Margery Lucas

Professor Emerita of Psychology and Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences


My research focuses on economic decision-making from an evolutionary perspective.

I am broadly interested in human behavior and cognition and the role of evolution in the study of the mind. More specifically, my research interests are in the area of economic choice. In my research I typically use economic tasks to study the conditions that elicit fairness and generosity or competition over resources. I am also interested in the effects of impulsivity on making decisions.

I currently have a joint appointment in psychology and cognitive and linguistic sciences. I teach courses that are cross-listed across the two disciplines, including classes on evolution and human behavior, the psychology of language, and decision-making. I also teach a seminar in psychology on cooperation and competition. I mentor students in the cognitive and linguistic sciences program, which trains students in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of mind and language. I am the advisor for students in the program who are interested in pursuing a concentration in psychology.

In my teaching, I aim to help students to become better critical thinkers, to be able to evaluate evidence, and to appreciate the importance of evolutionary theory in the understanding of mind and behavior. I also encourage students to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of psychology and to apply ideas and insights from academic research to real-world issues.

Favorite Links:

Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences Interdepartmental Major

The Edge

Psychological Science


  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., University of Rochester
  • Ph.D., University of Rochester