Essential Reads

Receptors and Personality

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on December 05, 2016 in The Human Beast
Most personality traits are highly heritable. Still, there is a great deal of doubt about whether complex human behavior can be genetically determined.

What is Psychology’s Single Most Brilliant Discovery?

What is the most profoundly important thing we've learned from 150 years of scientific psychology? Here is one nomination.

How Parents Raise Children to Fit In

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in The Human Beast
There is a lot of skepticism about whether parents truly affect their children. Comparing kids in different societies finds links between parenting and outcomes.

Where Does Our Moral Sense Come From?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in Talking Apes
Our intuitive morality may have been shaped not by the day-to-day dilemmas we face but rather by the opinions of others.

More Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

Media Highlights Transhumanism Politics Near End of Election

By Zoltan Istvan on December 04, 2016 in The Transhumanist Philosopher
After 731 days, I finally finished my run for the US Presidency as a transhumanist. Transhumanism was covered in a major way by the media in the weeks leading up to the elections.


By Laura Betzig Ph.D. on December 04, 2016 in The Political Animal
Fidel Castro has been laid to rest. His words, and his descendants, live on.
Google Images labeled for reuse

When Robots Reign: Getting Along with Robo Sapiens

Since power can be used not only to serve yourself, but to silence those who object to how you use it, self-aggrandizement and corruption are endemic.

Clinical Linguistics: What a Mess! Part 1

Clinical linguistics may benefit from the ongoing biolinguistic turn in language sciences.

Pet Ownership Impact on Well-being Depends on Marital Status

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on November 30, 2016 in Life, Refracted
Pet ownership is unrelated to well-being in married Americans. Single women benefit from a pet; single men appear burdened by one, regardless of age, education, income and kids.

Vanishing Grandmothers and the Decline of Empathy

Find out why empathy is declining, why grandmothers matter, and why disappearing cultures can show us a unique recipe to nurture compassionate children and happy people.

The Power of Curiosity

Might one consider eliciting the child's interests, rather than imposing interests upon the child?

The Dangerous “Reveries” of HBO's Westworld Series

By Amy Fries on November 28, 2016 in The Power of Daydreaming
What do Stephen Hawking and HBO's new series Westworld have in common? Dire warnings of ways in which artificial intelligence can learn to out-maneuver us.
Google Images labeled for reuse

When Robots Reign: Getting Along with Robo Sapiens

Immortality lies not in identifying with any one model of Homo or Robo Sapiens, but in participating in the progression.

Fear and Voting

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
We all live in groups defined by shared fears, and shared ways of allaying those fears. Our fears therefore function as shibboleths. And thus my fears are invisible to you.

Hey Straight Women: Need Dating Advice? Ask a Gay Man.

The bond between straight women and gay men is real, and here to stay.

Why Do Men Get Over a Relationship Sooner Than Women?

By Jen Kim on November 22, 2016 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Here's the truth: Despite whatever he's posting on Instagram, he is suffering, too. Just maybe not as much as you. And not in the way you are.

The Politics of Faking Orgasm: Saving Time, Saving Face

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on November 21, 2016 in Insight Therapy
People who fake orgasms deprive themselves of great pleasure for an empty show of it, introduce a lie into an act of trust, distance into an occasion for closeness. Why?

Competing Views of Power in Trump’s America

Machiavelli proclaimed it was "better to be feared than loved." Social Psychologist Dacher Keltner has a different view. Which view will dominate in Trump's presidency?

Why People Adopted Agriculture

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 18, 2016 in The Human Beast
The key question about the adoption of agriculture is motivational. Did our ancestors gravitate to the hard labor on farms because they grasped its potential for increasing food?

Nonverbal Messages: Cracking the Code

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on November 15, 2016 in Face It!
Lifting the curtain to reveal the who, the why, and the how of scientific pursuits...

Sleep Train a Baby?—Don’t!

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on November 13, 2016 in Moral Landscapes
There’s no question about it--babies need to be physically with caregivers. Here are a series of questions I received recently about babies and sleep training from a set of parents

Do Dogs Grieve Over the Loss of an Animal Companion?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 10, 2016 in Canine Corner
New data shows that dogs show grief and stress when they lose a companion animal from their household.

What is the Trump Effect?

Understand the psychological biases that make people vote for Trump or hate Trump voters. Find out why the Trump Effect explains social behaviour, not just American politics.
"Blonde Haired Woman"/Pexels/CC0

Believing: One of the 4 B's (Being, Belonging, Benevolence)

By Saul Levine M.D. on November 08, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
We humans have always had a need to search for some non-material rationale to the inevitable demands of life, and a sense of Believing enables us to give meaning to our existence.

What Might Research Ethics Teach Us About Effect Size?

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on November 07, 2016 in Pop Psych
The curious world in which our complex minds are passive and acted upon by information probably doesn't exist, but people sometimes say it does.

Small Hands

By Laura Betzig Ph.D. on November 06, 2016 in The Political Animal
Sex in politics is as old as politics. And maybe as old as sex.

The Wage Gap and Sexual Competition

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 02, 2016 in The Human Beast
A persistent wage gap in pay between men and women is often interpreted as clear evidence of gender discrimination. Another interpretation looks at job choice.

Curiosity (Interest)

All innate affects (“primary affects”—feelings) are important. These affects—reactions to stimuli—ultimately form our more complex emotional life.

Supernatural Stimuli: Why Women Love Vampires

Women should be repulsed by those blood-sucking shadow-dwelling vampires. Is there a natural explanation for why women are instead unnaturally attracted to these villains?

For Hallowe’en: From the Devil’s Point of View

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on October 28, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
The devil turns out to be not that bad and God not that good. What's going on?

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.

What Porn Really Does to Relationships

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on October 25, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
Two new studies go beyond the simple assumption that pornography is bad for 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.