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Tolerance Of Outsiders Is Also A Human Instinct

Whether they are proposing to build a wall or to exit an international coalition, populist politicians like to pitch themselves as keeping ‘outsiders’ at bay, and it clearly strikes a chord with their home crowd. To understand this phenomenon, evolutionary and social psychologists have offered a simple explanation. Humans, we’re told, have a deep-rooted inclination […]

The History Of Evolutionary Psychology

The history of evolutionary psychology began with Charles Darwin, who said that humans have social instincts that evolved by natural selection. Darwin’s work inspired later psychologists such as William James and Sigmund Freud but for most of the 20th century psychologists focused more on behaviorism and proximate explanations for human behavior. E. O. Wilson’s landmark […]

The 6 Categories Of Disgust That Protect Us From Disease

The emotion disgust has long been recognized as having evolved to help our ancestors fend off infection. Now, researchers have been able to show the human disgust system is likely to be structured around the people, practices and objects that pose disease risk. This is the first time researchers have used the perspective of disease […]

Tidy Birds And Neat Bees: On Conscientiousness In Animals

Human personality theory has long revolved around what we know as the ‘Big Five’ – five dimensions of personality that cover a large swathe of how humans behave across time and contexts. These dimensions are conscientiousness (tendencies to be orderly and rule-abiding), agreeableness (easy to get along with), extraversion (outgoing), neuroticism (tendencies to be anxious, […]