What Is Evolutionary Psychology?

Our bodies evolved over eons, slowly calibrating to the African savanna on which 98 percent of our ancestors lived and died. So, too, did our brains. Evolutionary psychology postulates that the mind is shaped by pressure to survive and reproduce. We jealously guard romantic partners and cherish our closest relatives above all others, lest we fail to pass on our genes. We easily acquire language, which is critical for cooperation and hence survival. Evolutionary psychology acknowledges these forces but stresses the ultimate (and largely unconscious) gene's eye view of behavior.

Recent posts on Evolutionary Psychology

The Counterintuitive Case for Cougars

Conservationists believe increasing the cougar population will actually save human lives. Will logic trump our ingrained fear of large predators?

Skepticism Surrounding Sex

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on July 25, 2016 in Pop Psych
The information that men and women distrust isn't always the same

Is the World More Dangerous Now Than Ever?

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on July 24, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
Fear of violence seems to be governing our lives these days. But should it? Could the world actually be safer now than it has ever been?
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Did Neandertals Like the Taste of other Neandertals?

Did Neandertals have a tradition of eating other Neandertals?

We’re All a Bit Racist

It may be unintentional, but we’re all a little bit racist.

Life Is Too Short to Wear Bad Lipstick

By Kevin Bennett on July 15, 2016 in Modern Minds
Economy got you down? Try some new lipstick - it's good for two reasons.

Why It Is So Easy to Hate Each Other

One of the oldest and most pernicious of human qualities is the ease with which we put people into categories.

Guns Really Are the Cause of Shootings

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in The Human Beast
Contrary to a well-worn slogan, it really is guns that shoot people. This principle is shockingly revealed by comparisons of police shootings between the US and other countries.

Does Jealousy Help or Hurt Your Relationship?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Talking Apes
An expression of jealousy can either increase or decrease your partner’s relationship satisfaction, depending on the circumstances.

Support, or Succumb to, the Presumptive Leader!

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in Peace and War
As subordinate politicians mull whether or not to support their party's "presumptive nominee," they are acting out an ancient evolutionary script.

Evolved as One People

Right before our eyes, the world has seemed to all but unravel. Perhaps an evolutionary perspective can help us remember that we’re all in the same boat.

Bad Listening Skills: Unwanted "Empathy"

By Hank Davis on July 09, 2016 in Caveman Logic
There are lots of ways to be a bad listener. Many are well-intentioned and no different from what you learned from dear old mom and dad. It's time to upgrade your listening skills.

Paleo Reality

The Paleo movement may be controversial, but at its core, it’s dead-on. Here’s why.

Objectification Is a Basic Aspect of Male Sexuality

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 07, 2016 in The Human Beast
Depersonalized sexuality is typically masculine. That is why most of the customers for pornography and prostitution are still men. But this is changing as more women objectify.

Why Women Are More Depressed Than Men

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on July 05, 2016 in Pop Psych
To understand why women are more depressed than men, you need to understand the adaptive function of depression

The Psychology of Betrayal

Evolutionary psychologists go as far as arguing we may have some kind of psychological modules built into our brains to detect betrayal.

The Neuropsychological Impact of Fear-Based Politics

Are you afraid for the future of our country? Our current political environment may be affecting you in ways you don't realize.

5 Reasons Teens drive their Parents Crazy

Adolescence is a treacherous period – seismic changes are often driven by 5 key beliefs that adolescents hold dear.

History of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society

This post combines my interest in evolutionary psychology along with my interest in doing my best to inspire young minds to achieve. Here is the story of NEEPS.

Are Voice Commands or Hand Signals More Effective for Dogs?

New data answers the question of whether dogs are more responsive to verbal commands or to gestures and body language.

The Mating Strategies of Extraverts

Life History Theory views long-term and short-term mating strategies as polar opposites. However, some people, particularly extraverts, may pursue both, others neither.

Did I Really Just Commit to That?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on June 28, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
How ‘Yes’ slips out in spite of ourselves. Why, when a request comes our way, we are often surprised to find ourselves taking on yet another obligation.

How a Cultural Meme Was Born

New insights into the origin of language as a mandrill in an English zoo invents a gesture for "leave me alone," and it spreads through the community

Does FGM Make Women Less Interested in Sex?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is practised in many countries, most of which are in Africa. Proponents of FGM claim that it limits women's interest in sex. But are they right?

Chivalry Isn’t Dead, But Men Are

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on June 27, 2016 in Pop Psych
In general, people appear to value the welfare of women over the welfare of men. Why?

DNA Imaging: Icon of a New, Genomic Literacy

Images of DNA pose the problem of genomic literacy and raise questions about what the text of the genome means, with potentially revolutionary implications for society.

Comparing Morality: Clinton and Trump Tweets Head to Head

Clinton and Trump both season their Twitter rhetoric with morality-laced words. But they do it very differently.

Why Time-Outs Need a Time Out

In using time-outs parents unintentionally convey that they are unable to contain or tolerate their own feelings.

That’s Not Really True About Evolutionary Psychology

There are plenty of science-based criticisms of evolutionary psychology. And they are often misguided. Here’s why.

Creative Recovery

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on June 24, 2016 in The Me in We
Some benefits of cognitive flexibility.