Essential Reads

"Mail Order Brides" Still Exist

Is a "mail order marriage" doomed to be a bad match?

The Qualities of Leaders

Clues about leadership from the animal world.

The 6 Things We All Need to Be Thankful For

Firtst, it's a wonder we're here together at all.

This Is Your Brain at 100%

Movies and old-fashioned marketing help to perpetuate a brain myth held by many.

Recent Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

Humankind's Current Growing Pains Are Right On Schedule

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 Ambigamy
Taking stock is a good use of the holiday season, hard this year what with the calamities all around us. Still, from a broad vista humankind is doing fine, just what we'd expect to be doing now given evolutionary and human history.

Darth Vader: The Value of Redemptive Sacrifice

The Star Wars character of Darth Vader is a mythic “traveler,” as we each make choices we regret and must bear the consequences. The tragedy of noble cause corruption through the story of Luke Skywalker’s father is a cautionary tale and his redemption can be an inspiration for all of us to rise above our challenges.

"Mail Order Brides" Still Exist

The mail order bride business as it now operates may be in the perverse position of attempting to match independent, nontraditional women with very traditional Western men, a situation which frequently leads to dissatisfaction for both parties.

Don’t Believe the Hype - Dad Bods Are Not Sexy

By Ryan Anderson on November 23, 2015 The Mating Game
Is the 'dad bod' really attractive? Have we really been lied to since, forever?

The Science of Gift Giving

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on November 23, 2015 Head Games
It's said that it's the thought that matters, but research reveals that there's more behind our gift giving decisions than we may realize.

The Qualities of Leaders

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 Naturally Selected
What makes a good leader? The way leaders are chosen and how they lead may not be so different between humans and others in the animal world. This is important to consider when we make decisions about our political leaders.

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).

Inequality Aversion, Evolution, and Reproduction

By Jesse Marczyk on November 21, 2015 Pop Psych
What determines how quickly a gene spreads throughout a population is how well it reproduces itself, relative to its competitors. What does this tell us about how we respond to inequality, and the shape of cognitive mechanisms more generally?

This Is Your Brain at 100%

By Kevin Bennett on November 21, 2015 Modern Minds
Is your brain operating at only 10% capacity? Here is why the answer is a lot like Bigfoot.

Why Must Childbirth Be So Challenging?

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 How We Do It
Childbirth is excruciatingly painful because a baby’s relatively large head passes through a woman's narrow pelvis. A tight limit on head size explains why more brain growth occurs after birth and why babies are relative helpless for the first year. But a new view is that birth timing is constrained not by the pelvis but by an upper limit on the mother’s energy turnover.

'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.

Hearing With Our Eyes, Seeing With Our Ears

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 Talking Apes
Consciousness is a virtual reality in the head, the brain’s best guess as to what’s out there in the world.

Talking to Terrorists

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 The Me in We
In our age of terrorism diplomacy must speak to the irrational aspects of man.

The Clothes You Wear Can Affect a Dog's Emotional State

Data shows that if your clothing has stripes vs polka-dots or plain color, it can provoke an emotional response in dogs

Why Are Republicans so Bad for Business?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 The Human Beast
Republican politicians bill themselves as pro-business, pro-growth, and pro-opportunity. Yet the financial facts say otherwise. Republican administrations bring hard times, for rich and poor alike. Why are their results so different from their aims? Perhaps Democrats are better at motivating workers.

A Man's World but Not a Boy's

What do I tell my sons? That they should encourage their sons to support the aspirations of girls, girls who are already surpassing them in school at all levels, and going on to graduate schools in larger numbers?

Humanity's In-Humanity

The tragedy of Paris has united us in sorrow, but has filled some of us with hate and a longing to destroy these terrorists. But unless humanity launches a concerted effort towards harmony and tolerance, a "Positive Emotional Footprint," I fear for our very survival.

Overwhelmed Much?

Here are 9 reasons most of us are more overwhelmed than we should be.

Are Men Greedy Because They're Show-offs?

A team of economists from Cornell University have found that the amount of food we eat depends on the sex of our dining partner.

Should Sex Work (Prostitution) Be Decriminalized?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on November 13, 2015 All About Sex
Amnesty International has provoked controversy by advocating the decriminalization of adult sex work.

Chimpanzees Pass the Marshmallow Test

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 Talking Apes
Over the last few decades, research has shown that our primate cousins are much closer to us in mental capacities than we’d previously thought.

Are Silent Dog Whistles Useful?

There are many myths and misunderstandings about how silent dog whistles can be used to control canine behavior.

Eating Garlic Makes Men Smell More Attractive

New research from psychologists in Scotland and the Czech Republic has revealed that eating this sulfurous bulb could improve your body odor.

The Art (and Science) of “Aping”

Human beings are smart. But, according to Joseph Henrich, the impact of the innate intelligence of individuals may be over-rated. Quite often, for example, European explorers who got lost did not survive. The takeaway, Henrich suggests, in an immensely ambitious new book, is that our species' uniqueness lies less in the power of individual minds than in collective brains.

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.

Does Having a Pet Make You More Attractive?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on November 09, 2015 Animals and Us
Research on members of the Internet dating site reveals the surprising importance dogs and cats can play in modern romance.

Psychoanalysis Today

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on November 08, 2015 The Me in We
Do concerns about money prevent you from gaining in depth self knowledge?

Is Marriage the Cure for Poverty?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 06, 2015 The Human Beast
Marriage is correlated with prosperity in the U.S. So many conservatives promote marriage as a financial elixir. Yet this perspective is scientifically flawed. It also suffers from too narrow a geographical focus on conditions in the U.S.

Homo Professoris, Part VI

Please, folks: raise your children to be bold and brave. Not victim-mongering whiny little wussies.

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.