusing Good Intentions.SAGE Open, 5(2), 2158244015593119.- pdf
- Bereczkei, T. (2015). The manipulative skill: Cognitive devices and their neural correlates underlying Machiavellian’s decision making. Brain and cognition, 99, 24-31. - pdf
- Ináncsi, T., Láng, A., & Bereczkei, T. (2015). Machiavellianism and Adult Attachment in General Interpersonal Relationships and Close Relationships.Europe's Journal of Psychology, 11(1), 139. - pdf
- Birkás, B., Csathó, Á., Gács, B., & Bereczkei, T. (2015). Nothing ventured nothing gained: Strong associations between reward sensitivity and two measures of Machiavellianism. Personality and Individual Differences, 74, 112-115. pdf
- Birkás, B., Dzhelyova, M., Lábadi, B., Bereczkei, T., & Perrett, D. I. (2014). Cross-cultural perception of trustworthiness: The effect of ethnicity features on evaluation of faces’ observed trustworthiness across four samples. Personality and Individual Differences, 69, 56-61.
- Czibor, A., Vincze, O., Bereczkei, T. (2014). Feelings and motives underlying Machiavellian behavioural strategies; narrative reports in a social dilemma situation. International Journal of Psychology - link
- Mesko, N., Lang, A., Czibor, A., Szijjarto, L. & Bereczkei, T. (2014). Compete and Compromise: Machiavellianism and Conflict Resolution. Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies. 19 (1), 14-18. - pdf
- Kovács-Bálint Zs., Bereczkei, T. & Hernádi, I. (2013). The telltale face: Posiible mechanisms behind defector and cooperatot recognition revealed by emotional facial expression metrics. British Journal of Psychology - online
- Bereczkei, T., Deak, A., Papp, P., Perlaki, G., & Gergely, O. (2013). Neural correlates of Machiavellian strategies in a social dilemma task. Brain and Cognition, 82, 108-116. -pdf
- Kocsor, F., Feldman, A., Bereczkei, T. & Kállai, J. (2013). Assessing facial attractiveness: individual decisions and evolutionary constraints. Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology 3: 21432. DOI: 10.3402/snp.v3i0.21432
- Esperger Zs. & Bereczkei, T. (2012) Machiavellianism and Spontaneous Mentalization: One Step Ahead of Others. European Journal of Personality, 26 (6), 580-587.
- Czibor, A. and Bereczkei T. (2012) Machiavellian people’s success results from monitoring their partners.Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 202-206. (in press)
- Kovács-Bálint ZS., Tamás Bereczkei, and István Hernádi (2012): The telltale face: Posiible mechanisms behind defector and cooperatot recognition revealed by emotional facial expression metrics. British Journal of Psychology. (in press)
- Kocsor, F., Rezneki, R., Juhász, Sz., Bereczkei T. (2011) Facial self-resemblance and attractiveness in human mate choice. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 1263-1270.
- Bereczkei, T. Birkas, B., and Kerekes, Zs. (2010) The presence of others, prosocial traits, Machiavellism. A personality X situation approach. Social Psychology 41, 238-245.
- Gyuris, P., Járai, R., and Bereczkei, T. (2010) The effect of childhood experiences on mate choice in personality tratis: Homogamy and sexual imprinting. Personality and Individual Differences 49, 467-472.
- Bereczkei T., Birkas B., and Kerekes Zs. (2010) Altruism towards strangers in need: costly signaling in an industrial society. Evolution and Human Behavior 31, 95-103.
- Bereczkei T. and P. Gyuris (2009) Oedipus complex, mate choice, imprinting: An evolutionary reconsideration of a Freudian concept based on an empirical study. The Mankind Quaterly 1, 71-94.
- Bereczkei T., Birkas B., and Kerekes Zs. (2007) Public charity offer as a proximate factor of evolved reputation-building strategy: An experimental analysis of a real life situation. Evolution and Human Behavior 28: 277-284.
- Paal T. and Bereczkei T (2007). Adult theory of mind, Machiavellianism, and cooperation: the effect of mindreading on social relations. Personality and Individual Differences 43: 541-551.
- Kállai J., Karádi K., Bereczkei T., Sándor R., Jacobns J., and Nadel, L. (2007) Spatial exploration behaviour in an extended labyrinth in patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Psychiatry Research 149: 223-230.
- Birkás B., Bereczkei T., Kerekes Zs. (2006) Generosity, reputation, and costly signaling: a preliminary study of altruism toward unfamiliar people. Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology 4: 173-182.
- Bereczkei, T., Gyuris, P., and Weisfeld, G.(2005) Sexual imprinting in human mate choice. Szondiana, 5, 5-15
- Sanders G, Bereczkei T, Csatho A, et al. (2005) The ratio of the 2(nd) ro 4(th) finger length predicts spatial ability in men but not in women. Cortex 41: 789-795
- Tisljar, R. and Bereczkei, T. (2005) An evolutionary interpretation of humor and laughter. Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology, 2-3.
- Petra Gyuris, Laszlo Bernáth, and Tamas Bereczkei (2005) Homogamy, personality, and mate choice among heterosexual and homosexual men. Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology 2-3.
- Bereczkei, T., Gyuris, P., and Weisfeld, G. (2004) Sexual imprinting in human mate choice. Proceedings of Royal Society 271: 1129-1134.
- Mesko N. and Bereczkei T. (2004) Hairstyle as an adaptive means of displaying phenotypic quality. Human Nature15: 251-270.
- Csathó Á. and Bereczkei T. (2003) Effect of males’ status and facial attractiveness on direct childcare. Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology 1: 123-130.
- Bereczkei, T. and Dunbar, R. (2002) Helping-at-the-nest and reproduction in a Hungarian Gypsy population. Current Anthropology 43: 804-809.
- Bereczkei, T., Gyuris, P., Koves, P., and Bernath, L. (2002) Homogamy, genetic similarity, and imprinting; parental influence on mate choice preferences. Personality and Individual Differences 33: 677-690. pdf
- Bereczkei, T. and Csanaky, A. (2001) Stressful family environment, mortality, and child socialisation: Life-history strategies among adolescents and adults from unfavourable social circumstances. International Journal of Behavioral Development 25: 501-508.
- Bereczkei T. (2001) Maternal trade-off in treating high-risk children. Evolution and Human Behavior 22: 197-212.
- Bereczkei T. (2000) Evolutionary psychology: A new perspective in the behavioral sciences. European Psychologist 5: 459-481. pdf
- Bereczkei T. (1998): Kinship network, direct childcare, and fertility among Hungarian Gipsies. Evolution and Human Behavior. 19: 234-245. pdf
- Bereczkei, T. and Dunbar, R.I.M. (1997) Female-biased reproductive strategies in two Gipsy populations. The Royal Society Proceedings 264: 17-22.
- Bereczkei, T., Voros, A., Gal, A., and Bernath, L. (1997) Resources, attractiveness, family commitment; Reproductive decisions in mate choice. Ethology 103: 681-699.
- Bereczkei, T. and Csanaky, A. (1996) Evolutionary Pathway of Child Development; Lifestyles of Adolescents and Adults from Father-Absent Families. Human Nature 7: 257-280.
- Bereczkei, T. and Csanaky, A (1996): Mate choice, marital success, and reproduction in a modern society. Ethology and Sociobiology 17: 23-45.
- Bereczkei T. (1995) The Sondi's Legacy: Innate Dispositions Influence Our Choices. A sociobiological reinterpretation of the Szondi-theory. Szondiana, 15: 8-26.
- Bereczkei T. (1993) r-selected reproductive strategies among Hungarian Gipsies. Ethology and Sociobiology 14: 71-88.
- Bereczkei T. (1993) An intellectual legacy: The acceptance of sociobiology in the East-European Countries. Biology and Phylosophy 8: 399-407.
- Bereczkei T. (1992) Biological Evolution, Genotropism, and Psychopathology: A reinterpretation of a psychoanalytical theory, Szondiana 12: 32-52.