Darcia Narvaez is a Professor of Psychology Emerita at the University of Notre Dame. She is the founder of the public and professional educational outreach project The Evolved Nest Initiative whose nonprofit mission is to share her science research into developing appropriate baselines for lifelong human wellness by meeting the biological needs of infants. This baseline is imperative at this time as the United States ranks 41st out of 41 developed countries in public policies that support families.
In a 2020 analysis of top scientists, Narvaez emerged in the top 2% of scientists worldwide. Of the eight million scientists in the world, the analysis concerned those who had at least five articles published in scientific journals between 1996 and 2017-- over six million scientists. Individuals were ranked according to various criteria, including number of citations of their work.
Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen for the 2017 Expanded Reason Award from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries. Narvaez received the prize, including a substantial monetary award, at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on September 27, 2017. The book also received the William James Award from the American Psychological Association in 2015, and the American Educational Research Association's Moral Development and Special Interest Group Award in 2016.
Narvaez hosted interdisciplinary conferences at the University of Notre Dame regarding early experience and human development in 2010, 2012, and 2014. In 2016 she organized a conference on Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous KnowHow for Global Flourishing. (Click on the links to see the full conferences in video on the Evolved Nest's YouTube Channel.)
She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, see The Science page for listings.
She is the president of the venerable American nonprofit, Kindred World, a contributing editor to Kindred, the first global eco-parenting magazine, an advisory board member of Attachment Parenting International and the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health, APPPAH. She is former executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education.
Darcia Narvaez, PhD, founder of The Evolved Nest
Read and share The Evolved Nest series on Psychology Today and Kindred.
Download, listen and share The Evolved Nest podcast series.
Watch and share the many Evolved Nest presentations, lectures and interviews with Darcia Narvaez, PhD, in our video collection.
Babies are “half-baked” at birth and have much to learn with the help of physical and emotional support from caregivers. Taking care of baby’s needs is an investment that pays off with a happier, healthier child and adult. Here are 28 days of reminders about babies and their needs.
You, your children, your family are invited to discover ways to connect with nature, renew your ecological attachment, and restore your living connection to the Earth. Based on research by Dr. Narvaez and her students, the dance includes a pre- and post test to measure your success!
We are excited to unveil Evolved Nest’s Child Care Center Checklist. The Checklist has been created to help parents and guardians determine how well a child care center matches up with the components of the Evolved Nest. The checklist is intended to be supplemental to the other protocols a center has (e.g., infection prevention, abuse prevention, diaper change frequency).
What would a new generation, pre-parenthood, say about The Evolved Nest? Does this new generation see the connection between the state of their world and how humans are disconnected from their own nature as well as Nature? What could we learn from a pair of Fresh Eyes on The Evolved Nest? View college students' blogs, posters, and children's books.
"Darcia's work is invaluable! Her research reveals human-nestedness is paramount to a worthwhile and wholesome existence, alongside, within and as-part-of nature. Our species’ ‘true’ societal norms are broken, as revealed through her research of the “Evolved Nest” or the evolved developmental niche. What’s needed is to realign modernity with our species’ typical biological nature.
"As a biologist who sees all things in nature as animate, it is without a doubt what we’ve been missing and why we humans are experiencing so much unrest, prevalent and normalized psychosis in the form of depression, deep seated aggression, resentment, learning disabilities and so much more.
"My conversations with Darcia have felt like the reunion of kindred spirits. Her research and words have pointed towards that innate truth I’ve worked hard to try to share with others. Our true human nature is so much more then we are experiencing in these times. We need to nest our children well, as naturally as we did for ten’ of thousands of years of our evolutionary and prehistoric past.
"Hope for humanity lies within restoration of our species’ evolved nest. As soon as humanity resumes it’s place, once again, within the niche in which we evolved, only then will we gain true sustainability and a better, more wholesome existence.
"We owe our children and the future of humanity the nested-ness that is a part of who we really are." - wildfeatherjane on 7/05/2020 on Great Nonprofits
The Evolved Nest's nonprofit mission is to:
• Restore human nature to its cooperative orientation, its original and "normal" human heritage.
• Cultural Imperatives of the industrial era have undermined child development so much we think disregulated people are “normal.” A return to and honoring of our Biological Imperatives, especially in child development, will help us shift culturally toward wellness and wholeness.
• Restore humanity's connection to nature.
• Honor the primal continuum for wellness and wholeness that starts in pre-conception and babyhood.
• Honor the needs of the mother, father, providing community support systems that optimize normal psychosocial development.
• Become aware of the damaging, culturally accepted ideologies of nuclear family parenting by moving toward village-mindedness.
DOWNLOAD THE EVOLVED NEST FLYER TO SHARE HERE.
About our Parent Nonprofit
Kindred World is the parent nonprofit of The Evolved Nest. As an award-winning 501C3 nonprofit, Kindred's leadership in the Conscious Parenting Movement has provided a solid foundation for pioneers, scientists, authors, activists, parents and professionals to share their sustainable and peaceful visions for humanity since 1996.
We invite you to visit our website at www.KindredWorld.org.
And our Great Nonprofits page, where you can read multiple endorsements and success stories about our work.
Read our alternative media outlet supporting the New Story of Childhood, Parenthood and the Human Family at Kindred Media.
And please consider supporting our nonprofit work financially with your tax-deductible donation.
About the Expanded Reason Award
The award was given by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation to recognize innovation in scientific research and academic programs based on Benedict XVI’s proposal to broaden the horizons of reason. The university and foundation sought academic works that question and explicitly incorporate reflections on the anthropology, epistemology, ethics and meaning that exist within the specific science.
The award was given by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation to recognize innovation in scientific research and academic programs based on Benedict XVI’s proposal to broaden the horizons of reason. The university and foundation sought academic works that question and explicitly incorporate reflections on the anthropology, epistemology, ethics and meaning that exist within the specific science. Two awards were given for research, and two were given for academic programs.
Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries. Narvaez will receive the prize, including a substantial monetary award, at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on September 27, 2017.
Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom outlines an evolutionary framework for early childhood experience that is grounded in developmental systems theory, encompassing not only genes but a wide array of inheritances and epigenetic factors. It describes the neurobiological bases for the development of distinctive moral mindsets, addressing ethical functioning at multiple levels of complexity and context before turning to a theory of the emergence of wisdom. Finally, it suggests that we honor the sociocultural orientations of our ancestors and cousins in small-band hunter-gatherer societies—the norm for 99% of human history—for a re-envisioning of an organic, sustainable moral life, from the way we value and organize child raising to how we cooperate with a living planet.
The book integrates elements of anthropology, clinical and developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the influences in early childhood that help shape a person’s moral character. Narvaez also received the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association for the book.
“Our research in the lab examines the evolved developmental niche—the evolved nest for humans—whose primary characteristics emerged with social mammals more than 30 million years ago,” Narvaez said. She and her team have published several empirical papers about the effects of the evolved nest on wellbeing and morality in children and adults.
In giving the award, University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation seek academic works that question and explicitly incorporate reflections on the anthropology, epistemology, ethics and meaning that exist within the specific science. Narváez’s book was chosen in the research category.
Narvaez, who joined the Department of Psychology in 2000, has published numerous books and articles on moral cognition, moral development, and moral character. She is a co-director of the interdisciplinary Self, Motivation, and Virtue project and the Developing Virtues in the Practice of Science initiative. She is the exiting executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education and writes the popular Moral Landscapes blog for Psychology Today.
Visit Narvaez's University of Notre Dame website to find a complete list of her publications, educational materials, papers and videos.
Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom
Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology
Personality, Identity, and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology
Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution: Culture, Childrearing and Social Wellbeing
Contexts for Young Child Flourishing: Evolution, Family, and Society
Embodied Morality: Protectionism, Engagement and Imagination
Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy
Indigenous Sustainable Wisdom
First-Nation Know-How for Global Flourishing
Edited By Darcia Narvaez, Four Arrows (Don Trent Jacobs), Eugene Halton, Brian S Collier and Georges Enderle
Contributors describe ways of being in the world that reflect a worldview that guided humanity for 99% of human history: They describe the practical traditional wisdom that stems from Nature-based relational cultures that were or are guided by this worldview. Such cultures did not cause the kinds of anti-Nature and de-humanizing or inequitable policies and practices that now pervade our world. Far from romanticizing Indigenous histories, Indigenous Sustainable Wisdom offers facts about how human beings, with our potential for good and evil behaviors, can live in relative harmony again. Contributions cover views from anthropology, psychology, sociology, leadership, native science, native history, and native art.
“Authentic and deep respect for Indigenous knowledge(s) means keeping it alive and vital, appreciating its urgent necessity for today’s times, and interweaving it into the lives of non-Indigenous people. No longer can Indigenous knowledge be marginalized, relegated to the past, or shelved in a museum. As becomes clearer each day, our planet cannot survive without its inhabitants learning to live in harmony with Mother Earth, as Indigenous wisdom teaches. The diverse chapters in this book offer ways to make this vision a reality for right now and lasting into the future.” ―Susan Roberta Katz, Professor, International and Multicultural Education, University of San Francisco
Support our nonprofit work with your tax-deductible donations!
The Evolved Nest is working to create educational materials and multi-media teaching tools to help parents, professionals, and policymakers develop a solid foundation for lifelong wellness, beginning prenatally. Please help us #normalizenurturing with your generous donation!
Read our reviews at Great Nonprofits here.
Subscribe to The Evolved Nest newsletter for monthly inspiration in your inbox!