Human Evolutionary Psychology / Edition 1

Human Evolutionary Psychology / Edition 1

by Louise Barrett, Robin Dunbar, John Lycett

ISBN-10: 0691096228

ISBN-13: 9780691096223

Pub. Date: 01/28/2002

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Why do people resort to plastic surgery to look young? Why are stepchildren at greatest risk of fatal abuse? Why do we prefer gossip to algebra? Why must Dogon wives live alone in a dark hut for five days a month? Why are young children good at learning language but not sharing? Over the past decade, psychologists and behavioral ecologists have been finding answers

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Why do people resort to plastic surgery to look young? Why are stepchildren at greatest risk of fatal abuse? Why do we prefer gossip to algebra? Why must Dogon wives live alone in a dark hut for five days a month? Why are young children good at learning language but not sharing? Over the past decade, psychologists and behavioral ecologists have been finding answers to such seemingly unrelated questions by applying an evolutionary perspective to the study of human behavior and psychology. Human Evolutionary Psychology is a comprehensive, balanced, and readable introduction to this burgeoning field. It combines a sophisticated understanding of the basics of evolutionary theory with a solid grasp of empirical case studies.

Covering not only such traditional subjects as kin selection and mate choice, this text also examines more complex understandings of marriage practices and inheritance rules and the way in which individual action influences the structure of societies and aspects of cultural evolution. It critically assesses the value of evolutionary explanations to humans in both modern Western society and traditional preindustrial societies. And it fairly presents debates within the field, identifying areas of compatibility among sometimes competing approaches.

Combining a broad scope with the more in-depth knowledge and sophisticated understanding needed to approach the primary literature, this text is the ideal introduction to the exciting and rapidly expanding study of human evolutionary psychology.

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Princeton University Press
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Edition description:
New Edition
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7.30(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.10(d)

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xii

1. The Evolutionary Approach to Human Behaviour 1

Natural selection 3

Box 1.1 Speciation and the evolutionary processes 4

Asking the right questions 5

Box 1.2 Reductionism vs holism 7

Approaches to the study of human behaviour 8

Box 1.3 The problem of external validity 11

Box 1.4 Human evolution 13

Towards a unified approach 14

Box 1.5 Modern human origins 16

Chapter summary 21

Further reading 21

2. Basics of Evolutionary Theory 22

Individual selection and the selfish gene 22

Box 2.1 Genomic imprinting 24

The problem of altruism 25

Box 2.2 Calculating degrees of relatedness 28

Box 2.3 Prisoner's dilemma 31

Box 2.4 Other models of cooperation 32

Box 2.5 Evolutionarily stable strategies 33

Parental investment and parent-offspring conflict 34

Sexual selection 37

Box 2.6 Female choice for exaggerated male traits 40

Box 2.7 Why do handicaps have to be so costly? 42

Chapter summary 44

Further reading 44

3. Cooperation Among Kin 45

Kin selection in humans 45

Box 3.1 Rules of thumb and kin recognition 48

Box 3.2 Adoption: an exception to kin selection? 50

Reproductive value and kin selection 52

Box 3.3 Reproductive value 53

Kinship, homicide and child abuse 56

Box 3.4 Homicide and infanticide as 'conflict assays' 59

Kinship and contingency 61

Kinship and health 64

Chapter summary 66

Further reading 66

4. Reciprocity and Sharing 67

Cooperation in humans: a difference in degree or kind? 67

Box 4.1 Fairness 69

Reciprocity and information exchange 69

Box 4.2 Competitive altruism 71

Labour exchange and bet hedging 72

Food sharing among hunter-gatherers 72

Box 4.3 The marginal value theorem and tolerated theft 77

Box 4.4 The tragedy of the commons 85

Are humans inherently selfish? 86

Box 4.5 How 'selfish' genes lead to non-selfish people 90

Chapter summary 91

Further reading 92

5. Mate Choice and Sexual Selection 93

Universal principles of mate choice 94

Box 5.1 Anisogamy 95

Box 5.2 Lonely hearts advertisements: methodological considerations 97

Box 5.3 Evolution of pairbonding 104

Sexually selected traits 105

Box 5.4 WHR and body mass index 109

Box 5.5 The problem of concealed ovulation 112

Conditional mate choice strategies 118

Courtship 122

Fitness consequences of mate choice 126

Box 5.6 Changes in bridewealth among the Kipsigis 128

Chapter summary 136

Further reading 136

6. Life-history Constraints and Reproductive Decisions 137

Optimising family size 137

Box 6.1 Why do humans have such large brains? 139

Box 6.2 Why are human babies born so early? 141

Box 6.3 Impact of offspring production on parental survival 143

Box 6.4 Optimality models and stochastic dynamic programming 146

Box 6.5 Are !Kung birth rates low by accident rather than design? 148

Scheduling reproduction 150

For love or money 154

The demographic transition 158

The evolution of menopause 164

Box 6.6 Phenotypic correlations 165

Box 6.7 Celibacy and homosexuality 168

Chapter summary 169

Further reading 170

7. Parental Investment Strategies 171

Conflict in the womb 171

Parental biases and sibling rivalry 172

Box 7.1 Pregnancy sickness and parent-offspring conflict 173

Box 7.2 Teaching biases and peer groups 175

Box 7.3 Family environment and future reproductive strategies 176

Infanticide: scheduling investment 178

Box 7.4 Paternity certainty and sexual jealousy 182

Selective infanticide and the sex ratio 188

Box 7.5 Testing the Trivers-Willard hypothesis 192

Condition-dependent investment strategies 194

Chapter summary 202

Further reading 202

8. Marriage and Inheritance 203

Matrilineal vs patrilineal inheritance 204

Box 8.1 Marriage and inheritance: a phylogenetic analysis 205

Box 8.2 Environmental correlates of polygyny 206

Resource competition and lineage survival 209

Box 8.3 Wealth-dependent herd management 213

Keeping it in the family: incest and marriage rules 221

Box 8.4 The Westermarck effect 222

Box 8.5 Incest and exogamy 225

Tibetan polyandry 224

Box 8.6 The member-joiner game 228

Box 8.7 Reproductive rivalry and the risk of fission 233

Chapter summary 234

Further reading 234

9. The Individual in Society 235

Kinship and kinship-naming 236

Sex biases in social organisation 240

Structure of social groups 244

Box 9.1 Self-structuring principles for societies 248

Box 9.2 Evolutionary history of society 252

The freerider problem 253

Box 9.3 How dialects control freeriders 260

Society, violence and warfare 260

Box 9.4 How not to do evolutionary analyses 263

Box 9.5 When does it pay to go berserk? 264

Box 9.6 Evolutionary explanations of rape 266

Chapter summary 268

Further reading 269

10. Cognition and the Modular Brain 270

A brief history of modularity 271

Box 10.1 Mental models: error-prone biases or simple rules that make us smart? 274

'Beyond modularity' 276

Box 10.2 'Fast-and-frugal' algorithms 278

Social exchange and cheat detection 281

Box 10.3 The Wason selection task 282

Box 10.4 Relevance theory and the selection task 286

The role of emotions 288

Box 10.5 Neurobiology of social reasoning 290

Chapter summary 293

Further reading 294

11. Social Cognition and its Development 295

Theory of mind 296

Box 11.1 Intentionality 297

Box 11.2 Theory theory 298

Development of theory of mind 300

Box 11.3 False belief task: a benchmark for theory of mind? 305

Box 11.4 Theory of mind in adults 307

When ToM fails 309

Box 11.5 Theory of mind and clinical disorders 315

The social brain 316

Chapter summary 321

Further reading 321

12. Language 322

The evolution of language 323

Box 12.1 How many people can you talk to? 326

Box 12.2 When did speech evolve? 330

Box 12.3 The evolution of languages 333

The social functions of language 334

Box 12.4 An instinct for gossip? 337

Language and meaning 342

Cognitive underpinnings 344

Box 12.5 Motherese 345

Box 12.6 Laughter and social bonding 346

Chapter summary 350

Further reading 350

13. Cultural Evolution 351

What is culture? 352

Box 13.1 Psychological mechanisms of cultural transmission 353

Box 13.2 How memes differ from genes 356

Is culture adaptive? 361

Box 13.3 The evolution of fantasy 362

Cultural evolution under neutral selection 367

Box 13.4 The evolution of the teddy bear 368

Processes of cultural evolution 370

Box 13.5 Two examples of gene-culture co-evolution 372

How fast does culture change? 375

Box 13.6 What happens when cultural change is too slow? 377

Culture change and group selection 379

Chapter summary 382

Further reading 383

Glossary 384

References 389

Author index 427

Subject index 430

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