Darwin’s Long Reach Across Psychology

A small evolutionary psychology conference in upstate New York sheds light on a wide variety of psychological phenomena — from music to emotions to relationships — and more.

The 6 Things We All Need to Be Thankful For

From an evolutionary perspective, gratitude is a significant social emotion. It drives us to connect with others - and it works to remind us of the fact that we are always part of something larger than ourselves. Here is a list of 6 things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving (and all other days of the year as well).

'Altered Minds' Brings Modern Crises to the Big Screen

Michael Weschler’s newest film, Altered Minds, provides an over-the-top glimpse into family dynamics gone awry. One reason that family dynamics and resultant mental health issues can be so messed up these days pertains to evolutionary mismatch. Here’s how.

'Located in the Posterior Cingulate Cortex'

In presenting scholarly information, it turns out that including highly technical, neuroscientific terms makes your argument more convincing—even when your reasoning is all fluff. This fact can be used for good or for evil. I say we use this information as a tool to help cultivate critical thinking skills in developing young minds.

Don’t Give a Monkey the Finger

In a recent viral video, a young male is attacked by a monkey after giving it the middle finger. This incident provides exceptional evidence for features of emotion systems that cut across primate species while providing some guidance on cross-species etiquette at the same time.

Darwin's Big Idea

In what domain have Darwin's ideas been most influential? Tough question. My money goes on the field of education. Here's why.

The Evolutionary Psychology of “Above and Beyond”

Some people shoot for meeting minimal standards in life. Others go above and beyond. In my job as a college professor, I get to help bright young minds learn the value of going above and beyond — and, without question, such an approach to all aspects of life has special rewards.

Can We Answer Life's Big Questions?

Evolutionary psychologists are always thinking about the big picture. As such, from the perspective of an evolutionary psychologist, there are actually pretty clear answers to the big questions of life.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Politics

Large-scale politics on a national or international scale is often disastrous. Maybe this is because the human mind has evolved to deal with small-scale politics.

Independent and Dependent Variables Reconsidered and Renamed

Some of the brightest psychology students in any program often fumble when it comes to the concepts of “independent” and “dependent variables." It’s partly because these concepts are poorly named and vaguely conceptualized. Here is a proposed fix.

Renaming Type I and Type II Error

For decades, statistics students have learned about Type-I and Type-II Error in hypothesis testing. And they often get these terms confused. Let’s rename these arbitrary labels so that they make more sense!

Lucky to Be Here at All

Sometimes thinking about ancestral conditions that necessarily existed for the lion's share of human evolutionary history helps us put modern issues into perspective.

5 Psychological Lessons from Marathon Running

Marathon running is intense and dangerous. So why do some of us take on this kind of superfluous activity? Here are five psychological factors that help us understand the nature of marathon running.

Evolution Runs Through It

Evolution doesn’t just apply to fossils and DNA. It applies to human behavior. But even that’s only a slice of how powerful evolutionary principles are. This is how we use a high-impact, interdisciplinary, team-teaching approach to advancing evolution education where I teach. It’s powerful. And it’s fun.

Four Essential Keys to Successful Teaching

If you’re a teacher of any sort, then your success is primarily marked by the success of your students. Interested in keys to cultivating student success? Read on.

Test Your Evolutionary Psychology IQ!

I’ve been teaching courses related to evolutionary psychology since 1999. Here are 10 multiple-choice items that assess understanding of the basics. Good luck!

It Is Incredibly Difficult to Obtain an Evolution Education

Darwin’s big idea has been out since about 1859. Since that time, evolutionary principles have proven to be extraordinarily useful in helping us understand all kinds of things. So you’d think that it would be easy to learn about evolution in modern universities. In reality, finding an evolution education in college is excessively difficult these days.

Why We Have Dogs

Humans have had symbiotic relationships with domesticated dogs for more than 20,000 years. If you want to understand your dog today, you need to understand what your dog’s ancestors were doing thousands of years ago – and why humans and canines formed a symbiotic relationship in the first place.

Why Being Luke’s Father Mattered

Are you totally psyched for the upcoming Star Wars films? Understanding Evolutionary Psychology can help you appreciate Star Wars even more! Here’s how.

What Would YOU Have Done in Milgram’s Experiment?

When Stanley Milgram studied the nature of human obedience, he shocked the world. Most people today say that they personally would never have obeyed an authority figure to the point of danger. But what they say may bear little resemblance to what they would actually do.

Obsess Much? Here’s Why

Obsessive rumination can be tied specifically to one’s own failures – for good evolutionary reasons. Understanding the nature of rumination may hold a key to dealing with this facet of mental life.

Evolutionary Basis to Differences Between Cats and Dogs

Is the denial of evolved behavioral sex differences in humans similar to the idea of denying that cats and dogs differ from each other by nature? (warning: satire alert!)

What Is Evolutionary Psychology?

The application of evolutionary principles to issues of behavior (AKA evolutionary psychology) is one of the most powerful intellectual movements in the current landscape of modern thought. Here are some of the basic concepts of this exciting field – spelled out in brief.

3 Reasons Why People Badmouth Others (and Succeed)

Humans come armed with an arsenal of social strategies. And there are multiple routes to social success. One strategy that can be just as unpleasant as it can be successful is the approach of bringing others down.

What It Really Means When Someone's "Dead to You"

From time to time, people “cut others off.” This happens in all kinds of social spheres. Evolutionary psychology can help us understand why. It can also help us understand how to do better than that …

How Do We Really Seek Partners?

Human reproductive strategies are shaped by evolution to shift as a function of environmental conditions. Same goes for wild garlic. We can learn a lot about ourselves from the world around us.

There Is Grandeur in This View of Life

Some people think that evolution somehow diminishes what it means to be human and strips us of any spirituality. As I see it, this does not need to be the case at all. And here is why.

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 …