School of Psychology - Directory - People - Dr Shelli Dubbs

Dr Shelli Dubbs
  – Lecturer

Picture of 'Dr Shelli Dubbs'
Dr Shelli Dubbs
330 Building 24A (McElwain Building)
Extn 56421 (+617 3365 6421)
+617 3365 4466
Postal Address:

School of Psychology
University of Queensland
Queensland 4072

Picture of 'Dr Shelli Dubbs'
Dr Shelli Dubbs

Undergraduate: Arizona State University 2006

BS Psychology, BS Biology,

BA Anthropology 

Graduate: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Picture of 'Dr Shelli Dubbs'
Dr Shelli Dubbs
Research Activities:

As an evolutionary psychologist, I'm interested in the adaptive function of human behavior, seeking not only to explain how but also why people act as they do.

My work as a graduate student included examining human mating behavior, with an emphasis on how parents influence their children's mating decisions. This was a novel approach as research within the field of evolutionary psychology is often conducted under the assumption that individuals choose their own mates with little outside influence. Free choice, although common in industrialized, Western society, is historically and cross-culturally anomalous. Instead, parents often play a large role in their children mating decisions. Research on parental influence over mate choice has revealed that parents and children are often in conflict over mate choice. Parents find characteristics connoting parental investment and cooperation with the ingroup (i.e., wealthy, being the same ethnicity) as being relatively more important in a child’s mate choice, whereas children tend to emphasize the importance of genetic quality (i.e., physical attractiveness, creativity) in their mate choice.

I'm also investigating the role of intrasexual compeition in women and how this affects their attitudes and behaviors in a wide range of domains including eating habits, risk taking, spending patterns, work satisfaction and productivity, and interpersonal interactions.


Representative Publications:

Dubbs, S.L., Buunk, A.P., & Taniguchi, H. (2013). Parent-offspring Conflict in Japan and parental influence across six cultures. Japanese Psychological Research. doi:10.1111/jpr.12003

Lee, A.J., Dubbs, S.L., Kelly, A.J., von Hippel, W., Brooks, R.C., & Zietsch, B.P. (2013).Human facial attributes, but not perceived intelligence, are used as cues of health and resource provision potential. Behavioral Ecology. doi:10.1093/beheco/ars199 

van der Meij, L., Almela, M., Buunk, A.P, Dubbs, S.L., & Salvador, A. (2013). 2D:4D is negatively associated to aggressive dominance in men: a response to Voracek (2012). Aggressive Behavior, 39, 88-89.

Buunk, A.P, Pollet, T.V., Dubbs, S.L. (2012) Parental control over mate choice to prevent marriages with out-group members: A study among Mestizos, Mixtecs, and Blacks in Mexico. Human Nature, 23, 360-374. doi:10.1007/s12110-012-9149-5          

van der Meij, L., Almela, M., Buunk, A.P, Dubbs, S.L., & Salvador, A. (2012). 2D:4D in men is related to aggressive dominance but not to sociable dominance. Aggressive Behavior, 38, 208-212. 

Taniguchi, H., & Dubbs, S.L. (2012). Parental influence on their children's mating relationships among Japanese adolescents. Bulletin of the Center for Education Research and Training, Nagasaki University, 11, 107-110.

Dubbs, S.L., Buunk, A.P., & Li, J. (2011). Parental monitoring, sensitivity towards parents, and a child’s mate choice. Personal Relationships, 19, 712-722. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01388.x

Dubbs, S.L. & Buunk, A.P. (2010). Parents just don’t understand: Parent-offspring conflict over mate choice. Evolutionary Psychology, 8, 586-598.

Dubbs, S.L. & Buunk, A.P. (2010). Sex differences in parental preferences over a child’s mate-choice: A daughter’s perspective. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27, 1051-1059. doi: 10.1177/0265407510378666

Buunk, A. P., Park, J. H., & Dubbs, S. L. (2008). Parent–offspring conflict in mate preferences. Review of General Psychology, 12, 47-62. 

Buunk, A.P., Dubbs, S.L., & Van Hooff, J.A.R.A.M. (2012). Social Influence on Reproductive Behavior in Humans and Other Species. In D. Kenrick, N.        Goldstein and S. Braver (Eds.), Six degrees of social influence: Science, application and the psychology of Robert Cialdini. (pp.98-108). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Park, J.H., Dubbs, S.L., and Buunk, A.P. (2009). Parents, offspring and mate-choice conflicts. In H. Høgh-Oleson, J. Tønnesvang & P. Bertelsen (Eds.), Human characteristics – Evolutionary perspectives on human mind and kind (pp. 352 – 365). Cambridge: Cambridge University Scholars. 


Conference Presentations

Dubbs, S. L., Buunk, A. P., & Park, J. H. (2007, May). Parent–offspring conflict in mate preferences. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Williamsburg, VA, USA.

Dubbs, S. L., Buunk, A. P., & Park, J. H. (2007, August). Parent–offspring conflict in mate preferences. Poster presented at the Human Mind, Human Kind Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Characteristics, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark.

Dubbs, S. L., Buunk, A. P., & Park, J.H. (2008, April). Perceived Differences between mothers and fathers over offspring’s mate choice. Poster Presented at the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Conference, Montpellier, France.

Dubbs, S.L., Buunk, A.P., & Park, J.H. (2008, June). Parent-offspring conflict over mate choice in a Uruguayan sample.  Poster Presented at the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology, Opatija, Croatia.

Dubbs, S. L., Buunk, A.P., & Park, J.H. (2008, October). Parents Just Don’t Understand: Parent-Offspring Conflict over Mate-Choice. Talk presented at GRIEG Symposium:Groningen, the Netherlands.

Dubbs, S.L. & Buunk, A.P. (2009, February). Parents Just Don’t Understand: Parent Offspring Conflict over Preferences. Talk presented at Human Evolution and BehaviorNetwork Workshop, Leuven, Belgium.

Dubbs, S.L. & Buunk, A.P. (2009, April). Replication of Parent-Offspring Conflict over Mate Choice Using a Parent Sample. Poster Presented at the European Human Behavior and EvolutionSociety, St. Andrews, Scotland.

Dubbs, S.L. & Buunk, A.P. (2009, May). Why do my Parents Hate all of my Mates?! Parent Offspring Conflict over Mate-choice. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Fullerton, CA.

Dubbs, S.L. & Buunk, A.P. (2010, January). Just like Romeo and Juliet: Parent-offspring Conflict over Mate Choice. Poster Presented at the SPSP Evolutionary Preconference, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dubbs, S.L. & Buunk, A.P. (2010, July). Parents, children, and conflicts over mate choice. Talk presented at the International Association for Relationship Research, Herzliya, Israel.

Dubbs, S.L., Buunk, A.P., & Li, J. (2011, June). Parental monitoring, sensitivity, and a child’s mate choice. Talk presented at the Annual Meeting of the Human   Behavior and Evolution Society, Montpellier, France.

Dubbs, S.L. & Barlow, F.K. (2012, June). Parent-offspring conflict over mate choice: Fact or Artifact? Talk presented at the Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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