Essential Reads

Do You Share Political Preferences With Your Parents?

By James M Sherlock on February 01, 2016 in Great (Ape) Expectations
It seems intuitive that our parents should have an influence on our political leanings, but just how this occurs might surprise you.

Gossip is a Social Skill - Not a Character Flaw

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on January 24, 2016 in Out of the Ooze
Like it or not, we are the descendants of busybodies, and evolutionary psychologists believe that our preoccupation with the lives of others is a byproduct of a prehistoric brain.

America’s Real Evolution Problem

A new study shows that a solid and comprehensive college education has almost no effect on knowledge of evolutionary principles. This is a problem. A big problem ...
miropink /

Moral Function and Moral Perfection

We have a natural morality. But it is limited. Moral perfection requires work.

More Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

Which Toys Do Dogs Prefer?

Research shows that dogs get bored quickly with their toys, so new is always better — although there are exceptions.

This Worker Has So Much More to Offer

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 02, 2016 The Human Beast
We are accustomed to thinking about occupations in terms of opportunity. One assumes that an employee acquires skills and becomes more valuable, better paid, and happier.

Everyday Delusions of Success

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 28, 2016 The Human Beast
Clinical delusions involve a sharp break with reality. Delusions of everyday living are milder. They are a mark of psychological health and well-being.

Why Do Dogs Turn in Circles Before Lying Down?

New data helps to explain why dogs spin around in circles before laying down — it's all about comfort.

Race Differences in Androgens: Do They Mean Anything?

What can group differences in androgen levels tell us about racial differences in reproductive strategies? Probably not much.

The 13 Reasons We Have Sex

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on January 22, 2016 Curious?
New research on sexuality that offers insights into the different motives behind the act.

So Human an Animal: Homo Sapiens?

Perhaps dogs have the edge on us as a species when we study the history of mankind in nature’s world.

Clues To The Function Of Moralistic Punishment

By Jesse Marczyk on January 19, 2016 Pop Psych
Experiments on anonymous and public punishment give us insights about adaptive morality.

How to Keep our Dignity While Ceding Human Preeminence

We need not give our robo sapien successors our worst qualities.

Insider Dealing

By Robert J King Ph.D. on January 15, 2016 Hive Mind
Oscar time, and a missed opportunity for the Best Picture to be of a radically different kind. Even so—a great year for behavioral science in the movies.

At What Age Should Puppies Be Brought to Their New Homes?

New data confirms that when a puppy is taken from its litter at too young an age problems develop when it becomes an adult.

Is Bipolar Still In Disorder Really The Best We Can Do?

By Tom Wootton on January 14, 2016 Bipolar Advantage
Allowing such statements to go unchallenged not only harms the person saying them but also stigmatizes others into believing that the best we can do is to continue to suffer.

Why the News Is Loaded With Violence

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 14, 2016 The Human Beast
If it bleeds, it leads according to a journalistic aphorism. This emphasis distorts reality and reinforces grisly crimes. But where in the human psyche does it come from?

Do Women Prefer Handsome Men or Helpful Men?

Women are attracted to men who are altruistic and good looking. But, if you had to choose, which would be more important to you?

What a School Can Do after a Shooting

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on January 10, 2016 The Me in We
What institutional actions aid victims' families after a school shooting?

Puddle Week Viral Videos

By Siu-Lan Tan Ph.D. on January 08, 2016 What Shapes Film?
It's "PUDDLE week" in the world of viral videos... just in time to brighten up our first week back after the holidays!

The Psychology of Going to War

War is a male activity; organized fighting and killing by groups of women has simply not existed anywhere, ever. Does war really boil down to guys trying to "get the girl?"

What Are Basic Emotions?

By Neel Burton M.D. on January 07, 2016 Hide and Seek
Basic emotions such as fear and anger are held to be innate and universal.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Beings' Urge to Overeat

New research on human evolution explains our subconscious craving to overeat—especially during winter. Luckily, there's an antidote to counter the effects of overindulgence.

Three Reasons Why Pets Don't Lower Health Care Costs

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on January 04, 2016 Animals and Us
An industry study claims that the medical benefits of owning pets save Americans $12 billion dollars a year on health care costs. Here are the reasons they might be wrong.

Escape from the Man-Eating Snails: Phobias and Evolution

By Graham C.L. Davey Ph.D. on January 04, 2016 Why We Worry
Has evolution shaped our modern-day phobias, or is this just too simple a solution?

Charles Darwin and the Foil of New Year's Resolutions

Let Charles Darwin help you make the change you want for 2016 without New Year Resolutions

Keep at It

Perhaps the best resolution you can make is to keep at it. Here are five bits of evolutionarily informed guidance on how to do that right in 2016.

Mental Voice-Over?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on December 30, 2015 The Dolphin Divide
Do internal sound-tracks color your communication? Experienced communicators can often make more from less, predicting what will come next before messages are complete.

I Forgive You

Mistakes are a basic part of the human story. And so is forgiveness.

Why Do Dogs Like to Shred Tissues?

Tissues mimic the feel of fur and feathers in a dog's mouth. This provides a clue on how to make the perfect dog toy.

Are Men More Sexual than Women?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on December 28, 2015 The Human Beast
Marked differences between male and female sexuality was supported by solid evidence around the globe. Such distinctions are getting blurred in developed countries.

What Is Anger? Part II

Recently, we have been investigating two of our most important innate affects, Interest (curiosity) and Anger. We explored Interest in the May-October 2015 Newsletters.

Masculine Men More Likely to Give Erotic Gifts

Confident and masculine men are more likely to give erotic gifts, according to researchers from Canada and Brazil.

Copy Number, Schizophrenia, and Autism: New Findings

Copy number of a DNA domain involved in brain development correlates with the symptoms of schizophrenia and with autism as predicted by the diametric model.