Essential Reads

How Social Contagion Helps Explain Our Pet Choices

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Animals and Us
The craze for flat-faced dogs may have been produced by the same mob mentality that caused a wave of pet euthanasia in 1939.

Animals R Us, or Are They?

What is your cat really thinking about?

Fated to Fear

By Jeffrey Lockwood Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in The Infested Mind
Is there evidence that our fear of insects is rooted in evolution? Studies of human genetics and results of controlled experiments support the inheritance of the infested mind.

How Awful is Work, Really?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in The Human Beast
People talk about work as though it were before the Industrial Revolution. In reality work today is much better but our perceptions have not kept track.

More Posts on Evolutionary Psychology

A Simpler Way to Get Along Without Asking About Feelings

By Kimberly Key on August 18, 2017 in Counseling Keys
Some people, and lots of men, have been raised not to feel and are at a loss when they are asked to identify a feeling. Or worse, they have been abused for their feelings.
By Lizbeth Jacobs, with permission

The Virtues of Science-Based Thinking

By Mona S Weissmark Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in Justice Matters
Did science-based thinking help pave the way for the Gates Foundation motto, “All lives have equal value"?

The Secret Life of Procrastinators and the Stigma of Delay

Rather than shame procrastinators for the way they get things done, instead let's understand motivational style differences.

Mourning a Legacy of Racial Violence

By Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D. on August 13, 2017 in The Me in We
How narrative can help us understand racial terror and heal intergenerational trauma.

The Bandwagon Effect

The bandwagon effect is a psychological phenomenon whereby people do something primarily because others are doing it, regardless of their own beliefs.

Why Too Many Sperms Spoil the Egg

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on August 11, 2017 in How We Do It
Men can produce too many sperms as well as too few. Excessive sperm numbers around an egg can result in multiple fertilization, abnormal chromosome numbers, and miscarriage.

An In-depth Analysis of the Crisis at Google

The crisis at Google in the wake of the Damore memo controversy is an unfortunate symptom of our hyperpolarized society. This post explains how to understand it and move forward.

Preventing Hangovers

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 10, 2017 in The Human Beast
They can have adverse effects on productivity, health, and well being. Is there an effective remedy?

What Makes a Dog Notice a Person

Is it the sight of you, the sounds you make, or your scent that is most likely to make a dog aware that you are nearby?

Sally Hemings

By Laura Betzig Ph.D. on August 06, 2017 in The Political Animal
This summer, Sally Hemings of Monticello is getting her own room. Just steps from where Thomas Jefferson slept.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Caring and Caregiving

Providing care to a loved one who is dependent, fragile, or in need shows love in a basic way. Those who give with generosity and reliability rewards themselves as well as others.

Why Do We Kiss on the Lips?

The startling answer is more than tongue in cheek.

Does Science Really Say There’s No Purpose to Life?

Many scientists see humanity as just a cosmic accident. But in a recent journal article, I describe a natural process that could have endowed humanity with an ultimate purpose.

Chewing on the Twizzler Coincidence

Out of the mundane discover of a package of Twizzlers comes a meaning loaded sequence that challenges the materialist view of how the world works.

Why Religions Support Elites

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 02, 2017 in The Human Beast
Pope Francis acts out the humility preached by Christian ascetics for two millennia. Yet, he owns what is probably the most valuable art collection in the world.

Predictability of the Unexpected: The Yin and Yang of Life

By Saul Levine M.D. on August 01, 2017 in Our Emotional Footprint
As wonderful (or painful) as our lives can sometimes be, we will all experience unexpected dramatic changes. How we handle successes and setbacks is what is of most importance.

Science and Religion: Compatible or Not?

Is there a worldview that would satisfy our psychological cravings for religion, without requiring us to sacrifice any dedication to science? There probably is, so stay tuned.

Why Do Your Facebook Friends Have So Much Political Bias?

Myside bias makes us notice, search for, and favor evidence that supports what we already believe. Why do we do this? And is it worse on social media?

What Is the Sexiest Emotion for Men to Display?

By Alec Beall, Ph.D. on July 27, 2017 in Aesthetics 101
Why are bad boys so dreamy? Emotion research may help to explain.

Have Dogs Specifically Evolved to Eat Bread and Pasta?

Do dogs benefit from a raw meat diet? While wolves are genetically programmed to eat meat, dogs have genes that allow them to digest carbohydrates.

Hypotheses About Gender Imbalance in Expressing Opinions

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on July 21, 2017 in Cui Bono
Why are more opinion letters published in the NYT written by male authors? I explore both hypotheses about the answer to this question and how theories determine our hypotheses.

Fatal Attraction

By R. Douglas Fields Ph.D. on July 20, 2017 in The New Brain
An intriguing link has been identified between unconventional sexual behavior and a common parasite, which is acquired from cats.

How Good Is a Dog's Ability to Remember People?

There are suggestions that dogs can remember and may recognize particular people even after years of separation.

Real Reasons for Sex Before Marriage

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 19, 2017 in The Human Beast
More people today are sexually active before marriage than ever before. The true reasons are practical and have little to do with changing belief systems.

Looking for Social Behavior?

An encounter with a species of beetles that pair bonds, communicates with their offspring through sound, and deals with infanticide threats from other pairs.

Get the Science Right!

What popular books get wrong about human evolution.

Small Acts of Generous Behavior Can Make Your Brain Happier

New research shows that very small amounts of generosity can affect you on a neurobiological level.
RelaxingMusic/Flikr

Mindfulness for Beginners

Mindfulness is all the rage, and with a promise to improve concentration, mood, and energy, reduce stress, improve immune function, and even fight obesity, it should be.

The Power of Total Isolation: Why We Hate Being Alone

By Kevin Bennett on July 12, 2017 in Modern Minds
The pain of extreme isolation results from a conflict between evolved social mechanisms and impersonal modern environments containing built structures that cut us off from others.