Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind

Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind

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by David M. Buss

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ISBN-10: 020569439X

ISBN-13: 9780205694396

Pub. Date: 11/28/2008

Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.

In the first edition, Evolutionary Psychology was the premier and original text for the burgeoning field of evolutionary psychology. The third edition, containing a major update involving nearly 400 new references, continues this legacy.

David Buss, one of the foremost researchers in the field, has thoroughly revised his already


In the first edition, Evolutionary Psychology was the premier and original text for the burgeoning field of evolutionary psychology. The third edition, containing a major update involving nearly 400 new references, continues this legacy.

David Buss, one of the foremost researchers in the field, has thoroughly revised his already enormously successful text to provide an even more comprehensive overview of this dynamic field. Using cutting-edge research and an engaging writing style, the third edition of Evolutionary Psychology ensures that you will master the material presented.

Highlights of the Third Edition

  • Expanded coverage of issues in clinical and psychopathology
  • Expanded coverage of culture and learning
  • New coverage of testosterone and human mating
  • New coverage of work on parenting and kinship adaptations
  • Expanded coverage of fMRI and other neuroscience findings
  • New work on adaptations linked with ovulation
  • New section on the evolution of intelligence

Product Details

Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Publication date:

Table of Contents


1. Scientific Movements Leading to Evolutionary Psychology

Landmarks in the History of Evolutionary Psychology

Evolution before Darwin

Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection

Darwin’s Theory of Sexual Selection

The Role of Natural and Sexual Selection in Evolutionary Theory

The Modern Synthesis: Genes and Particulate Inheritance

The Ethology Movement

The Inclusive Fitness Revolution

Clarifying Adaptation and Natural Selection

Trivers's Seminal Theories

The Sociobiology Controversy

Common Misunderstandings About Evolutionary Theory

Misunderstanding 1. Human Behavior is Genetically Determined

Misunderstanding 2. If It's Evolutionary, Then We Can't Change It

Misunderstanding 3. Current Mechanisms are Optimally Designed

Milestones in the Origins of Modern Humans

BOX 1.1 Out of Africa versus Multiregional Origins

Landmarks in the Field of Psychology

Freud’s psychoanalytic theory

Williams James and the Psychology of Instincts

The Rise of Behaviorism

The Astonishing Discoveries of Cultural Variability

The Garcia effect, Prepared fears, and Decline of Behaviorism

Peering into the Black Box: The Cognitive Revolution


Suggested Readings

2. The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

The Origins of Human Nature

Three Theories of the Origins of Adaptive Mechanisms

The Three Products of Evolution

Levels of Evolutionary Analysis in Evolutionary Psychology

The Core of Human Nature: Fundamentals of Evolved Psychological Mechanisms

All Species Have a Nature

Definition of an Evolved Psychological Mechanism

Important Properties of Evolved Psychological Mechanisms

Methods for Testing Evolutionary Hypotheses

Comparing Different Species

Comparing Males and Females

Comparing Individuals within a Species

Comparing the Same Individuals in Different Contexts

Experimental Methods

Sources of Data for Testing Evolutionary Hypotheses

Archeological Records

Data From Hunter-Gatherer Societies



Life-History Data and Public Records

Human Products

Transcending the Limitations of Single Data Sources

Identifying the Adaptive Problems

Guidance of Modern Evolutionary Theory

Guidance from Knowledge of Universal Human Structures

Guidance from Traditional Societies

Guidance from the Paleoarcheology and Paleoanthropology

Guidance from Current Mechanisms

Guidance from Task Analysis

Organization of Adaptive Problems


Suggested Readings


3. Survival Problems and Solutions

Food Acquisition and Selection

Food Selection in Rats

Food Selection in Humans

Why Humans Like Spices: The Antimicrobial Hypothesis

Why Humans Like to Drink Alcohol: An Evolutionary Hangover?

Sickness in Pregnant Women: The Embryo Protection Hypothesis

The Hunting Hypothesis

The Gathering Hypothesis

Comparing the Hunting and Gathering Hypotheses

The Scavenging Hypothesis

Adaptations to Gathering and Hunting: Sex Differences in Specific Spatial Abilities

Finding a Place to Live: Shelter and Landscape Preferences

The Savanna Hypothesis

Combating Predators and Other Environmental Dangers: Fears, Phobias, Anxieties, and “Evolutionary Memories”

Most Common Human Fears

Children’s Anti-Predator Adaptations

BOX 3.1 The Adaptive Conservation Hypothesis of Fears

Combating Disease

Are Humans Programmed to Die?

The Theory of Senescence

The Puzzle of Suicide


Suggested Readings


4. Women’s Long-Term Mating Strategies

Theoretical Background for the Evolution of Mate Preferences

Parental Investment and Sexual Selection

Mate Preferences as Evolved Psychological Mechanisms

The Content of Women’s Mate Preferences

Preference for Economic Resources

Preference for Good Financial Prospects

Preference for High Social Status

Preference for Older Men

Preference for Ambition and Industriousness

Preference for Dependability and Stability

Preference for Size and Strength

Preference for Good Health and Physical Appearance

Love and Commitment

Preference for Willingness to Invest in Children

Preference for Similarity

Additional Mate Preferences

Context Effects of Women’s Preferences

Effects of Women’s Personal Resources on Mate Preferences

Effects of Temporal Context on Women’s Mate Preferences

Effects of Menstrual Cycle on Mate Preferences

Effects of Women’s Mate Value on Mate Preferences

How Women’s Mate Preferences Affect Actual Mating Behavior

Women’s Responses to Men’s Personal Ads

Women’s Marriages to Men High in Occupational Status

Women’s Marriages to Men Who are Older

Effects of Women's Preferences on Men's Behavior

BOX 4.1 What About Lesbian Sexual Orientation?


Suggested Readings

5. Men's Long-Term Mating Strategies

Theoretical Background for the Evolution of Men’s Mate Preferences

Why Men Might Benefit from Commitment and Marriage

The Problem of Assessing Women’s Fertility or Reproductive Value

The Content of Men’s Mate Preferences

Preference for Youth

Evolved Standards of Beauty

Preference for Body Fat and the Critical Waist-to-Hip Ratio

Sex Differences in the Importance of Physical Appearance

Do Men Have a Preference for Ovulating Women?

Solutions to the Problem of Paternity Uncertainty

Context Effects on Men’s Mating Behavior

BOX 5.2 Homosexual Orientation

Men in Positions of Power

Context Effects from Viewing Attractive Models

Testosterone and Men's Mating Strategies

The Necessities and Luxuries of Mate Preferences

Effect of Men’s Mate Preferences Affect Actual Mating Behavior

Men's Responses to Women’s Personal Ads

Age Preferences and Marital Decisions

Effect of Men’s Mate Preferences on Women’s Competition Tactics


Suggested Readings

6. Short-Term Sexual Strategies

Theories of Men’s Short-Term Mating

Adaptive Benefits for Men of Short-Term Mating

Potential Costs of Short-Term Mating for Men

BOX 6.1 Functions Versus Beneficial Effects of Short-Term Mating

Adaptive Problems Men Must Solve When Pursuing Short-Term Mating

Evidence for an Evolved Short-Term Mating Psychology

Physiological Evidence for Short-Term Mating

Psychological Evidence for Short-Term Mating

Behavioral Evidence for Short-Term Mating

Women’s Short-Term Mating

Evidence for Women’s Short-Term Mating

Hypotheses About Adaptive Benefits to Women of Short-Term Mating

Costs for Women of Short-Term Mating

Empirical Tests of Hypothesized Benefits to Women

Context Effects on Short-Term Mating

Individual Differences in Short-Term Mating

Other Contexts Likely to Affect Short-Term Mating


Suggested Readings


7. Principles of Parenting

Why Do Mothers Provide Parental Care More Than Fathers?

The Paternity Uncertainty Hypothesis

The Mating Opportunity Cost Hypothesis

An Evolutionary Perspective on Parental Care

Genetic Relatedness to Offspring

Offspring’s Ability to Convert Parental Care Into Reproductive Success

Alternative Uses of Resources Available for Investment in Children

The Theory of Parent-Offspring Conflict

Mother-Offspring Conflict in Utero

The Oedipal Complex Revisited

BOX 7.1 Killing Parents and Asymmetry of Valuing Parents and Children


Suggested Readings

8. Problems of Kinship

Theory and Implications of Inclusive Fitness

Hamilton’s Rule

Theoretical Implications of Hamilton’s Rule

Empirical Findings That Support the Implications of Inclusive Fitness Theory

Alarm Calling in Ground Squirrels

Kin Recognition and Kin Classification in Humans

Patterns of Helping in the Lives of Los Angeles Women

Life-or-Death Helping among Humans

Genetic Relatedness and Emotional Closeness: Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

Kinship and Survival

Vigilance over Kin's Romantic Relationships

Kinship and Stress

Patterns of Inheritance--Who Leaves Wealth to Whom?

Grandparental Investment

BOX 8.1 Investment by Aunts and Uncles

A Broader Perspective on the Evolution of the Family

The Dark Side of Families


Suggested Readings


9. Cooperative Alliances

The Evolution of Cooperation

The Problem of Altruism

Theory of Reciprocal Altruism

Tit for Tat

BOX 9.1 Strategies for Promoting Cooperation

Examples of Cooperation in Nature

Food sharing in Vampire Bats

Chimpanzee Politics

Cooperation among Humans

Social Contract Theory

The Detection of Prospective Altruists

The psychology of friendship

Costs and Benefits of Friendship

Cooperative Coalitions


Suggested Readings

10. Aggression and Warfare

Aggression as a Solution to Adaptive Problems

Co-opt the Resources of Others

Defend against Attack

Inflict Costs on Intrasexual Rivals

Negotiate Status and Power Hierarchies

Deter Rivals from Future Aggression

Deter Long-Term Mates from Sexual Infidelity

The Context-Specificity of Aggression

Why Are Men More Violently Aggressive Than Women

Empirical Evidence for Distinct Adaptive Patterns of Aggression

Evidence for Sex Differences in Same-Sex Aggression

Contexts Triggering Men's Aggression against Men

Contexts Triggering Women's Aggression against Women

Contexts Triggering Men's Aggression against Women

Contexts Triggering Women's Aggression against Men


BOX 10.1 Yanomamo Warfare

Do Humans Have Evolved Homicide Mechanisms?


Suggested Readings

11. Conflict between the Sexes

Strategic Interference Theory

Conflict about the Occurrence and Timing of Sex

Conflict over Sexual Access

Jealous Conflict

Sex Differences in Jealousy

From Vigilance to Violence: Tactics of Mate Retention

Sex Differences in the Use of Mate Retention Tactics

Contexts Influencing Intensity of Mate Retention Effort

Violence toward Partners

Conflict over Access to Resources

Causes of Resource Inequality: Women’s Mate Preferences and Men’s Competitive Tactics

BOX 11.1 Are All Men United with Other Men to Control Women?


Suggested Readings

12. Status, Prestige, and Social Dominance

The Emergence of Dominance Hierarchies

Dominance and Status in Non-Human Animals

Evolutionary Theories of Dominance and Status

An Evolutionary Theory of Sex Differences in Status Striving

Dominance Theory

Social Attention-Holding Theory

Determinants of Dominance

BOX 12.1 Facial Dominance

Self-Esteem as a Status Tracking Mechanism

Strategies of Submissiveness


Suggested Readings


13. Toward a Unified Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary Cognitive Psychology

Problem Solving: Heuristics, Biases, and Judgment Under Uncertainty

The Evolution of Language

Evolutionary Social Psychology

Capitalizing on Evolutionary Theories About Social Phenomena

The Evolution of Moral Emotions

Evolutionary Developmental Psychology

Theory of mind modules

Attachment and Life History Strategies

Evolutionary Personality Psychology

Alternative Niche Picking or Strategic Specialization

Adaptive Self-Assessment of Heritable Qualities

Frequency-Dependent Adaptive Strategies

Evolutionary Clinical Psychology

Causes of Mechanism Failure

Evolutionary Insights into Problems Erroneously Thought to be Dysfunctions

Evolutionary Cultural Psychology

Evoked Culture

Transmitted Culture

The Evolution of Art, Fiction, Movies, and MusicToward a Unified Psychology

Suggested Readings


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