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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 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, […]

Do Teenagers Emotional Brains Have An Evolutionary Purpose?

Mood swings, raging impatience, delusions of immortality. All the things that make a teenager a teenager might just seem like a phase we all have to go through. But research increasingly shows that the behaviors of teenagers aren’t just there to annoy parents, they serve a real evolutionary purpose. What is a teenager? Our standard […]