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Faculty and Staff Profile

Thomas Alley

Professor of Psychology
President, International Society for Human Ethology

Office: 312J Brackett Hall
Phone: 01-864-656-4974
Vita: View

 Educational Background

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology
University of Connecticut 1981

M.A. Experimental Psychology
University of Connecticut 1979

B.A. Philosophy
Pennsylvania State University 1975

B.S. Psychology
Pennsylvania State University 1975

 Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses:
Introduction to Psychology
Applied Psychology
Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive Psychology Laboratory
Psychology of Food & Eating
Sensation & Perception
Sensation & Perception Laboratory

Graduate courses:
Perception, Cognition & Technology
Advanced Cognitive Psychology
Special Problems in Applied Psychology


Professor Tom Alley has taught at Clemson for over 25 years. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (Austria) [] in 2007. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Emory University during both the 1991-92 and 1998-99 academic years, and at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) in 2015. A member of the Board of Officers of the International Society for Human Ethology (ISHE) since 2004, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of their Human Ethology Bulletin, Vice-President and President. He has done forensic consulting (mostly involving eyewitness testimony) since 1995, and considerable academic/editorial consulting. His research spans multiple areas but in recent years has concentrated issues involving the psychology of eating, evolutionary psychology, and face recognition.

 Research Interests

Cognition; Ecological Psychology; Evolutionary Psychology; Eyewitness Testimony; Face Recognition; Human Ethology; Memory; Perception and Psychophysics; Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Appearance; Psychology of Food and Eating; Research Methods

 Research Publications

Alley, T. R., & Greene, M. E. (2008). The relative and perceived impact of irrelevant speech, vocal music and non-vocal music on working memory. Current Psychology, 27(4): 277-289.

Alley, T. R., & Potter, K. A. (2011). Food neophobia and sensation seeking. Pp. 707-724 in V. R. Preedy, R. R. Watson & C. R. Martin (eds.), Handbook of Behavior, Food and Nutrition. Springer.

Alley, T. R. (2012). Contaminated and uncontaminated feeding influence perceived intimacy in mixed-sex dyads. Appetite, 58: 1041-1045.

Alley, T. R., Brubaker, L. W., & Fox, O. M. (2013). Courtship feeding in humans?: The effects of feeding versus providing food on perceived attraction and intimacy in dyads. Human Nature, 24: 430-443. DOI: 10.1007/s12110-013-9179-7

Alley, T. R. (2014). Food sharing and empathic emotion regulation: An evolutionary perspective. Frontiers in Psychology (Cognition), 5. 121 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00121

Alley, T. R. (2014). Evolutionary psychology and social behavior. Pp. 67-87 in P. LaFreniere and G. Weisfeld (eds.), Evolutionary Science of Human Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Approach. New York: Linus Publications.

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M. G., Alley, T. R., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Mating strategy, disgust, and food neophobia. Appetite, 85: 30-35. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.10.029


International Society for Human Ethology