Faculty & Staff

ELSA ERMER

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

I A P S, DERNER INSTITUTE

BLODGETT HALL
ROOM 212B

p - 516-877-4824

f - 516-877-4805

e - EERMER@ADELPHI.EDU

w - http://sites.google.com/site/els aermer/home

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Diplomas/Degrees

PhD, University of California Santa Barbara (2007)
MA, University of California Santa Barbara (2002)
BA, Franklin & Marshall College (2000)

Recent Courses

Cognition & Affect
Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Neuropsychology
Psychological Research
Psychological Research Lab

Research Interests

My research examines human reasoning, judgment, and decision-making mechanisms hypothesized to be specialized for the social world, using methods from experimental psychology, experimental economics, and cognitive neuroscience. My research focuses on the design features of information-processing mechanisms for social cognition, their biological and neural basis, and the extent to which these mechanisms impaired or preserved in clinical and forensic populations (e.g., psychopathy, schizophrenia, autism). A thread running through my research is the comparison of normative theories drawn from probability, logic, and economics versus models of computational design based on evolutionary biology and principles of ecological rationality.

Grants/Sponsored Research

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institute of Mental Health, 2010-2012.

DOE Mind Research Network Internal Award grant, 2010-2011.

Humanities/Social Sciences research grant, Graduate Division, UCSB, 2005-2006.

UCSB/Dartmouth Brain Imaging Program research grant, 2002-2004.

Book Chapters

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2007). Functional specialization and the adaptationist program. In S. W. Gangestad & J. A. Simpson (Eds.). The Evolution of Mind: Fundamental Questions and Controversies. (pp. 153-159). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2007). Cheater detection mechanism. In R. F. Baumiester & K. D. Vohs (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. (pp. 138-140). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Refereed Articles

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Cope, L.M., Ermer, E., Nyalakanti, P., Calhoun, V.D., & Kiehl, K.A. (2013), Paralimbic gray matter reductions in incarcerated adolescent females with psychopathic traits. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, in press.

Brevers, Noel, Ermer, Verbanck, & Kornreich (2013), Unfairness sensitivity and social decision-making in individuals with alcohol dependence: A preliminary study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 133, 772-775.

Kornreich, C., Brevers, D., Ermer, E., Verbanck, P., Campanella, S., & Noel, X. (2013), Polysubstance dependent patients display a more utilitarian profile in moral decision-making than alcohol-dependent patients, depressive patients, and controls. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 132, 434-440.

Ermer, E., Cope, L.M., Nyalakanti, P. K., Calhoun, V.D., & Kiehl, K. A. (2013), Aberrant paralimbic gray matter in incarcerated male adolescents with psychopathic traits. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 52, 94-103.

Kornreich, C., Brevers, D., Canivet, D., Ermer, E., Naranjo, C., Constant, E., Verbanck, P., Campanella, S., & Noel, X. (2013), Impaired processing of emotion in music, faces, and voices supports a generalized emotional decoding deficit in alcoholism. Addiction, 108, 80-88.

Kornreich, C., Delle-Vigne, D., Campanella, S., Noel, X., Papgeorgiou, C., Brown, O., Verbanck, P., & Ermer, E. (2012), Conditional reasoning difficulties in polysubstance dependence patients. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26, 665-671.

Ermer, E., Cope, L. M., Nyakalanti, P. K., Calhoun, V. D., & Kiehl, K. A. (2012), Aberrant paralimbic gray matter in criminal psychopathy. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 649-658.

Ermer, E., Kahn, R. E., Salovey, P., & Kiehl, K. A. (2012), Emotional intelligence in incarcerated men with psychopathic traits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 194-204.

Kornreich, C., Delle-Vigne, D., Knittel, J., Nerincx, A., Campanella, S., Noel, X., Verbanck, P., & Ermer, E. (2011), Impaired conditional reasoning in alcoholics: a negative impact on social interactions and risk-prone behaviors? Addiction, 106, 951-959.

Ermer, E., & Kiehl, K. A. (2010), Psychopaths are impaired in social exchange and precautionary reasoning. Psychological Science, 21, 1399-1405.

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2008), Relative status regulates risky decision-making about resources in men: Evidence for the co-evolution of motivation and cognition. Evolution & Human Behavior, 29, 106-118.

Ermer, E., Guerin, S. A., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., & Miller, M. B. (2006), Theory of mind broad and narrow: Reasoning about social exchange engages TOM areas, precautionary reasoning does not. Social Neuroscience, 1, 196-219.


Invited Presentation/Lecture

Ermer, E (2008, February). Coalitional support and the regulation of welfare tradeoff ratios. Evolutionary Psychology Pre-conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Albuquerque, NM.


Conference Presentations/Papers

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Ermer, E., Greene, J. D., & Kiehl, K. A. (2013). Abnormal moral judgments in psychopathy. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Miami Beach, FL.

Ermer, E., & Kiehl, K.A. (2012). Cognitive and neural deficits in psychopathy. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Albuquerque, NM.

Ermer, E. (2011). Social decision-making: tradeoffs and reciprocity in psychopathy. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Montpellier, France.

Ermer, E., Greene, J. D., & Kiehl, K. A. (2011). Utilitarian moral judgments in incarcerated psychopaths. In Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy Conference. Montreal, Canada.

Ermer, E., & Kiehl, K. A. (2010). Social reasoning in psychopathy. In Social and Affective Neuroscience Society. Chicago, IL.

Ermer, E., Kahn, R. E., & Kiehl, K. A. (2010). Are psychopaths impaired in emotional intelligence? In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Eugene, OR.

Ermer, E., & Kiehl, K. A. (2009). Social reasoning in psychopathy. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Fullerton, CA.

Ermer, E. (2008). Motivational specializations for regulating risk in menís dominance interactions. In Evolution and Sociality of Mind Joint Conference. University of California, Santa Barbara, CA.

Ermer, E. (2007). Coalitional support and resource divisions. In UCLA-UCSB joint conference series on Evolution, Mind, and Behavior. University of California, Los Angeles, CA.

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2007). Regulation of resource division by coalitional status. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Williamsburg, VA, United Arab Emirates.

Ermer, E. (2007). Reasoning about social exchange engages theory of mind. In Neural Systems of Social Behavior. Austin, TX.

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2006). Sex bias in welfare tradeoff ratios. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Philadelphia, PA.

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., Guerin, S., & Miller, M. (2005). Are computational adaptations for reasoning about social exchange and precautions neurally as well as functionally distinct? An fMRI study. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference. Austin, TX.

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., Tooby J. (2005). Social status affects menís taste for risk. In American Psychologyical Society (now Assocition for Psychological Science). Los Angeles, CA.

Ermer, E., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., & Miller M. (2004). Exploring the brain basis of social exchange and precautionary reasoning. In Cognitive Neuroscience Society. San Francisco, CA.

Ermer, E. (2003). Social status and the taste for risk. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society. Lincoln, NE.

Ermer, E. (2002). Losses, gains, and status in risky decision-making. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society. New Brunswick, NJ.

Ermer, E. (2001). Social status and risky decision-making. In Human Behavior and Evolution Society. London, United Kingdom.

Ermer, E. (1999). Depression, gender, and social support. In Pennsylvania Psychological Association. Philadelphia, PA.


Honors and Accomplishments

Research Release Time Award, Derner Institute, Adelphi University, Fall 2013.

Research Release Time Award, Derner Institute, Adelphi University, Fall 2012.

Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2007-2008.

Graduate Student Travel Grant, Academic Senate, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2008.

Fellow, Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 2004.

Fellow, Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality in Psychology and Economics, Max Planck Institute, Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Berlin, Germany, 2001.

Regentsí Special Fellowship, University of California Santa Barbara, 2000-2005.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2000.

Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship, 1999-2005.

Phi Beta Kappa, Franklin & Marshall College, 2000.

Professional Activities

Adelphi Service:
Member, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Derner Psychology, Adelphi University, 2012--.
Member, STEP Steering Committee, Adelphi University, 2012--.
Representative, Derner Institute, Faculty Senate, Fall 2013.

Ad hoc reviewer for:
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice
Cognition
Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology
Emotion
European Journal of Personality
Evolution & Human Behavior
Evolutionary Psychology
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making
Neuropsychologia
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Oxford University Press
Social Neuroscience
The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Incorporating Man)

Affiliations:
Association for Psychological Science.
Center for Evolutionary Psychology, University of California Santa Barbara.
Cognitive Neuroscience Society.
Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
Social and Affective Neuroscience Society.
Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Community and Corporate Leadership

Judge, WAC Invitational Science Fair, Roslyn, NY, April 2013.
Judge, Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, Woodbury, NY, February 2013.