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Candace Black

Candace Black

Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


  • Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory


Over the last 10 years, I've been involved in a number of research collaborations directed at understanding how environmental conditions impact development. The theoretical framework we often used--life history theory--suggests that humans have evolved cognitive tools that detect important cues in the environment bearing on survival and reproduction, and that behavior is a product of the strategic coordination of physiological, perceptual, motivational, and emotional systems designed to adapt to current conditions.  Life history theory turns much of conventional psychology on its head, reframing many so-called “dysfunctional” behaviors as adaptive responses to specific dimensions of environmental risk.

More recently, I served as quantitative analyst on a number of grant-funded projects. Of these projects, my participation in a multi-disciplinary task force to combat human trafficking had a notable impact on my scholarly and professional development. I gained experience working with numerous agencies involved in anti-trafficking efforts and was able to provide data-driven feedback to coalition leadership and stakeholders that impacted their focus and activities. These experiences were powerful and stood in contrast to much of my scholarly work which was heavily focused on theory, having little impact on the non-academic world.

My experience with the anti-trafficking task force showed me that multidisciplinary efforts are challenging but incredibly rewarding. As co-chair of itsTraining and Outreach Subcommittee, I engaged professionals from a variety of perspectives including law enforcement, court systems, and social services agencies. In one outreach event, I coordinated efforts with 43 volunteers to over 150 businesses in Tucson. During this event, our law enforcement outreach team recovered a 15-year-old juvenile sex trafficking victim; two other volunteer teams provided tips to law enforcement identifying one missing child and a potential business front for a sex and labor trafficking operation. These experiences have cemented my commitment to apply my scientific training toward human rights issues, trauma-informed health research, and our understanding of resilience.

I am currently developing a research program integrating my scholarly and applied work using a full-cycle psychology approach, wherein findings from experimental research can be tested and applied in real-world settings. Toward this end, I am cultivating research collaborations to elucidate the biological and social developmental pathways contributing to physical, sexual, and mental health. Applying the life history framework, I am especially interested in dimensions of environmental harshness such as poverty and extrinsic mortality. Additionally, I'd like to contribute to our understanding of environmental instability, particularly in childhood and adolescence, to identify its influence on developmental trajectories, risk behavior, and evolutionarily-informed interventions to improve quality of life.


  • PhD, Psychology, University of Arizona, 2016
  • MA, Psychology, California State University-Long Beach, 2008
  • BA, Psychology, California State University-Long Beach, 2005


Journal Articles


Black, C. J., A. J. Figueredo and W. J. Jacobs. 2017. Substance, history, and politics: An examination of the conceptual underpinnings of alternative approaches to the life history narrative. Evolutionary Psychology 15(1):1-16. DOI: 10.1177/1474704916670402. (link )

Black, C. J., M. Penaherrera-Aguirre, C. E. Chavarria Minera and A. J. Figueredo. 2017. The influence of life history strategies on regional variation in social and sexual equality in Italy, Spain and Mexico. Mankind Quarterly 57(3):338-354. (link )

Figueredo, A. J., T. Cabeza de Baca, H. B. Ferreira Fernandes, C. J. Black, M. Penaherrera-Aguirre, S. Hertler, R. A. Garcia, G. Meisenberg and M. A. Woodley of Menie. 2017. A sequential canonical cascade model of social biogeography: Plants, parasites, and people. Evolutionary Psychological Science 3(1):40-61. DOI: 10.1007/s40806-016-0073-5. (link )


Garcia, R. A., C. J. Black, V. Smith-Castro, T. Cabeza de Baca, M. Sotomayor-Peterson and A. J. Figueredo. 2016. Measures of domain-specific resource allocations in life history strategy: Indicators of a latent common factor or ordered developmental sequence?. Journal of Methods and Measurements in the Social Sciences 7(1):23-51. DOI: 10.2458/v7i1.18798. (link )


Figueredo, A. J., T. Cabeza de Baca, C. J. Black, R. A. Garcia, H. B. Ferreira Fernandes, P. S. Abril Wolf and M. A. Woodley of Menie. 2015. Methodologically sound:Evaluating the psychometric approach to the assessment of human life history [reply to Copping, Campbell, and Muncer, 2014]. Evolutionary Psychology 13(2):299-338. DOI: 10.1177/147470491501300202. (link )

Woodley of Menie, M. A., A. J. Figueredo, T. Cabeza de Baca, H. B. Ferreira Fernandes, G. Madison, P. S. Abril Wolf and C. J. Black. 2015. Strategic differentiation and integration of genomic-level heritabilities facilitate individual differences in preparedness and plasticity of human life history. Frontiers in Psychology 6:Art. 622. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00422. (link )


Figueredo, A. J., T. Cabeza de Baca and C. Black. 2014. No matter where you ho, there you are: The genetic foundations of temporal stability. Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences 5(2):76-106. DOI: 10.2458/azu_jmmss_v5i1_figueredo. (link )


Figueredo, A. J., C. J. Black and A. G. Scott. 2013. Complementary meta-analytic methods for the quantitative review of research: 1. A theoretical overview. Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences 4(2):21-45. DOI: 10.2458/azu_jmmss_v4i2_figueredo2. (link )

Figueredo, A. J., C. J. Black and A. G. Scott. 2013. Complementary meta-analytic methods for the quantitative review of research: 2. An extended illustration. Journal of Methods and Measurement n the Social Sciences 4(2):46-67. DOI: 10.2458/azu_jmmss_v4i2_figueredo. (link )


Figueredo, A. J., P. R. Gladden and C. J. Black. 2012. Parasite stress, ethnocentrism, and life history strategy. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35(2):87-88. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X11000999. (link )

Book Chapters


Black, C. J. and T. Cabeza de Baca. 2018. MHC compatibility. In: Shackelford, T. K. and V. A. Weekes-Shackelford eds., Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6. ISBN: 978-3-319-16999-6. (link )

Black, C. J., A. J. Figueredo and W. J. Jacobs. 2018. Life history theory. In: Zeigler-Hill, V. and T. K. Shackelford eds., Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8. ISBN: 978-3-319-28099-8. (link )


Sefcek, J. A., C. J. Black and P. S. Abril Wolf. 2015. Evolutionary perspectives of personality. Pp. 465-477 In: Zeigler-Hill, V., L. L. Welling and T. K. Shackelford eds., Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Psychology. Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-319-12696-8.


Figueredo, A. J., J. A. Sefcek, C. J. Black, R. A. Garcia and W. J. Jacobs. 2012. Evolutionary personalilty psychology. Pp. 111-117 In: Ramachandran, V. S. ed., Encyclopedia of Human Behavior. Elsevier Inc. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-375000-6.00390-6. ISBN: 978-0-08-096180-4. (link )