Essential Reads

Why Good Looks Don't Guarantee a Great Relationship

... and why this should be encouraging for all relationship-seekers.

The X Factor: Genetics and Female Mental Health

A single X chromosome gene explains a lot about women’s risk of mental illness.

Humanism: To Think Is to Act

How allowing "I do" for all improves public health and wellbeing

Can Evolution Explain All Human Behavior?

Possibly but it is difficult to prove.

Recent Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

How Does Your Circadian Clock Keep Track of the Seasons?

Until now, the specific neurobiology of how our circadian clocks keep track of the seasons has been a mystery. Recently, researchers identified how circadian rhythms synchronize with the seasons. These findings could lead to new treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and insomnia.

Of Crime, Criminality, and Nature

By Joe Nedelec Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in The Nature of Crime
Thieving primates, invading chimpanzees, alcoholic monkeys, and insect rape are a few examples of the criminality evident in nature discussed in this post. To further lay the foundation for a biosocial viewpoint of crime and criminality, this post examines how human criminal behavior has numerous analogues in the wild.

Why Good Looks Don't Guarantee a Great Relationship

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in The Sports Mind
New research finds that attractiveness does little to guarantee a healthy relationship.

The X Factor: Genetics and Female Mental Health

XIST, the gene that controls X chromosome gene expression, is up regulated in psychosis, just as the imprinted brain theory predicts.

Beyond the Toddler Years

We are continuing our exploration of the three pillars of human development--Affects (Feelings), Language, and Cognition. This month we wrap up the section of Language by examining the link between feelings and words, a process we call translation.

Is the Modern World More Violent?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in The Human Beast
If it bleeds, it leads is a truism of news coverage. We all sympathize with the victims of senseless violence, and their families, because we know that it could have been us, and our families. Yet, our world has never been less violent – except in news media and entertainment.

Humanism: To Think Is to Act

Humanism: Moving towards pre-frontal cortex functioning and moving away from reptilian brain functioning

Finding a Life Partner, Part Two

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 in Media Spotlight
While David Buss points out that we all come from a long line of ancestors who have been fairly successful in the mating game which, in theory, means that we are all equipped to succeed ourselves, Menelaos Apostolou isn’t so optimistic. The rules under which we live in modern society are very different from what our ancestors took for granted.

Can Evolution Explain All Human Behavior?

Evolutionary explanations of human behavior abound and they call on what we know about evolution. However, proving the validity of these explanations is another story. Why is that?

The Avatar Theory of Consciousness

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on June 27, 2015 in Memory Medic
Evolution made us smart enough to be effective killers and hopefully wise enough to be more humane.

Evolutionary Marketing

By Jesse Marczyk on June 27, 2015 in Pop Psych
There are plenty of thought in psychology about misplaced arousal or the general affects of arousal on thought. Unfortunately, plenty of that is incorrect thinking...

Born in the USA

When the 4th of July comes around, do you find yourself getting all patriotic? That’s OK – it’s part of our evolved coalitional psychology. Read on to find out why!

Did Paleo Man have Drug or Drinking Problems?

By Donna Barstow on June 26, 2015 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Mental illness and mental health are not modern. What did cavemen (sorry, Paleo man) do about it?

The Psychology of Competition

Competitions are fun, let’s be honest. At one point or another, you probably have enjoyed being part of some kind of competition. Of course, competitions are more fun if you actually “win” (but for you to win, someone else must lose). Given this basic inequality: can competitions promote pro-social behavior?

Nice Guys Really Do Finish Last

A new study shows that being over-confident may not make you more desirable, but can still help you get the girl.

Why Violent Crime Is Shrinking

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in The Human Beast
Rising crime rates during the twentieth century were a small blip on a very steep decline extending back to the fourteenth century and earlier. That stunning conclusion emerged only in the last decade. Causes of most of the long-term decline are currently unknown. That of the past few decades seems simpler.

Beyond Atheism

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
Atheism, then, doesn’t really get at the heart of the matter. It is not that there are no gods or goddesses, but rather that there are no religions.

A Point of Reference: Weight and the Concept of Set Point

Considering all the food our bodies process throughout our lifetime, our weight remains, for the most part, within a fairly constant range. In other words, our bodies tend to “defend” that weight, especially after weight loss, and that is why it is so difficult for us to maintain our weight at a lower level. Is there a set point for weight?

Finding a Life Partner, Part One

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Can evolutionary psychology help explain why it seems so hard to have a successful intimate relationship? A new article published in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences investigates the enigma of human mating choices and the evolutionary forces shaping us today.

Dad Max

By Robert J King Ph.D. on June 21, 2015 in Hive Mind
Mad Max and the battle of the sexes.

Strange Bedfellows: Love and War

By E E Smith on June 21, 2015 in Not Born Yesterday
The month of June is traditionally the time for weddings. Newspapers, magazines, and all forms of social media are teeming with photos of beaming grooms and blushing brides. Wait a minute. Do brides still blush? Somehow, I doubt it.

Forgiving the Unforgivable: From Hatred to Empathy

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on June 19, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
What are the psychological and evolutionary imperatives that undergird hate and racism? How can we undercut hatred with forgiveness and love? An interdisciplinary, cross-cultural understanding and reflections on the Charleston massacre.

Holy Heisenberg!

By David Ludden Ph.D. on June 19, 2015 in Talking Apes
Evolution has crafted human brains to be efficient processors of social information, and our intuitions aren’t nearly as illogical as many psychologists have portrayed them.

Effectiveness of Rewards and Punishments in Dog Training

Data shows that using punishment as part of dog training, or to control unwanted behaviors, is not particularly effective, and may actually trigger some behavioral problems.

Encounters with Dead Pets: A Study of the Evolution of Grief

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on June 17, 2015 in Animals and Us
Bereaved pet owners sometimes think they have seen or heard their dead dogs or cats. Here's what these errors reveal about the evolutionary functions of grief.

Does Dolezal Get to Choose?

Your race is socially constructed in a given situation by other people, not by you.

When Friends Become Lovers (and Why They Often Don't)

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on June 16, 2015 in The Sports Mind
The surprising new science behind one of love’s gray areas: the “friend zone.”

The Art and Science of Happiness

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on June 16, 2015 in Obesely Speaking
Perspective determines whether a ruby is a jewel, or a ruby is a stone; and whether being by yourself is the rapture of solitude or the agony of being alone.