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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
Can a hip-hop artist help us answer the big questions - like why do we exist? ... what is human religion all about? ... and what does it mean to be a product of evolution? You bet - and his name is Baba Brinkman.
Nearly all "facts" we "know" about human psychological processes are derived from research that utilizes some form of statistics. This is why psychology students are nearly always required to take courses in statistics. And, as you'll see here, this is a great thing.
Think that Evolutionary Psychology is a totally genetically deterministic approach to understanding who we are? Think that evolutionary psychologists dismiss the importance of the environment in shaping human behavior? Think again!
A quick search of the literature on greek life turns up nearly only articles related to alcohol - this is disappointing! In fact, greek life on college campuses can tell us a lot about human social evolution.
Interested in advanced study or a career in psychology? Studying psychology is more than just interesting. From research opportunities to careers helping people with various kinds of issues, there may well be a future in this field waiting for you!
Under ancestral conditions, humans did not have the opportunity to collect tons of junk for long periods of time. For many of us now, this is an option. And the consequences are not always all that great ...
How do males and females differ from one another? One important way is this: They often differ from one another in terms of how much they differ from members of their own sex. Read on for more about the idea that, for many behavioral and physical dimensions, males vary from one another quite a bit. And this fact is rooted in our evolutionary history.
Perhaps the greatest predictor of success in any domain pertains to the number of failures racked up along the way. Think about dandelions - they get run over by mowers all the time, but they keep at it. We can use a lesson from dandelion biology to help us see the usefulness of our failures.
Ironically, the most promising future in the psychological sciences is the field that looks most deeply into the past - Evolutionary Psychology. This series of blogs focuses on how evolutionary psychology holds the key to helping humankind for generations to come.
Does the concept of "the selfish gene" necessitate that organisms like humans are a bunch of selfish knuckleheads? Is that what evolutionary psychology is all about? Well, not quite! Read on to see how Dawkin's "selfish gene" take on what it means to be human actually sets the stage for us to understand some of the most self-less behaviors on Planet Earth.
Evolutionary Psychology is simply the idea that human behavior, which results from our nervous system, is the result of evolution. My work in this field addresses many aspects of human behavior, including mating intelligence, which includes the cognitive processes that underlie the many aspects of intimate relationships.
This blog is a sister blog to Building Darwin's Bridges, which focuses on evolution in the world of higher education. I hope you like it!