Evolutionary Psychology Essential Reads

Man's Fate

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 18, 2016 in Saving Normal
Easter Island tells us all we need to know about our greatness and our fallibility- and also about our prognosis as a species.

Stone-Aged Minds in Modern Voting Booths

Under ancestral conditions, large-scale politics did not exist. But small-scale politics, or the politics found in localized communities, have characterized our species for eons.

Why Your Mother-in-Law Doesn’t Like You

Feeling at odds with your in-laws? Find out the reasons behind their dislike and get some tips to ease this common conflict.
Jessica Tracy

Take Pride

By Jessica Tracy, Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Take Pride
What drives humans to work hard to achieve, discover, create, and innovate?

Why Clowns Creep Us Out

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Out of the Ooze
Clowns are mischievous and unpredictable, and they have an association with serial killers in real life and in the movies. In other words, clowns are designed to creep us out.

Clinton vs. Trump: Talking to the Reptilian Brain

The debates seem to work for Trump. Why? The answer lies in the reptilian brain. His messages stick because they paint images that trigger emotion and instinct.

The Psychology Behind the Creepy Clown Phenomenon

Clowns are among the few people in society who are inherently in a state of deindividuation. This is largely what makes them so creepy.

Freedom of Speech on Campus

Universities have a long history of hiring professors who hold strongly liberal perspectives. This fact has led to a major lack of viewpoint diversity. And this is a problem.

Aspiration in Evolutionary Perspective

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 05, 2016 in The Human Beast
People who are committed to a long term goal that is not purely selfish are happier, healthier and live longer. This challenges Darwinism that presupposes a nastier social order.

Humans Are Genetically Predisposed to Kill Each Other

By R. Douglas Fields Ph.D. on October 02, 2016 in The New Brain
A new study of 1,024 mammal species has determined which animals are the most vicious killers of their own kind. For the answer, just look in the mirror.

Moral Judgments Distort Perceptions of Risk to A Child

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on October 02, 2016 in The Me in We
A new study shows how moral judgments aimed at parents bias how we access risk to a child.

Can Dogs Teach Other Dogs to Speak?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 28, 2016 in Canine Corner
A dog can learn how to make and use specific sounds for communication simply by observing other dogs

Biological Foundations for Self-Directed Education

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Freedom to Learn
Self-directed education—as it occurs in unschooling families and at democratic schools--operates by allowing these four natural drives to flourish. ....

How Natural is War to Human Beings?

By Steve Taylor Ph.D. on September 25, 2016 in Out of the Darkness
We were a peaceful species once before, so there’s no reason why we should give up hope of becoming peaceful once again.

"Power Ties" Are Actually Powerless

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
Donald Trump is hardly a sartorial icon, though he is known for one eye-catching style choice—his “power ties." But does his favored red tie really make him seem more powerful?

Are Men Attracted to Clever Women?

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on September 22, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
The claim that men are intimidated by clever women is backed by the results of a new study on speed-dating.
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The Strange Link Between Attitudes Towards Sex and Drugs

According to evolutionary theories, people's attitudes to recreational drug use may be influenced by their preferred mating strategies.

The Mothers of Mankind

Proposed self-domestication of our species raises the issue of who the domesticators were. Insights of the imprinted brain theory argue they were ancestral mothers.

God Is Watching You

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on September 15, 2016 in Naturally Selected
Is God our Big Brother who watches over us to make sure we do not do anything bad or foolish?

A Post-Racial America?

America in 2016 offers a sign post on the path from thousands of years of separation through centuries of conflict and exploitation towards a hopeful human family reunion.

Why Do We Wince When We're in Pain?

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in Beastly Behavior
The recent discovery that all mammals make the same pain-face begs the question, why? One reason could be that wincing is a facial expression intended to communicate danger.

The Common Descent Doctrine

While Darwin and Lincoln were born on the same day in 1809, only Darwin can be said to have shown an unwavering stance on human equality. Meet Darwin's doctrine of Common Descent.

How Others See You

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 10, 2016 in Talking Apes
Our intuition is a powerful information processor that helps us make quick judgments of others, but it also has built-in biases that lead us astray.

What My Cancer Remission Has Taught Me About the Human Mind

The joy we feel following good news often seems more short-lived than the pain we feel following bad news. I explain why, and offer a thought to help bring us back to center.

Life... Don't Talk to Me About Life

By Robert J King Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Hive Mind
The U.K. press recently picked up our paper about violence and gambling. Here's why they (and other traits) tend to go together and why this matters.

Did Religion Evolve to Benefit the Weak or the Powerful?

Who benefits most from religion? You may think you know, but these three observations will make you reconsider.

Do Racial Stereotypes Have Nothing to Do with Race? Part II

Some readers objected to my coverage of research suggesting race stereotypes are often ecology stereotypes. Steve Neuberg, an author of that research, responds thoughtfully.

Are Racial Stereotypes NOT Really About Race?

New research, published in the prestigious journal PNAS, suggests that stereotypes about race are, mostly, not about race at all. How can that be?

So What If You’re Not Securely Attached?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 02, 2016 in Talking Apes
Psychologists have long treated people with insecure attachment as deviant. But those with anxious and avoidant relationship styles play important roles in human societies.

Can a Dog's Size Predict Its Intelligence?

New data shows that very large or very small dog breeds rank lower in intelligence.