Human Evolutionary Psychology / Edition 1

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Written with students in mind, Human Evolutionary Psychology is a highly readable and balanced account of EP's central concepts and conflicts, from altruism and mate choice to cultural evolution and the origins of language."New Scientist

"Creative synthesis that should play a significant role in the study of the impact of evolution on individuals and society."Choice

New Scientist
Written with students in mind, Human Evolutionary Psychology is a highly readable and balanced account of EP's central concepts and conflicts, from altruism and mate choice to cultural evolution and the origins of language.
Creative synthesis that should play a significant role in the study of the impact of evolution on individuals and society.
New Scientist
Written with students in mind, Human Evolutionary Psychology is a highly readable and balanced account of EP's central concepts and conflicts, from altruism and mate choice to cultural evolution and the origins of language.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691096223
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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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