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

Do You Mate Like a Cavewoman?

By Donna Barstow on June 24, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
If you've never used Darwin in your dating practices before, you're missing out. Cavewomen had multiple orgasms without even trying.

Do You Mate Like a Cavewoman?

By Donna Barstow on June 24, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
If you've never used Darwin in your dating practices before, you're missing out. Cavewomen had multiple orgasms without even trying.

The Psychology of Selfies

By David Ludden Ph.D. on June 24, 2017 in Talking Apes
A new study shows how people adjust the camera angle of their selfies to manage the impression they want to make on other persons.

Why Parents Make Us What We Are

Imprinted genes are critically implicated in nurture via their role in the brain and REM sleep.

A Short History of Love

By Neel Burton M.D. on June 23, 2017 in Hide and Seek
How love became the new religion.

Why Are Crowded City Dwellers Living the Slow Life?

The big city means the fast life, unrestricted sexuality, street gangs, and hordes of uncaring people. Right? Maybe not, according to a recently published series of studies.

What Older Dads Need To Know

Are geeks taking over the world? The sons of older fathers are more geeky, and do better academically in success-predicting academics. The "Geek Index" helps us study geekiness.

Hating the Elite

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in The Human Beast
Many deride the wealthy elite as symbols of inequality in democratic societies supposedly founded on equality. Why do people hate them so much?

Feeling Powerful Changes How We Respond to Being Stared At

Perceiving ourselves to be higher in status can buffer us from feeling intimidated.

The Relationship Between Waist-Hip Ratio and Fertility

In women, a low waist-hip ratio correlates with health, fertility, and attractiveness. However, a new study reveals that it may also distinguish between past and future fertility.

Mind-Body Practices Downregulate Inflammation-Related Genes

A new systematic review of research on mind-body interventions reports that practices such as meditation or yoga can downregulate the genetic expression of inflammatory cytokines.

Baby Care: Baselines for Mental Health

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on June 18, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
For most babies, early experiences are undermining their short- and long-term mental (and physical) health.

Baselines for Babies

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on June 18, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Authoritative (not authoritarian) parenting might be good for children, but it's bad for babies.

The Psychology of the Bachelor Party

By Neel Burton M.D. on June 16, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What do they mean and why have they become so popular?

The Art of Choosing a Romantic Partner (Part One)

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 14, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Why do we choose the romantic partners that we do? And what shapes the choices we make? New research provides some interesting insights into partner selection.

Decreasing Self-Centeredness May Also Help Reduce Loneliness

A study published today by John Cacioppo and colleagues reports that self-centeredness and perceived social isolation feed off one another as part of a reciprocal feedback loop.

Going Cold Turkey on Screens

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 13, 2017 in The Human Beast
Modern humans enjoy a much faster pace of life than our subsistence ancestors, makes us smarter but contributing to anxiety and health problems. Can we slow to a healthier pace?

The Future of the World

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 12, 2017 in How To Do Life
A debate between an optimist and a pessimist.

Why Parents May Sacrifice their Own Children

Under certain circumstances, we have inherited a biological tendency to sacrifice ourselves and our children for our kin or social group. Abraham and Isaac's story is illustrative.

My 20-Year Journey Toward a Unified Framework

A retrospective on my work toward a unified framework for psychology and psychotherapy.

Are Young Women With Older Men Looking for a Daddy?

Relationships with a significant age gap almost always trigger raised eyebrows. Research helps to determine whether those raised eyebrows are justified.

Riding the Next Wave of Human Evolution

With their deep comfort with uncertainty and technology, coupled with their hardwired sense of inclusion, Millennials are blazing the trail by transforming workplaces.

What Are Canine Calming Signals and Do They Work?

New data shows that of 30 different cataloged calming signals in dogs, some of them do, in fact, reduce the level of aggression in dogs that see them.

Reality Check: Who Are You and What Are You Doing?

As tempting as it is to push life's bigger questions away, research shows it is worth the time and effort to answer them.

Do Women Prefer Partners Who Resemble Their Brothers?

New research suggests that there is a "family resemblance" between women's boyfriends and brothers.

The Deep Roots of Left vs. Right

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 05, 2017 in Ambigamy
The fundamental distinction in politics as in life is between constraint and freedom. We need both.

Epigenetics of Music: A Karaoke vs. Bach Genetic Conflict?

A study of a rare imprinting disorder has wide implications for our appreciation of music—Bach and karaoke included!

Psychology of the Greater Good and the Paris Acccord

Fortunately for us humans, our cognitive capacities allow us to take the greater good deeply into account. When it comes to the environment, we probably should do just that.

Taking One's Cue from Others

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 31, 2017 in The Human Beast
All social animals are affected by what others around them are doing. Humans are no exception.

Breakfast, Brains, and Entropy

What Waffle House hash browns can teach us about the origins of human consciousness.