Gabriel Wolf Evers

Mortality Moves Masses: Social Movements as Evolved Responses to Pandemics
Interdisciplinary: Sociology, Psychology
Volume 8 | Issue I | March 2024
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences ’24 | California, USA
Harvard University ’28
My academic interests are evolutionary psychology, historical sociology, and behavioral economics. I have spent the past four years conducting population-level research on societal behavior and psychology. Together with my collaborators, we have published two studies using the context of COVID-19 to propose an evolutionarily conserved mechanism by which humans respond to increased danger with behavior typically observed in the environments of early human history. Our first study, “COVID-19 shifts mortality salience, activities, and values in the United States: Big data analysis of online adaptation,” was published in 2021 in Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies and was written about in Harvard Magazine, Scientific American, and US News & World Report, among other publications. Our second study applies our theory cross-culturally by examining the effects of the pandemic in Indonesia, Japan, and Mexico, and was recently published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. This research inspired me to identify the occurrence of these patterns throughout history by analyzing other major mortality events in US history and investigating their relationship with social movements. The resulting piece of work is “Mortality Moves Masses,” which, between drafting and writing, took over a year to finish. Outside academics, I am an epee fencer and a member of the Irish national team. I compete regionally, nationally, and internationally and represented Ireland at the European Championships in Naples, Italy, in February. I am also a huge Latin nerd and an aspiring chef.
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