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Dr. Max Krasnow

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Max Krasnow is an instructor at Harvard Extension School and was associate professor of psychology at Harvard University. He received his PhD in psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in the area of developmental and evolutionary psychology. His research primarily focuses on the evolutionary origins and computational design of the mechanisms underlying human cooperation and social behavior. Highlighted in brief in his TEDx talk (Link:, Dr. Krasnow’s work has shown how simple facets of human natural history have shaped our social psychology to be more trusting, kind and cooperative, while also more retributive, aggressive and punitive than a ‘rational’ analysis would suggest. Other lines of research have revealed the origins of human musical psychology in the ancestral conflict between parents and infants over attention, and specializations within human spatial cognition for plant-food gathering. Interested in this research? PDFs of these papers are available at:

At Harvard Extension Dr. Krasnow teaches Evolutionary Psychology (Psych E-1356), Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Psych E-1900), capstone sequences in Psychometrics (Psych E-597c & E-599c) and Applied Educational Psychology (Psych E-597d & E-599d), and supervises ALM thesis student research. He is developing a new course on Sex, Gender & Evolution for Fall 2023.

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