Essential Reads

Wife Swapping in the Stone Age

Wife sharing in early human societies was more common than we used to think.

Life in the Slow Lane

What our blessed modern lives look like from an evolutionary perspective

Has a Universal Preference Just Been Challenged?

Universal preferences and the expected variance in them

Gossip in Your Workplace Probably Does More Good Than Harm

Gossip is a social skill, NOT a character flaw; it is essential to work life.

Recent Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

Why Do Women Have Orgasms?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on April 30, 2015 in All About Sex
Controversy surrounds the issue of why women evolved to have orgasms.

Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

By Gil Greengross Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Humor Sapiens
Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

Wisdom From a Psychopath?

Research by Dr. Kevin Dutton shows that psychopathic traits may be appealing to individuals, but are harmful for communities.

Wife Swapping in the Stone Age

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in The Human Beast
Anthropologists are all too familiar with the violence and bloodshed triggered by marital infidelity. Now they are coming to terms with a more mysterious phenomenon—consensual wife sharing. If a man flies into homicidal rages when his wife cheats on him, why would he encourage another man to sleep with her?

Does Training Make Your Dog Smarter?

Dogs that have been trained to high levels of performance in any of a number of skills (e.g., agility, schutzhund, search and rescue, retrieving, musical freestyle, etc.) become better problem solvers on totally unrelated tasks.

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!

Real Psychiatry and Darwinian Evolution are One and the Same

The basic principle for the development of human personality is at one with Darwinian evolution. Psychotherapy is the treatment that addresses the human issues in precisely the way they were constructed in the first place.

Has a Universal Preference Just Been Challenged?

By Jesse Marczyk on April 26, 2015 in Pop Psych
A new paper seeks to challenge the assertion that the preference for women's waist-to-hip ratio is universal and invariant

Do You Have the Personality of a Neanderthal?

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on April 26, 2015 in Caveman Politics
Almost all of us have some Neanderthal in us. What can that tell us about how these ancient cousins of ours thought?

What Explains the Apparent Increase in Bad Manners?

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Homo Consumericus
Many people lament the apparent rise of bad manners in contemporary online and offline settings. In her latest book "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*uck" Amy Alkon offers some practical solutions to the onslaught of daily boorish behaviors.

Gossip in Your Workplace Probably Does More Good Than Harm

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
Campaigns to stamp out workplace gossip overlook the fact that gossip is part of who we are and an essential part of what makes work groups function as well as they do. It is more productive to think of gossip as a social skill rather than as a character flaw, because it is only when we do not do it well that we get into trouble.

Walking to Boost Creativity

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in The Human Beast
We are all familiar with the health problems caused by obesity. These problems are peculiar to a modern sedentary way of life and are virtually unknown in physically active subsistence societies. Now evidence builds that physical activity is crucial for brain health, and even for creativity.

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!

Does It Take Competition to Make a Good Leader?

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on April 22, 2015 in Naturally Selected
Leadership modifies organizational culture. An evolutionary niche construction perspective explains why some leaders work for the good of their organization while others turn out to be selfish and destructive leaders.

Back to the Future

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in Talking Apes
Our brains don’t store everything that happens to us, only those events that may have future relevance.

Does Emotional Attachment to an Owner Change in Older Dogs?

Although older dogs may appear to be more placid and less emotionally responsive, physiological measures show that this is not the case. They may actually be reacting to stress to a greater degree than they did when they were younger.

Choosing to Be Child-free

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in A Sideways View
More and more people in the west are choosing not to have children. Is this a puzzle for evolutionary psychologists? What does the research say on this topic?

Congress Should Declare That Mice Are Animals - Now!

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Animals and Us
In 2002, Congress declared that mice and rats and birds are not animals. A new study by PETA shows why it's time to change Federal animal protection statutes.

All Psychology Is Evolutionary Psychology

‘Evolutionary psychology’ is a redundancy, in that all psychology is evolutionary psychology. I mean this in the same sense that all anatomy is ‘evolutionary anatomy'.

Moral Motivation and God's Rewards

What humans' moral intuitions suggest about the relative merits of religious versus secular accounts of moral motivation.

Ivan Denisovich vs Ants

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn admitted that Russians were occasionally like insects. But he didn't like it.

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.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules—But Whose Hand Is It?

The history of the nature/nurture controversy reveals fraud on the nurture side and developments in our view of nature that the imprinted brain theory readily explains.

When Women Use Jealousy

By Duana C. Welch Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Love Proof
Common knowledge says jealousy always backfires. Common knowledge is wrong.

Cities Are Green After All

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 15, 2015 in The Human Beast
Many of us are accustomed to think of urban smog as a root cause of global warming and environmental degradation that is pushing us to an existential precipice. Leading environmentalist Stewart Brand thinks otherwise. He explains why he was weaned from the village romanticism of a Mahatma Gandhi.

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.

Are Distance Running and Reproductive Potential Connected?

Anthropologists at the University of Cambridge recently reported that males with higher "reproductive potential" may also be better distance runners. Why would being good at long-distance running have evolved to reflect a more desirable male gene pool?

Sex Is Disgusting But We Keep Doing It

Disgust and sexual arousal seem at odds with each other but they're also more closely related than you might think.

Putting Music to the Words

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 13, 2015 in Talking Apes
In animal communication systems, you can have either syntax or semantics. Human language, however, integrates the two. As a result, our range of expression is almost limitless.

Are Women More Emotional Than Men?

Is There Evidence of Women’s Greater Negative Emotionality All Around the World?