How Evolutionary Psychology Illuminates Everyday Life

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.

Top Five Science-Based Reasons for Trevor Moran's Appeal

Trevor Moran and his generation of young Youtubers are taking the world by storm. And teenage girls just love these Youtubers! What's up with that?!

Shedding Light onto the Big Questions - Hip-Hop Style

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.

Unleash Your Inner Statistics Warrior

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.

Behaviors for Genes – Not Genes for Behaviors

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!

It’s All Greek to Me

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.

Five Bits of Guidance to Up-and-Coming Psychologists

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!

How Much Is Too Much?

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 ...

Male/Female Differences in Variability Itself

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.

Failure as the Single Best Marker of Human Success

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.

God Bless You, Robin Williams

Every now and again, someone comes along who has creative potential that is simply beyond. Robin Williams was such a man. And we all benefited from his work.

We Don’t Need No (Evolutionarily Unnatural) Education

From the evolutionary perspective, maybe Pink Floyd's seemingly outlandish comment - "We don't need no education" - in all it's grammatically incorrect glory - had something to it!

The Evolutionary Roots of Democracy

During human evolution, the capacity to throw stones both accurately and with force emerged—and this fact, unprecedented in other primates, shaped the nature of human politics. Here is how.