Essential Reads

Obsess Much? Here’s Why

The Evolutionary Psychology of Rumination

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

Dogs don't like people who are unhelpful or uncooperative to their loved ones

Evolutionary Basis to Differences Between Cats and Dogs

An Almost-Serious Scholarly Debate on Evolved Behavioral Differences

Why Do We Torture Ourselves With Spicy Foods?

The peculiar human behavior of spicing meals

Recent Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

One Psychologist's Two Cents on Guns

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
Will owning a gun sometimes protect good people from bad people? Yes, of course. Will owning a gun also make a person more likely to be murdered or to die of suicide? Yes, of course. The politics swirling around the touchy issue of gun ownership often ignore the complexity of the problem.

Sex and Singing

By Eric Haseltine Ph.D. on September 01, 2015 in Long Fuse, Big Bang
If you want more grandchildren, give your kids music lessons

The Shocking Truth About Poaching

By Ryan Anderson on August 30, 2015 in The Mating Game
You can't always get what you want

Obsess Much? Here’s Why

Obsessive rumination can be tied specifically to one’s own failures – for good evolutionary reasons. Understanding the nature of rumination may hold a key to dealing with this facet of mental life.

Why high heels make women more attractive

In their recent study, entitled "High heels as supernormal stimuli: How wearing high heels affects judgements of female attractiveness", the psychologists compared ratings of women walking in flat shoes, with the same women walking in high heels, in order to establish whether or not walking in high heels enhances the attractiveness of gait.

Why Are We So Prone to Feeling Crazy?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on August 27, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
How our nature nurtures feelings of insanity. If we’re not stressed out and feeling crazy right at this moment, we’ve probably paid a recent visit to that neighborhood – and are likely to return in the very near future. Our own thinking may twist us – but it can also uncrumple us again.

Child Proofing versus Tool Using

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Benign Neglect
We may be “protecting” children from valuable experiences.

Stereotypical Gender Differences in Sexuality Are Crumbling

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in The Human Beast
Marked differences between male and female sexuality used to be supported by solid evidence around the globe. The trouble is that such distinctions are getting blurred in developed countries.

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

New data shows that dogs, like young human children, continually watch the social interactions going on around them and use information from what they observe to decide who to avoid in the future.

Evolutionary Basis to Differences Between Cats and Dogs

Is the denial of evolved behavioral sex differences in humans similar to the idea of denying that cats and dogs differ from each other by nature? (warning: satire alert!)

What Men Want

By Ryan Anderson on August 24, 2015 in The Mating Game
Men are only interested in sex right? There's more to it than you think

Is Extreme Weather an 'Act of God'?

Researchers from Northwestern University, University of Arizona and Stanford University, have recently published an investigation into first-hand accounts from survivors of two major natural disasters--Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Chilean earthquake in 2010. Describing the disasters as an 'Act of God' was among the most common explanations.

How Dogs Show Us What Is Happening in the World

Dogs have developed a behavioral technique that involves directing the attention of humans to objects in the world that may be of interest.

Why Do We Torture Ourselves With Spicy Foods?

By Jesse Marczyk on August 20, 2015 in Pop Psych
Taking a deeper look into the ultimate reasons for the human preference for spicing up our life.

Lord of the Flies

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Excellent Beauty
What is the cost of humans being religious? It is much higher than we've been led to believe.

Women Held for 30 years in Slavery - 'Traumatic Entrapment'?

Three women rescued from horrific conditions after allegedly being held as slaves for 30 years, are described by the British Metropolitan Police's human trafficking unit as 'highly traumatised'.

What Is Evolutionary Psychology?

The application of evolutionary principles to issues of behavior (AKA evolutionary psychology) is one of the most powerful intellectual movements in the current landscape of modern thought. Here are some of the basic concepts of this exciting field – spelled out in brief.

America's Infatuation with Jim Harbaugh

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 16, 2015 in Obesely Speaking
While other college coaches are busy strategizing to win football games, Jim Harbaugh is conquering a nation without trying.

Does the Impulse to Gossip Have a Silver Lining for Markets?

The urge to let others know when you've been taken advantage of, and instinctively knowing that almost all of us have it, may play a big role in helping markets to function well--most recently including ones relying on online reviews such as eBay, airbnb, and trip advisor. I describe a novel laboratory experiment that demonstrates the tendency to tell in its purest form.

The Evolutionary Psychology of the Bad-Mouther

Humans come armed with an arsenal of social strategies. And there are multiple routes to social success. One strategy that can be just as unpleasant as it can be successful is the approach of bringing others down.

Exploring the Psychology of Fine Artists in the Digital Age

We are saturated by the media, in the form of advertisements and the Internet selling us unlimited number of programs, supplements, systems, and medications to address this triad. But, what about exposure to the fine arts? Can art influence our psychological and physiological wellness?

The 'Sexy Sons' Theory of What Women are Attracted to in Men

Psychologists might be able to predict what kind of man a woman is more likely to achieve an orgasm with.

Ugh! That's So Disgusting! Repulsion Predicts Your Sex Life

To have sex, we have to overcome strong feelings of disgust.

Consciousness in the Press?

Media coverage on the topic of consciousness and the brain?

Why do we owe sex and romance to viruses?

By Eyal Winter on August 14, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Why we owe sex and romance to viruses?

Nurture vs. Nature? As a Practical Matter, It’s Nurture

By Anthony Biglan Ph.D. on August 12, 2015 in The Nurture Effect
Beyond Nature v. Nurture: If you want a society full of productive, caring people, then focus on nurturing.

The Altruism of the Rich and the Poor

By Jesse Marczyk on August 12, 2015 in Pop Psych
A new paper finds that the rich tend to be more charitable than previously-studied groups. Interestingly enough, the poor are also a rather charitable bunch. How can we explain both of these facts?

Do Dogs Understand Play Signals Given by Humans?

Some of the most frequently used human signals inviting dogs to play simply don't work. However there are certain signals people can give to their dogs which get them to play 100% of the time.

Is Religion an Excuse for Laziness?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 12, 2015 in The Human Beast
Historians associate the Protestant reformation with the rise of capitalism. Protestants found a new sense of responsibility for their own salvation. They worked harder for material success as well. Members of earlier, less individualistic, religions did not work as hard. Was their religion an excuse for laziness?

The Loveliness of Luscious Loins

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 in How We Do It
Studies of attractive features of women’s body shape have rarely considered the side view. This is needed to assess the importance of curvature of the loins and protrusion of the buttocks. Apparently, special adaptation of the lower spine in women to permit maintenance of the centre of gravity over the hips during pregnancy feeds into men’s assessment of attractiveness.