Essential Reads

Why Do Animal Tragedies Go Viral?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 in Animals and Us
A new study investigates why the death of Cecil the Lion became an instant world-wide internet sensation.


A core tenet that underlies evolutionary science is the fact that an inordinate number possibilities exist when it comes to just about anything. This fact can be an inspiration.

3 Not So Obvious Things Women Find Attractive in Men

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on April 25, 2016 in Head Games
For women, attraction is hardly about good looks and money.

Sometimes Evolutionary Mismatch is a Good Thing

Often, modern environments mismatch ancestral environments to our detriment. But sometimes, unnatural technologies can be beneficial. Here’s an example - that relates to autism.

More Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

Prince Or His Music: Which Will You Miss More?

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 Trouble in Mind
Steven Pinker famously said that music was simply “auditory cheesecake,” a pleasurable activity with no useful or adaptive qualities. Prince fans may not agree!

What Do Workers Really Want?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 28, 2016 The Human Beast
A lot of Americans are feeling disgruntled about how they are treated in the current economy – as highlighted by the popularity of presidential candidates like Sanders and Trump.

Understanding the Office Creep

Here's why certain behaviors creep us out.

Voting With Our Ancestral Brain

A good psychological theory suggests that attraction to Trump as a candidate could be written into our DNA. Could it also be now a mental disease?

Are You Having Enough Sex?

By Ryan Anderson on April 25, 2016 The Mating Game
People often wonder what other people do in the bedroom. The evidence might surprise you.

The Value of Complaining

By Hank Davis on April 23, 2016 Caveman Logic
Forget that old edict "Say nothing if you have nothing nice to say." Complaining may provide real benefit to the individual and to the group.

Proustian Memory: Was It Really a Madeleine Tea Cake?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on April 15, 2016 Sensoria
Do we need to let go of the Proustian metaphor?

Panic as Fight-or-Flight

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 13, 2016 The Human Beast
The key quality of pathological anxiety is that it is out of proportion to any actual threat. Why do people endanger their health by being extremely anxious in this way?

6 Reasons We Keep Playing the Lottery

By Kevin Bennett on April 12, 2016 Modern Minds
Why do we keep playing when we know we shouldn't? The very long odds of winning the lottery don't seem to keep people from spending money.

The Naked Truth About the Wives of Tall Men

Time and again studies have shown that women prefer tall men. But are the wives of tall husbands actually happier?

Paternity Shock: Is Who You Call Dad Your Genetic Father?

Perhaps one reason for these high estimations is that female adultery is supposedly common, occurring in an estimated 5–27% for people younger than 30 years old...

Double Mother Suckers

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on April 09, 2016 Pura Vida
You might have noticed that people aren’t elephant seals. But a close look at these creatures reveals a lot about male-female differences in our own species.

Morality, Alliances, And Altruism

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on April 09, 2016 Pop Psych
The implicit connection between receiving altruism and being friends

Passive Frame Theory: a New Synthesis

A new theory about consciousness, based on integrating a handful of theories

Art Is More About Work Than Sex

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 07, 2016 The Human Beast
The sexual exploits of male rock stars is legendary and their sexual magnetism draws an endless supply of enthusiastic female partners. So do men get creative for sex?

How the Visual Abilities of Dogs Change With Age

New data shows that vision in dogs changes with age, with a trend toward becoming significantly more nearsighted.

Shame and the Pendulum of Blame

Often, our targets of blame are determined primarily by our states of mind rather than any objective reality.

The Capture Bonded Employee

Why do people continue to work for a nasty, bullying boss?

Life After Wealth

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 31, 2016 The Human Beast
Most of us struggle to make a living and aspire to a future where money is less of an issue. What would our lives be like if we became wealthy enough to abandon the rat race?

Have You Read Your Body Lately?

It's spring. When the seasons hum, we resonate. It’s how we’re built. But much of the information is deeply embedded in culture and beyond everyday awareness. Let's tune in.

Morality, Empathy, and the Value of Theory

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on March 25, 2016 Pop Psych
Millions of people around the world could use altruism to survive. Our empathy alone won't solve that problem, but neither will our moral systems.

Sleep Paralysis

Do dreams leave us paralyzed during REM sleep?

Mind, Body and Election 2016

The presidential election is not only ugly, it is compromising your immune system and health.

What Are Feelings?

We have suggested that in order to understand human beings, we must examine the origins of feelings (affects), language, and cognition. This month we start our discussion...

The Embryology of Human Development

Human motivation and behavior are powered by our affects initially, with language and cognition quickly becoming part of the complex process.

Don’t Try to be Happy on International Day of Happiness

By Eva Ritvo M.D. on March 19, 2016 On Vitality
We’ve always simply taken it as a given that our ultimate goal should be happiness. But is kindness a better goal?

Why We (Sometimes) Trust Strong Men

A new study reports that men who appear muscular, kindhearted, and can cooperate with the group are awarded higher social status based on first impressions.

More on What Ayn Rand Got Wrong About Human Nature

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on March 17, 2016 Good Thinking
Ayn Rand based her philosophy on four core beliefs, each of which is disconfirmed by evidence.

Sex Differences in Talkativeness?

Are there really sex differences in talkativeness?

Women Who Want a Son are More Attracted to Dominant Men

And predicting the sex of your child: do women who prefer a certain type of man think they're more likely to give birth to boys or girls?