Evolutionary Psychology Essential Reads

Do Social Odors Build Cities?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on October 02, 2015 Sensoria
Is your smell communicating everything about you, from your state of mind to the foods and drugs you take? Learn how the invisible sense of smell influences every aspects of your daily life.

Freedom and Its Consequences

In his book Freedom Evolves, the philosopher Daniel Dennett tells about a young father who forgot to drop off his infant daughter at her day-care center on his way to work. She spent the day locked in his car in a hot parking lot. When he returned to his car, she was still strapped into her little car seat in the back seat, dead.

User's Manual for the Male Brain

Theory and practice of getting the best and avoiding the worst in male humans

You Smell. And That's a Good Thing.

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 23, 2015 Talking Apes
American culture has long been obsessed with body odor—and removing any trace of it. But body odor is an important component of our social interactions and can even trump the information received from vision or hearing.

Macho Macho Men

Women's preferences for masculine or feminine faces vary considerably. A new study puts evolutionary explanations of these preferences to the test.

Five Weird Facts About the Brain You Didn't Know

Discover shock and awe inside your own skull

Understanding Primates – and Donald Trump

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on September 21, 2015 Naturally Selected
By scientific criteria, Donald Trump is not a natural leader. How can we then explain his popularity among certain groups of American voters? To understand it we need to go way back into our evolutionary history as primates or consider our own childhood experiences in the school play ground.

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.

Say Your Dog's Name and He May Form an Image of Your Face

Recent research suggests that dogs can recognize human voices and have an expectation, or mental image, of which faces go with which voice.

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.

When Is the Best Time to Give Birth?

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on September 14, 2015 How We Do It
Medical intervention in human birth is now so widespread in industrialized countries that deliveries are seldom spontaneous. Yet with no intervention there is clear persistence of a general mammalian 24-hour biorhythm in birth hour. Is this just a carryover from ancestors that gave birth during their inactive period, or is that basic rhythm still biologically important?

No Such Thing as a Free Evolutionary Lunch

By Jesse Marczyk on September 14, 2015 Pop Psych
If you want to do good psychology, you don't get to take the existence of cognitive mechanisms for granted. Brains take energy, and that energy better be doing useful things.

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.

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

New data shows that dogs, like young human children, continually watch the social interactions going on around them and use information from what they observe to decide who to avoid in the future.

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!)

Why Do We Torture Ourselves With Spicy Foods?

By Jesse Marczyk on August 20, 2015 Pop Psych
Taking a deeper look into the ultimate reasons for the human preference for spicing up our life.

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 …

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.

Is Music a Universal Language?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 31, 2015 Talking Apes
Both music and language are universals of the human experience, even though the forms they take vary greatly from culture to culture.

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Stupid?

Changing technology stimulates the brain and increases intelligence. But that may only be true if the technology challenges us. In a world run by intelligent machines, our lives could get a lot simpler. Would that make us less intelligent?

3 Reasons to Take a Break After a Breakup

By Wendy Paris on July 28, 2015 Splitopia
We may think that divorce opens the door to a rousing round of nonstop dating, but many people find they need a break between marriage and getting back out there. Taking a break can bring real benefits.

Why High School Stays with You Forever (Like It or Not)

For some of us, high school shines like an enchanted kingdom; for others, it is remembered as an endless Hell of daily torments. For most of us, it is something in between, but memorable nonetheless. Is it the collision between evolved psychological mechanisms and the nature of the modern high school that is to blame?

When Men Aren't As Good-Looking As They Think

Research finds, again, that men tend to overestimate their own attractiveness.

The Pros and Cons of Polygamy

With gay marriage now legal across the USA, some are suggesting that legal polygamy should be next. But would this really be a good idea?

Are You Tone Deaf?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 Talking Apes
The musically gifted often foist the “tone deaf” label on those whose music production abilities aren’t up to their expectations, but most have music perception skills in the normal range.

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 …