headshot photo of Dr. Eric Schniter

Dr. Eric Schniter

Lecturer, Clinical Faculty
Economic Science Institute
Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; Psychology
The George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics


Eric Schniter earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where trained as a human behavioral ecologist and evolutionary psychologist. His current research and instruction is in both evolutionary anthropology and behavioral economics. He has been examining the development of skill, knowledge and material production across the lifespan to better understand whether contributions of older adults may help explain the supported postmenopausal lifespan of humans. This work on aging and life history has led him to investigate relationship maintenance (communication, trust and cooperation), which is central to fostering material and knowledge transfers over the life course. Finally, he has been interested in how emotions calibrate personal and interpersonal behaviors, contributing to relationship maintenance and well-being. By exploring how skill development affects emotions and one's role in society, Schniter hopes to gain a better understanding of the determinants behind well-being across the lifespan.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Towner, M. C., Baldini, R., Beheim, B. A., Bowles, S., Colleran, H., Gurven, M., Kramer, K., Mattison, S, Nolin, D., Scelza, B., Schniter, E., Sear, R., Shenk, M., Voland, E., and Ziker, J. 2019. Differences between sons and daughters in the intergenerational transmission of wealth. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 374(1780), 20180076.
Koster, J., Lukas, D., Nolin, D., Power, E., Alvergne, A., Mace, R., Ross, C, Kramer, K., Greaves, R., Caudell, M., MacFarlan, S., Schniter, E., Quinlan, R., Mattison, S., Reynolds, A., Yi-Sum, C., and Massengill, E. 2019. Kinship ties across the lifespan in human communities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 374(1780), 20180069.
Kaplan, H., Schniter, E., Smith, V., Wilson, B. 2018. Experimental tests of the tolerated theft and risk-reduction theories of resource exchange. Nature Human Behaviour. 2: 383–388
Schniter, E., Wilcox, N., Beheim, B., Gurven, M., Kaplan, H. 2018. Information transmission and the oral tradition: evidence of a late-life service niche for Tsimane Amerindians. Evolution and Human Behavior. 39: 94-105.
Gómez-Miñambres, J., Schniter, E. 2017. Emotions and behavior regulation in decision dilemmas. Games, 8(2), 22.
Gómez-Miñambres, J., Schniter, E. 2017. Emotional calibration and self-control. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 68: 110-118.
Rietz, T., Schniter, E., Sheremeta, R.M., Shields, T.W. 2017. Trust, reciprocity, & rules. Economic Inquiry. 56(3): 1526-1542 .
Morris, J.J., Schniter, E. 2017. Black Queen markets: commensalism, dependency, and the evolution of cooperative specialization in human society. Journal of Bioeconomics. 20 (1): 69-105.
Schniter, E., Sheremeta, R.M., Shields, T.W. 2015. Conflicted emotions following trust-based interaction. Journal of Economic Psychology, 51: 48-65.
Corgnet, B., Hernán-González, R., Schniter, E. 2015. Why real leisure really matters: incentive effects on real effort in the laboratory. Experimental Economics, 18(2): 284-301.
Sznycer, D., Schniter, E., Tooby, J., Cosmides, L. 2015. Regulatory adaptations for delivering information: the case of confession. Evolution and Human Behavior. 36(1): 44-51.
Schniter, E., Gurven, M., Kaplan, H., Wilcox, N., Hooper, P. 2015. Skill ontogeny among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 158(1): 3-18.
Schniter, E. 2014. Older adults' contributions to the Tsimane forager-farmer economy. Anthropology and Aging 35(1): 56-58.
Schniter, E., Sheremeta, R. 2014. Predictable and predictive emotions: explaining cheap signals and trust re-extension. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 8:401.
Stieglitz, J., Schniter, E., Kaplan, H., von Rueden, C., Gurven, M. 2014. Functional disability and social conflict increase risk of depression in older adulthood among Bolivian forager-farmers. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences. 70(6), 948-956.
Schniter, E., Shields, T.W. 2014. Ageism, honesty, and trust. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 51: 19-29.
Gurven, M., Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Hooper, Paul L., Kaplan, H., Quinlan, R., Sear, R., Schniter, E., von Rueden, C., Bowles, S., Hertz, T., and Bell, A. 2010. Domestication Alone Does Not Lead to Inequality. Current Anthropology. 51(1):1-16.
Gurven, M., Schniter, E., 2010. An evolutionary perspective can help unify disparate accounts of grandparental investment. (commentary on D. Coall & R. Hertwig, “Grandparental Investment: Past, Present, and Future”) Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 33:25-26.
Borgerhoff Mulder, M., Bowles, S., Hertz, T., Bell, A., Beise, J., Clark, G., Fazzio, I., Gurven, M., Hill, K., Hooper, P.L., Irons, W., Kaplan, H., Leonetti, D., Low, B., Marlowe, F., McElreath, R., Naidu, S., Nolin, D., Piraino, P., Quinlan, R., Schniter, E., Sear, R., Shenk, M., Smith, E.A., von Rueden, C., Wiessner, P. 2009. Intergenerational Wealth Transmission and the Dynamics of Inequality in Small-Scale Societies”. Science. 326:682-688
Gurven, M., Zanolini, A., Schniter, E. 2008. Culture sometimes matter: intra-cultural variation in pro-social behavior among Tsimane Amerindians. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 67:587-607