Dr. David Frederick is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. He began teaching at Chapman in 2012. Growing up in rural upstate New York, he became fascinated with animal behavior, and his original dream was to chase monkeys around Africa as a primatologist. This spurred him to study how social and biological factors interact to shape the bodies, brains, and preferences of human and nonhuman animals. He enjoys teaching Research Methods, where students are taught how to use experimental and correlational research designs to understand studies on current issues such as debates over affirmative action and the causes of the wage gap between men and women, to how we can accurately measure people’s emotions. He also enjoys teaching Human Sexuality, where students learn how hormones, evolved biological systems, and social constructions can explain cross-cultural differences in sexuality, people’s mating preferences, factors shaping sexual orientation, and how doctors respond to intersex babies.
Dr. David Frederick examines how social transmission processes and our evolved psychology interact to influence our perceptions of what is attractive and our close relationships. His work uses perspectives from social psychology, health psychology, and evolutionary psychology to better understand human motivations and attractions. He also investigates the factors shaping body image dissatisfaction, health, self-regulation, and close relationships among gay, lesbian, and heterosexual men and women. This work investigates how these experiences differ for ethnic minority versus majority men and women.
To examine these factors, he conducts large-scale cross-cultural projects, assesses biological factors such as hormone levels, conduct experimental studies, and make use of archival datasets of 5,000-80,000 participants generated by NBCNews.com and Match.com on topics related to relationships, sexuality, and body image.
His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and UCLA, and in 2013 he was featured as a “Rising Star” in psychological research by the Association for Psychological Science. He collaborates with researchers at University of California, Los Angeles, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Indiana University, and University of Westminster.
He has delivered numerous national and international presentations on his infertility research in the United States and Europe. He currently serves on the editorial board of two academic journals: Body Image: An International Journal of Research and the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology. He has published articles in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Evolution and Human Behavior, Hormones and Behavior, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Review of General Psychology, Body Image, Sex Roles, Journal of Men and Masculinity, Psychological Topics, Personality and Individual Differences, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and Evolutionary Psychology.