Stephen Colarelli
  • Position: I/O Faculty
  • Department: Psychology
  • Campus Address: Sloan Hall 235, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
  • Email:
  • Vitae: Curriculum Vitae

Website:  http​://



Stephen Colarelli was born in Denver and grew up in Arvada, Colorado. He received his B.A. from Northwestern University, where he studied political science and history. After college he served in the Peace Corps for two years in Senegal, West Africa. Upon returning from the Peace Corps, he received his M.A. in social and organizational psychology from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. in industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology from New York University. Professor Colarelli was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Zambia and a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore. For the 2015-16 academic year he will be a visiting professor of management in the School of Business at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Research Interest: 

My research is concerned with the question of how evolutionary theory and evolutionary psychology in particular can influence the ways we think about, conduct research on, and manage behavior in organizations. While evolutionary theory is the foundation of the life sciences, it has made few inroads into organizational psychology and management. My writing and research involve integrating these perspectives. I also conduct basic research in evolutionary psychology.

My work in I/O psychology focuses on: (1) mismatch between our evolved human nature and modern organizations, (2) understanding the use and non-use modern human resource technologies within the context of our evolved psychological adaptations; and (3) adapting human resource technologies so that they are more compatible with our evolved psychology.


Recent Research: 

Colarelli, S. M. Human Nature, Cooperation, and Organizations. (in press). Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice.

Colarelli, S. M., & Arvey, R. D. (Eds.). (2015). The Biological foundations of organizational behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Spranger, J.A., Colarelli, S. M., Dimotakis, N., Jacob, A., & Arvey, R. D. (2012). Effects of kin density within family-owned businesses. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119, 151-162.

Colarelli, S. M., Roscoe, A., Monnot, M., Colarelli, S. M., & Ronan G. (2012). Administrative assumptions and some assumption violation effects in top-down selection. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 61, 498-512.

Yang, C., Colarelli, S. M., Han, K., & Page, R. (2011). Start-up and hiring practices of immigrant entrepreneurs: An empirical study from an evolutionary psychological perspective. International Business Review.

Colarelli, S. M., Poole, D. A., Unterborn, K., & D'Souza, G. (2010). Racial prototypicality, affirmative action, and hiring decisions in a multi-racial world. International Journal of Assessment and Selection, 18, 166-173. ​