evolutionary psychology

On the Puerto Rican island of Cayo Santiago, it’s the monkeys, not the humans, who are in charge. Yet this palm-fringed haven — home to about 1,000 rhesus macaques — can feel strangely similar to a weekend watering hole or middle-school cafeteria. Among these gregarious macaques, cliques, best-friend pairs, and social climbers are all much… Read more

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… Read more

A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth US$11 billion a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal. Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported to the rest of the world through popular culture. Indeed, “the pursuit of happiness” is one of the… Read more

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… Read more

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… Read more