Essential Reads

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Survival of the Scaredest

Why are we more afraid of insects than guns? Our emotions and perceptions are evolutionary products, and we can blame genetics for our infested minds.
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Required Summer Reading

In a landmark study of why human beings believe what they believe and do what they do, Robert Sapolsky demonstrates that brains and cultures evolve; genes don't determine anything.

Can Envy Ever Be a Positive Emotion?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 12, 2017 in Talking Apes
Envy lets us know about our rank in the pecking order. But how we respond determines whether the outcome will be destructive or help us become better people.

The Autism-Genius Connection

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 11, 2017 in The Human Beast
Some people are exceptionally good at focusing on rarefied abstract problems. Some of these have exceptionally high IQ. Some are autistic. Some are both.

More Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

Can You Understand the Different Types of Dog Growls?

Not all dog growls are equivalent. Particular sound components determine how we interpret any growl.

Are Dogs Self-Aware?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 24, 2017 in The Human Beast
The standard test of self-awareness is being able to recognize ourselves in a mirror. Although chimpanzees pass this test with flying colors, dogs flunk.

The Work Humans Are Wired to Do

By Caroline Beaton on May 23, 2017 in The Gen-Y Guide
While humans have evolved beyond just hunting and gathering, we're all still wired to fill basic human needs.

Why Do We Roast the Ones We Love?

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on May 18, 2017 in Pop Psych
Why do are insults between friends cordial, but insults between stranger not?

Fear Trump? Fear Muslims? Or fear HOW we fear, itself

Some fear President Trump. His supporters fear Muslims and immigrants and 'others'. Our radically different fears reveal something truly scary about human cognition.

Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome: Subclinical Version

Can cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome be inherited? Do subtle versions live among us?

You Think You’re Helping, Do You?

Considering that psychology is the study of the mind and behavior, shouldn't psychologists understand how things impact the mind and behavior?

Want to lose weight? Eat MORE!

Increasing the proportion of raw food in one’s diet is a fast track to weight loss. And it means that you spend more time actually eating. Here’s why.
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Darth Socrates: You don’t know the power of Philosophy

Experimental philosophy is all the rage in philosophy. But, like all other fads before, it will fall to philosophy's unanswerable questions.

Teamwork, Community, and the Release of Joel Guerrero

Joel Guerrero was detained by ICE for shoddy reasons, leaving a pregnant wife home alone and a community in stress. Today, Joel is free, due in part to political activism.

Why Negative Thoughts Are Normal

We're all wired for negativity for good reason: It helped us survive. But today these tendencies backfire. So forgive yourself, move on, and feel joy for a change.

Sex and Darth Sidious

Carrie Fisher hated that bikini. But Darth Sidious should have been sexier than Jabba the Hutt.

Killing Lions and Wooing Hearts

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on May 02, 2017 in Benign Neglect
Why do adolescent males engage in risky behavior and what can be done about it?

Why Play Is Important

Of course we enjoy having fun, but does play have important biological benefits?

Are Accusations of Cultural Appropriation Misguided?

By Liane Gabora Ph.D. on April 29, 2017 in Mindbloggling
When Newton said he saw further by standing on the shoulders of giants what mattered was that he assimilated these 'giants' ideas perhaps more deeply than their own biological kin.

Scans Reveal Diametric Differences in More Detail

A followup study to a previous one that showed striking diametric differences between autistic and psychotic brains also reveals similarities in the so-called social brain.

Dogs Prefer Advice From People Who Actually Have the Answers

Data shows that dogs try to "read your mind" to see if you have reliable information before responding to your instructions.

When Should You Go With Your Intuitions?

Do you trust your gut? Going with your intuitions can be dangerous in some situations. This article helps you see when you should go with your gut, and when you shouldn't.

Why Religion Evolved

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 25, 2017 in The Human Beast
Religion consumes up to a tenth of economic productivity in some societies. So it must produce corresponding benefits. What are they?

What Men Desire in a Woman

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 25, 2017 in A Sideways View
What is the evolutionary psychology of mate choice? What really "turns men on" and why?

Morality: Seeds Must Be Planted Rightly in Early LIfe

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on April 23, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
It’s easy to believe that reasoning is the most important aspect of morality. But it isn't. Morality "goes all the way down" to how well our neurobiological systems work.

Imprinting and the Epigenetics of the Brain and Sleep

One of the best-understood epigenetic mechanisms—genomic imprinting—explains much about both sleep and the brain.

The Rise and Fall of Monogamy

By Neel Burton M.D. on April 19, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What future for monogamy and polyamory?

How Men Attract Women

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 18, 2017 in The Human Beast
How men attract women is a much more difficult question than vice-versa because women are both more selective, and also more individualistic in what they want.

Why Are We All so frightened?

By Gary L. Wenk Ph.D. on April 16, 2017 in Your Brain on Food
Humans fear everything that is unfamiliar or not-like-me: we fear unfamiliar dogs, people who look or dress differently, unfamiliar places, things that go bump in the night, etc.

How Universal Is Body Language?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 12, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Are emotional signals shaped by different cultures or are they universal to all humans? An ambitious new research project seeks to answer that question,

The "Guilty Dog" Look and Other Borrowed Signals

The guilty dog look and the human handshake have similar roots in the evolution of animal communication.

The Nature of a Dog's Eye Can Make Problem-Solving Difficult

Dogs have limited visual abilities when compared to humans, and this may make solving certain problems difficult.

Estrogen Promise

By Robert J King Ph.D. on April 11, 2017 in Hive Mind
Have the rumors of the death of testosterone been somewhat exaggerated? In a word: Yes.