Essential Reads

The Dark Side of Oxytocin

Normally thought of as purely positive in its effects, oxytocin is also implicated in religion, nationalism, and xenophobia.

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.

More Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

Should We Be Afraid of Our Genes?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 26, 2016 in The Human Beast
In a period when some politicians are exhibiting stereotypical male primate behavior, it is refreshing to ask whether we are really in control of ourselves.

Does Porn Damage Your Relationship?

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on October 25, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
The stereotypical porn user is a single man. But couples view pornography too. What effect does it have on their relationships?

Pre-Suasion: Before You Try to Persuade Someone…

In Pre-Suasion, Robert Cialdini asks: What is most important if you want to persuade? Hint: it’s not so much what’s IN your message, as in what happens in the moment just BEFORE.

Why We Fear

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on October 17, 2016 in Beastly Behavior
Researchers have found that it is easier to train humans and other primates to fear snakes than other dangers, indicating a genetic predisposition for the fear of snakes.

Nietzsche vs. the Batek

Could Nietzsche’s 'Superman' survive in a traditional human society?

Do Humans Need Meat?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in The Human Beast
Environmentalists encourage us to cut down on meat consumption in favor of vegetable foods that are less damaging to the environment. Is that a good idea for our health?

Open Letter to Mr. Tom Wolfe

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on October 11, 2016 in Adaptive Behavior
Is language really special? Or did it evolve just like other human abilities?

A Dog Is More Likely to Ignore Bad Advice Than a Child

Both dogs and children imitate the behaviors that they see, however dogs are less likely to imitate behaviors that are not relevant to completing a task.

3 Ways Your Smile Can Predict Your Future

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on September 29, 2016 in Head Games
Your smile communicates much more than you may realize.

A New Science of Human Evolution—and Evolutionary Psychiatry

A new book highlights the revolution sweeping through evolution thanks to genomics and sets a precedent that the imprinted brain theory has already followed.

Why Lending With Interest Is Felt to Be Immoral

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Cui Bono
A mismatch between evolved feelings about fairness in exchanges and modern economic practices might eventually lead to a revolution against the current political/economic system.

Worshipping the Sun God

Evolutionary psychological principles can help shape the field of architecture. And the result can be amazing. Here is a case study based on Wooster Hall at SUNY New Paltz.

Can a Dog Really Suffer From Depression?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 21, 2016 in Canine Corner
One of the breakthroughs in veterinary medicine has been the recognition that dogs and humans may have similar psychological problems and can be treated the same way.

The Blank Slate Controversy

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in The Human Beast
Behaviorists used to argue that people were blank slates in the sense that almost all of our behavior was learned. Evolutionary psychologists disagree. Who is correct?

Evolutionary Adaptations and Male Mortality

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in This Is America
The most social of the sciences, evolutionary biology draws on anthropology, endocrinology, and genetics to understand male aging, including the gender gap in mortality rates.

Gender Equality Baffles Evolutionary Psychologists

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on September 15, 2016 in The Human Beast
The fact that men and women were reliably different around the globe was a foundation of evolutionary psychology. This idea is challenged by rising gender equality.
Original cartoon by Alexandra Martin, inspired by an interview retort from Sharon Stone

Intimately Connected

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in How We Do It
Research sheds new light on biological origins of women’s sexuality.

Neuroscience Research Faulted for Widespread Inaccuracies

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on September 09, 2016 in Side Effects
Selective reporting and inflated effect sizes mar even high-impact studies in the neurosciences, according to two weighty new analyses.

Emblematic Slips

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Face It!
Did you know that a shoulder shrug may be an indication of lying? Certain subtle body movements may be more revealing than you think.

Why Do People Make Love at Night?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in The Human Beast
Most people make love when they go to bed, which is usually at night. Why are human sex and sleep so intertwined?

3 Ways Birth Order Can Influence Who You Are

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on September 06, 2016 in Head Games
Does it make a difference if you're the oldest, youngest, or middle child? Research suggests that it can, in ways you may not be aware of.

♪ When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman… ♫

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on August 31, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
New research shows that we keep a closer eye on our love rivals if our partner is hotter than us.

Does Climate Affect Economic Growth?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 30, 2016 in The Human Beast
Economic development goes along with a temperate climate, such as Europe's. Conversely, most of the poorest countries in the world are concentrated in the steamy tropics. Why?

Beaver Island

By Laura Betzig Ph.D. on August 28, 2016 in The Political Animal
Promiscuous absolutists have had their day after the people find ways to sail, ride or walk away.

Commandeering Cuteness for Commercialism

By Douglas Van Praet on August 27, 2016 in Unconscious Branding
There is a good reason why cute and cuddly baby animals are tugging at your heart and pulling on your purse strings.

News From the 2016 Annual Dreams Conference

This year's IASD conference included talks on jihadi dreams, emotional processing, gender differences, social cognition, and existential dreams of "sublime disquietude."

Weird Beliefs

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
You have some weird beliefs, beliefs that do not fit well with all your other everyday beliefs. To you, though, these beliefs are not weird at all. What explains this?

Siena’s Sublimation of Neighborhood Rivalries

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on August 22, 2016 in The Me in We
The palio horserace shows the social significance of sacrifice and the sublimation of group rivalries.

Why It Can Be So Hard to Stay Happy

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on August 21, 2016 in Out of the Ooze
Can being too content actually be bad for you?