The Power of Evolutionary Psychology

A good scientific discipline should provide tangible new findings about some phenomena. Evolutionary psychology consistently provides new insights into what it means to be human. Here are three of the biggies – things we simply would now know without evolutionary psychology.

Evolutionary Psychology 2.0

Evolutionary psychology got its start with a large focus on evolved behavioral sex differences. Since its inception, the field has broadened to the entirety of topics studied within the behavioral sciences. It may be time to start talking EP 2.0.

The Stanford Prison Experiment Hits the Big Screen

Humans are clearly capable of greatness. But one of the best-known studies in the behavioral sciences tells us that human nature also has a dark side. A VERY dark side. And you can now see this for yourself in a theater new you …

Pet Sematary, Cujo, and Disaster Psychology

Psychological lessons from a chilling incident during our Maine vacation.

Born in the USA

When the 4th of July comes around, do you find yourself getting all patriotic? That’s OK – it’s part of our evolved coalitional psychology. Read on to find out why!

It's the Hard Work, Stupid.

For decades, scholars have debated whether talent or effort is the better predictor of success. Research on the topic is mixed – but, this said, I say you put your money on effort – and here’s why.

Humanizing the “Mentally Ill”

Want evidence to believe in the human spirit? Want to see how the world looks from the most stigmatized element of society? Check out Infinitely Polar Bear.

Understanding the LA Beast

Want a glimpse inside the mind of one of the world’s top competitive eaters? A guy who has eaten a full watermelon with zero utensils—in about 10 minutes? You MUST read this article!

How Minecraft Actually Builds Social Skills

Have a kid who plays an inordinate amount of Minecraft? Don’t worry! Playing Minecraft can actually have deep social benefits that are rooted in our evolutionary heritage.

Hippies as the Original Ancestral Lifestyle Proponents

Modern evolutionary science has implications for living a relatively natural life – a life that may resemble the lives of our pre-agrarian ancestors. In many ways, this is exactly what the hippies of the 1960s and 1970s were going for!

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Are you a young adult studying psychology or a related area? Do you sometimes wonder what you want to do when you grow up? Read on to learn about lots of great possibilities!

Rejecting Evolutionary Psychology Is Rejecting Evolution

Behavior is the result of the nervous system – which is the result of eons of natural selection. Rejecting evolutionary psychology, thus, is the same as rejecting evolution itself.

10 Eternal Rules of Our Social Lives

Evolutionary psychology has become famous as a powerful framework for understanding even the most mundane aspects of life. Read further to see how the evolutionary perspective provides insights into 10 common cliches.

The Psychology of Getting Back in the Batter’s Box

Want to learn about building resilience? Developing team values? Developing a positive identity? Little League baseball has got all of this and more.

The One Graduation Message We All Need to Hear

The field of evolutionary psychology has enormous implications for how to guide the next generation of leaders. In particular, the field helps illuminate the nature of giving—a value that we expect all of our graduates to internalize.

Teaching: The Single Most Important Profession

Of all the elements of my job (writing, research, paper-pushing), it’s the teaching that is, by-far-and-away, front-row-and-center. If you can read this, then you should thank a teacher this week!

Life in the Slow Lane

Modern middle American life is a blessed experience from an evolutionary perspective. If you're "in the middle," then you have the luxury of experience a "high k" life history strategy. Read on to see how lucky you are for this fact!

The Decline of Violence

You might not know it by watching TV, but violence in the modern world is at a historic low. This fact may well be the silver lining of evolutionary mismatch!

5 Natural Reasons Why Life Is Hard

If you're like me, you've got a computer, a smart phone, a TV, a couch, some pets, a great family, and lots of awesome things - but you still often find that life is hard. Evolutionary psychology can help explain why.

Evolutionary Psychology Is Not About "Bettering the Species"

People often think that since "evolution" has a lot to do with speciation, then "evolutionary psychology" must be about "bettering the human species" in some way. It's not. At all. Read this if you want to know what evolutionary psychology is really about.

Custodians of the Neighborhood

We like to keep our neighborhoods in good condition—free of graffiti, broken streetlights, litter, and potholes. Who are the custodians of our neighborhoods? And are they wasting their time?

10 Things Your Psychology Professors Want You to Know

An education in psychology is enormous - including information on such diverse topics ranging from how infants perceive shapes to how rats learn to complete mazes - and more. Way more. The list found here distills a traditional education in psychology to 10 things that psychology professors really want their students to walk away with.

It’s Spring! It’s Spring!

What is it about spring that is so special? Why does this season of re-birth set people into such a positive mindset? The answer, at least partly, is this: Humans have a natural love of life—we are "biophiles"—and spring is a celebration of this major facet of human psychology.

5 Reasons You Should Never Give Up

When a cancer-ridden Jimmy Valvano told the world, "Don't give up; don't ever give up" at his famous ESPY speech of 1993, he had a tremendously important message for all of us. When failure and rejection strike in your life, don't retreat; Jim Valvano never did. Instead, look failure and rejection in the eye, and use these experiences to energize your future successes.

Why are There More Homo Sapiens than Neandertals These Days?

Neandertals were smart - but they now only exist in small amounts in our own DNA. What led to the large-scale success of Homo Sapiens relative to the Neandertals? The answer lies in the human (or Homo Sapien) tendency to create "ingroups" beyond kin lines. And such "ingroup" reasoning can help explain both the best and the worst of what it means to be human.

Evolved to Rock

Academic PhDs writing lecture notes by day - punk-rockers taking New York by storm at night. Can evolutionary psychology explain Questionable Authorities - the all-professor rock band of the Hudson Valley?

5 Ancient Guidelines We Should Follow Today

Our paleolithic ancestors probably didn't make New Year's resolutions - but if they did, these resolutions would have been influenced by their natural, pre-agrarian lifestyles. Perhaps for 2015, by making resolutions that consider our ancestral past, we can make resolutions that (a) are manageable and that (b) help us achieve evolutionarily appropriate outcomes.

Top 10 Evolutionary Explanations of Santa

This holiday season, we're often encouraged to think of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. While I don't have a problem with this approach, I encourage you, here, to think about something that may be even deeper - Is Santa possibly best explained as a distinct species of Hominid - well-adapated to extreme cold and jolly under any and all conditions ...

Let’s Take the Bell Curve Away from the Classroom

The bell curve has been used in education for decades - as a way to discriminate "the good" students from "the bad" students. This approach to education flies in the face of education itself - which is all about inspiring young minds to learn about the nature of the world and their place in it. I think it's time to take the bell curve out of education.

From Istanbul to New York City

This is the story of Gökçe Sancak Aydın - an intrepid young scholar who traveled half-way around the world to hone her skills as a researcher of psychology. Along the way, she co-authored three scientific papers and presented at a professional conference. Just as importantly, she climbed the mountain.

Pages