Essential Reads

5 Reasons That Life Is Hard

Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life

When Women Use Jealousy

Surprising benefits of rousing the green-eyed monster

Cities Are Green After All

Agriculture fingered as key source of global warming.

Evolutionary Psychology Is Not About "Bettering the Species"

Or why men don't want their wives to have too much fun with the pool boy.

Recent Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

5 Reasons That 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?

Are Men or Women More in Demand?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 08, 2015 in The Human Beast
Men generally want to have sex earlier in a relationship than women. This is consistent with the pattern for other species where males are more eager to mate whereas females invest more in young and are more discriminating. How does this pattern play out in modern environments?

Why Are There So Many Religions?

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on April 07, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
There are thousands of religions on Earth today. The best explanation for this puzzlingly high number is that being religious is an evolutionary adaptation.

Looking in the Cultural Mirror at 100, the Top 10

Five years ago, I began writing pieces for Looking in the Cultural Mirror. While psychology may define itself as the science of behavior, when it comes to people it often seems more like the science of American behavior than of human behavior everywhere. This, my 100th piece, discusses the blog’s background and aims. It offers links to the most popular 10.

Biased? Yes, against the tide and FOR baby’s needs

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on April 05, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
Someone recently remarked that I was biased... Yes, I am biased FOR babies. I am out of sync with biases that lead people to think letting babies scream is a good thing. Not!

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Why Does Racism Persist?

To end racism we must identify and sever the immortal head that keeps the beast alive. Racism’s immortal head is rankism.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 3 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on April 04, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

The Handaxe Enigma

Can the foundations of art be found in ancient stone handaxes?

Good In Bed: Funny Men Give More Orgasms

By Gil Greengross Ph.D. on April 02, 2015 in Humor Sapiens
Women with humorous partners experience more and stronger orgasms

The Attractiveness of Personality Traits

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 02, 2015 in A Sideways View
Some traits are more attractive than others. But there are downsides to all extreme scorers. Is there a downside to being a sociable extravert or a highly agreeable person?

The Flynn Effect as Adaptive Change

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in The Human Beast
All living creatures can change to fit in with their environment. Some of that flexibility is due to gene selection but a lot is developmental. The Flynn effect of rising IQ in developed countries is an enrichment effect of modern life. It arises due to the adaptive response of our brain to the increased challenges it faces.

Jealousy Hurts Love, or Does It?

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on April 01, 2015 in Insight Therapy
Jealousy in relationships is common and universal, with deep evolutionary origins. Research shows it can affect relationships in complicated and surprising ways.

Custodians of the Neighborhood

We like to keep our neighborhoods in good condition—free of graffiti, broken streetlights, litter, and potholes. Who are the custodians of our neighborhoods? And are they wasting their time?

One Thing You Must Know About Jealousy

Evolutionary psychology explain a critical gender difference in jealousy responses. Men have more to gain from sex with multiple partners so they respond by looking for someone new. Women have more to gain from keeping their partner committed so they respond by enhancing themselves and the relationship.

Monkey Business

By David Ludden Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in Talking Apes
Humans have a number of brain regions that are dedicated to language processing, but other primates also have these same neural structures.

3 Ways Your Romantic Instincts Can Lead You Astray

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in In Love and War
Romantic instincts are subject to a number of biases that can lead us to trust the wrong people and overlook the right ones.

Fear the Future

In our modern world, anxiety is a burden to many. In our past, however, it may have been the difference between life and death.

The Real Reason People Think Promiscuity Is Wrong

Why do many people think promiscuity is morally wrong? STDs may sound like the simplest explanation, but it's probably not the correct one.

What Makes You Say You’re Lonely?

By Peter Toohey on March 26, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
What does it mean to be lonely and how do say that you are lonely? Is language enough to describe it? Are you lonely just because you think you are lonely and say you are lonely? Or are specific circumstances required for there to be loneliness? What does loneliness mean for the animal and human brain? Is loneliness and the word “loneliness” common to all cultures?

How Drug Addiction Impacts Infant Care

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Me in We
Drug abuse short circuits neural connections between child and caregiver.

Is Digital Life Risky?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in The Human Beast
Young people who grew up with digital technologies and cannot conceive of a life without the Internet, digital games, and social media are sometimes called “digital natives” whereas older generations who acquired these technologies as adults are “digital immigrants.” Digital natives have many advantages but “addiction” to screens has its critics.