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1. Evolutionary Psychology: The New
2. Evolutionary Psychology: A Beginner's
3. Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction
4. Introducing Evolutionary Psychology,
5. Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction
6. Introducing Evolutionary Psychology:
7. Human Evolutionary Psychology
8. Evolutionary Psychology: The Science
9. The Disposable Male: Sex, Love,
10. Evolutionary Psychology (2nd Edition)
11. Essential Evolutionary Psychology
12. Evolutionary Thought in Psychology:
13. The Moral Animal: Why We Are,
14. The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
15. Evolutionary Psychology and Violence:
16. Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary
17. Studies in the Evolutionary Psychology
18. Evolutionary Psychology: Alternative
19. Motivation and Emotion: Evolutionary,
20. Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary

1. Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind
by David Buss
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2007-07-01)
list price: US$120.20 -- used & new: US$71.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0205483380
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The third edition of Evolutionary Psychology continues to be the premier text for the burgeoning field of evolutionary psychology, and this major update contains nearly 400 new references. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Evolutionary Psychology
It was a speedy delivery. No problems with the book and very inexpensive compared to what my school bookstore was selling.

5-0 out of 5 stars Evolutionary Psychology
This book was in excellent condition and it was in a much better condition than I thought it would be in.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!
The book was in excellent condition and exactly what I expected! The book was practically brand new and came in really quickly!

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This is a very plain worded book, and interesting as a read for anyone, psychology majors or not. It is very up-to-date on information from all the related latest studies, and provided a good perspective into the motives with which we live our lives. Highly suggest as a read for anyone interested in human psychology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for reading in bed.
Love it. We are so bent on characterising ourselves as psychological/spiritual beings. This book brings us promptly down to earth and explains the myriad ways we can first explain our behaviour to the full from a biological perspective. This book is fun, agreeable reading for those who are comfortable with looking at humans as being a part of the animal kingdom, and who are ready to assign them instincts as readily as we do other animals. ... Read more

2. Evolutionary Psychology: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
by Robin Dunbar, Louise Barrett, John Lycett
Paperback: 192 Pages (2005-05-25)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.25
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Asin: 1851683569
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Starting with its origins in the work of Charles Darwin, the book covers all the key areas of evolutionary psychology, including the role played by genetics in our sexual behavior, parental decision-making, and how babies learn about and adapt to the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY INTERESTING!
Currently working through this book for an anthropology class on evolutionary perspectives. Definitely recommend this book; it's easily accessible and incredibly rich and insightful about interesting evolutionary concepts I would have never considered to be an evolutionary strategy, such as infanticide. It's quite a fun read contrary to the many books I encountered in various classes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice overview
A good overview of the incipient field of evolutionary psychology (inchoate in the 70s, emerging in the 80s, newly born in the 90s, and now in its formative years).For a more indepth anthology of primary sources (peer-reviewed articles and a few introductory passages), I recommend the following.

The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture

5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly what the title says.
I am a psychologist, but I did not have any dedicated evolutionary psychology education within my university training. I bought this book to make up for my own lack of knowledge and to give me a starting point from which to understand evolutionary psychology. And, it did the job I hoped for. Having said this, I think it does assume some psychology knowledge, although not a great deal. This book would be best for people with at least a first-year-level undergraduate psychology education, but other people without formal training would still understand most of its content without much difficulty.

This book provides exactly what its title promises, a beginner's guide to evolutionary psychology. What exactly makes this a beginner's guide is that it takes the time to explain assumptions, background, and terminology. Happily, the background explanation does not weigh down the text, or unnecessarily delay the appearance of more central content. In addition, there's a useful short glossary. Moreover, the book is clearly designed to promote learning about the content because each chapter concludes with a plain-English summary that reinforces the main ideas.

Despite its short length (about 165 pages of text) there is quite a lot of interesting content in this book. In particular, I found the research on child development, brain development, social interaction, and moral behaviour very interesting. I think other readers would find the information on close personal relationships (couple relationship / mating) very interesting too - which was one areas of psychology in which I am familiar with evolutionary explanations. Finally, this book provides a different, although possibly complementary, explanation of the evolution of religion than Richard Dawkins's recently top-selling "the God Delusion".

4-0 out of 5 stars A Beginner's Guide
This book is better than most in that it looks at more than one point of view on certain topics. Good for getting people started on evolutionary psychology, although if you've gotten far enough to read this book some of it will be a little remedial. If you know something about EP already you'll want something more challenging. ... Read more

3. Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction
by Lance Workman, Will Reader
Hardcover: 428 Pages (2004-06-21)
list price: US$101.00 -- used & new: US$8.75
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Asin: 052180146X
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This textbook offers a comprehensive introduction to the increasingly important and fascinating science of evolutionary psychology, which attempts to understand the mind and behavior in terms of the evolutionary pressures that shaped them. The text carefully integrates evolutionary ideas with those of mainstream academic psychology to complement traditional courses and offers abundant critical evaluation. Topics covered include cognitive and social development, language, emotion, and evolutionary psychopathology. Each chapter features:

  • Preview and list of key terms
  • Text boxes containing interesting supplementary material
  • Summary of key ideas
  • Guide to further reading. ... Read more

  • 4. Introducing Evolutionary Psychology, 2nd Edition
    by Dylan Evans
    Paperback: 176 Pages (2005)
    list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$54.38
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1840466685
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    This series is renowned throughout the world for its ingenious combination of graphic illustration and intelligent, precise text by leading academics on some of the most challenging subjects around. Drawing on the insights of evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology and more, this is an introduction to evolutionary psychology. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (16)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good serious treatment despite the comic book style
    Despite the almost comic book style, the book concisely defines the field at a reasonable intellectual level.It makes no assumptions about the reader's background.Its shortness and conciseness make it a very quick read, yet it provides enough detail to be convincing.I think we will be seeing these concepts more as the field matures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Introducing Evolutionary Psych, 2nd edition- Great Service, Great Product
    Product was exactly as described- in great condition. Shipping was quick. Highly recommend this product and seller.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This series is awesome! Reads like a comic book
    I wish all of my text books were like this "Introducing" series. It was the fastest read ever. From the time it took me to get to school from work via Metro, I was halfway done. I think I am going to read every book in this series. The illustrations are great and funny. I think these writers can make avid readers and learners out of failing students.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A pretty good introduction
    After having read other titles in this series - "Introducing Newton" and "Introducing Chomsky" - my expectations for this book were positively shattered.
    The author conveys Evolutionary Biology and Cognitive Psychology quite tangibly and seamlessly integrates these two schools of thought in the development of Evolutionary Psychology, including facets of Chomsky's"Universal Grammar" and the Language acquisition device (LAD), as well as Dawkin's defense of the selfish gene.
    Furthermore, the author's perspective on "social accounting" and contrasting gender themes on issues like reproduction, and survival were quite stimulating, and sufficiently probing to warrant a revisit of my own past, and the lives of those around me.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Introducing the "Introducing" series.
    If you've not read any of the "Introducing Such-and-such" series (or the similar "For Beginners" series from a different publisher) then I'll have to describe the overall series to you as well as this particular book.

    Both of these series have the simple goal of serving as a brief introduction to the topic for an intelligent layman. The series makes use of copious illustrations throughout, so that they almost look like a comic book.

    I sheepishly have to admit I picked this book up because I knew the Wachowski brothers, creators of The Matrix, had all their principal actors read it.

    That said, this book fulfills the goal of giving a simple overview of the basic concepts of evolutionary psychology. I do a fair bit of self-directed reading about various psychology topics, so I found the subject interesting. The authors describe the origins of evolutionary psychology and how it's distinguished from the larger field of general psychology. Various topics covered include the evolution of human social behavior (and why reputation is so important to us), dietary habits (why fatty, sugar-laden foods are so hard to ignore) and mating patterns.

    I have only two major criticisms concerning this book. The first is more of a minor annoyance than a significant flaw: Important figures are usually pictured as well as named. Later in the book these people are shown describing through speech bubbles important points of their theories. The problem is that their names are only given the first time. I found it very annoying to have to go back every time a certain picture was presented to remember the name and associate the theory with the correct person.

    The second and more important problem is this: Although the authors present several objections to the theories of evolutionary psychology, their responses to these objections feel a bit too pat. They simply don't seem to be taking these arguments seriously. Of course, this is a short book intended only as an introduction to the field, so the authors had a limited scope, but I still found their approach to their critics a bit too dismissive.

    Overall, if you're a curious, omnivorous reader like myself, you'll probably find this a good read. As other reviewers have noted, the book includes suggestions for further reading at the end, so if you really enjoyed the subject you already have directions for further research. ... Read more

    5. Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction
    by Lance Workman, Will Reader
    Hardcover: 506 Pages (2008-07-14)
    list price: US$122.00 -- used & new: US$97.60
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    Asin: 0521888360
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    Product Description
    Evolutionary psychology starts from the premise that the human brain is the product of natural selection; therefore, by adopting an evolutionary stance, we might come to better understand the mind and behaviour. The second edition of this highly acclaimed textbook gives an introduction to the fascinating science of evolutionary psychology covering its history, from the Ancient Greeks to the present day, and discusses how evolution can illuminate many of the topics taught in psychology departments. This new edition, now in 2 colour, includes an additional chapter on 'Evolution and Individual Differences' which discusses how evolution might account for differences in personality and intelligence. With an engaging style and user-friendly format featuring end-of-chapter summaries, critical thinking questions and guides to further reading, this is a stand-alone textbook for undergraduates studying evolutionary psychology. ... Read more

    6. Introducing Evolutionary Psychology: A Graphic Guide
    by Dylan Evans
    Paperback: 176 Pages (2010-10-12)
    list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$7.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1848311826
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    Product Description

    Drawing on the insights of evolutionary biology and cognitive psychology, as well as data from anthropology, primatology, and archaeology, evolutionary psychologists are beginning to piece together the first truly scientific account of human nature. Introducing Evolutionary Psychology is the perfect introduction to this exciting new field.

    ... Read more

    7. Human Evolutionary Psychology
    by Louise Barrett, Robin Dunbar, John Lycett
    Paperback: 464 Pages (2002-01-28)
    list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$59.37
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    Asin: 0691096228
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    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. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!!!
    Highly recommended for students on human behavior!!! Diversity of themes, take a look at the table content! The reading is easy and clarifying.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Fab Three from Liverpool
    They didn't have adequate texts, so they wrote their own. The writing is very thoughtfull, even diplomatic, and certainly compelling, with explanations as clear as an unmuddy lake in deepest summer.
    These folks care about their students and aren't going to just leave stragglers behind.
    They are good examples of why I like humans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Most useful introduction to the field
    I purchased this book about four years ago, when it first came out. I've found it to be invaluable in leading me through the literature on evolutionary psychology and human behavioral ecology (one of the book's strengths is that it embraces both of these approaches). The book lends itself to browsing, and I've often looked up a topic in the index, read the pages listed, and then later looked up a particularly interesting article mentioned in those pages. In this way I've discovered the work of a few authors that I now consider to be quite important (Pierre van den Berghe and Austin Hughes come to mind). For me, this book has been a great investment.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good textbook on evolutionary psychology
    This is a very nice introduction to evolutionary psychology.Originally, as the authors note, it was designed to meet a need for a good undergraduate textbook in the field.They note that they (page xi) ". . .were frustrated by the fact that there was nothing we could use as a textbook that was sufficiently broad to cover all our interests."However, this book is not just for undergraduate students. It will also serve well the larger public with some knowledge of evolution who might be interested in the developing area of evolutionary psychology.Thus, this book could well have multiple audiences.

    The purpose of this book, as the authors observe, is to (page 1) ". . .demonstrate that by adopting an evolutionary perspective on human behaviour and psychology, we can provide a coherent unified explanation on human social evolution and adaptation."Obviously, an ambitious agenda for this book.

    And an agenda that they do pretty well in addressing.

    The first two chapters do a nice job of laying out the basics of evolutionary theory in readily understandable terms.In these chapters, they clearly note that human behavior can be explained by evolutionary processes.The second chapter addresses the apparent paradox between evolution operating on individuals (the "selfish gene" metaphor) while we see apparent cases of altruism.

    Following chapters apply evolutionary theory to a variety of human behaviors, such as: (a) cooperation among kin (relatives); (b) reciprocity and sharing; (c) mate choice;(d) human reproduction; (e) parental investment in offspring; (f) marriage and inheritance; (g) the individual's functioning within larger societies; (h) cognition; (i) social cognition; (j) language; (k) cultural evolution.

    Those topics suggest the scope of this work.The volume is made more useful to readers with many examples provided.It is a focused application of evolutionary theory to human psychology and social behavior.This is one of the better introductions to the study of evolutionary psychology.Those who do not accept the application of evolution to humans, of course, will not be convinced.For others, this is an interesting volume and will provoke much reflection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HUMAN evolutionary psychology
    I am surprised at the relatively low sales numbers and lack of reviews for this excellent text. Although David Buss's text book is by far the better seller it leaves much to be desired. It is simply too "dumbed down" for the senior and graduate level students that it was intended for. Although Dr. Buss is a strong advocate of the evolutionary approach to human psychology, his treatment of evolutionary theory is rather weak and laymen like giving away his background in psychology rather than biology.
    The currrent text by Barrett et al. however gives an excellent account of evolutionary theory as a starting point for the books' coverage of human evolutionary psychology, perhaps because this book emanates from Robin Dunbar's (2nd author) lab. Dr. Dunbar is a immenent British primatologist whose background includes a thorough grounding in the biological sciences including evolutionary theory.
    Also, more than any of the other texts in this field the emphasis of this one is on HUMAN evolutionary psychology. Other texts use a more comparative approach and rely too heavily on extrapolations from the general primate literature rather than on data specific to humans.
    Lastly, this text has the largest and most relevant bibliography of any of the other texts. Documentation is thus extensive This alone is worth the price of the book ... Read more

    8. Evolutionary Psychology: The Science of Human Behavior and Evolution
    by Matthew Rossano
    Hardcover: 504 Pages (2002-11-05)
    -- used & new: US$29.99
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    Asin: 1891786121
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Written in a lively and engaging manner, this new work places evolutionary psychology within the broad sweep of our primate heritage and the full scope of our evolutionary story. Beginning with the basics of evolution, the book first unpacks the far-ranging saga of human evolution, then moves on to examine motor behavior and emotions, sexual behavior and mate selection, and higher cognition. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars quick arrival and good condition
    It's always nice when the item arrives quickly and in the condition it is reported to be in.Highly recommend this seller. ... Read more

    9. The Disposable Male: Sex, Love, and Money: Your World through Darwin's Eyes
    by Michael Gilbert
    Paperback: 307 Pages (2006-06-01)
    list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0977655237
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    In its faced paced, entertaning pages you will learn about the deep-seated forces that shape the beahvior of today's men and women, and develop valuable tools for getting the most out of your relationships, your work, and your life. A rollicking ride--from the Big Bang to the day after tomorrow--The Disposable Male delivers a searching examination of what it means to be human in our modern, high-tech wonderland. It will have you looking at your world in a whole new and exciting way. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Informative Book
    This is a great book that I recently finished reading.I have read several books on the subject of EP and have found them all very informative.This is a pretty easy read, very informative.Forget the reviews that say this book looks at women or homosexuals in an unfavorable light.It actually demonstrates the beauty of the different sexes.Sometimes being right isn't being popular or politically correct.If you want to know why men think and act the way they do and why women think and act the way they do, read this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Gender politics flirts with family values, but they don't make eye contact.
    I finished this book yesterday, but today nothing has stuck to the wall of my memory. It's lack of footnotes and citation of sources makes it appear to be more of a political pamphlet then a serious work of social anthropology. The author's remedial proscriptions in the final chapter are just so much wishful thinking, and suggest the level of serious thought that one might expect in a undergrad term paper.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FUNNY, THOUGHT-PROVOKING, A GREAT READ!
    This is a witty and informative look at life from the perspective of evolution. It's loaded with interesting ideas and lots of "ah ha!" moments. For people not fully understanding evolution's role in how we got here this couldn't be better explained. The book gets more serious in the second half when the author focuses on how biology and our natural history affect us even now in what we're smugly certain is such a sophisticated modern life. I really recommend the book highly. If nothing else, you'll get quite a few smiles and laughs, not to mention having your mind frequently challenged.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Warning: Does NOT answer what it says it does...
    All this author does is say common sense things everyone knows and then haphazardly tries to relate it to how we were evolved to live. If you've thought about this subject a fair amount (as I think many have, especially people likely to buy this book), then you're not really going to learn anything new here.

    The author does talk about paleo man and how the internet is the new savanna, symmetry is attractive, the females don't show show genital swellings anymore and that's thought to be the reason for monogamy blah, blah, blah... it's frankly VERY basic material.

    Apparently the vast majority of men report (ie. say it themselves, a notoriously subjective experiment) little or no "emotions" when shown pornographic material. The author seems absolutely mindblown by this result and emphasizes it to us just how important he thinks it is. The book also throws sentences in such as "nearly every presidential race has been won by the taller candidate", implying that it was because of their height that they won... so just to give you an idea of the level of intelligence we're at...

    "Why do we love gossip?" is one of the questions at the back. Here's what almost the entire "answer" in the book is:

    "Social cohesion in the clan was fortified by something that just about all of us still like to do: gossip. Like most other human universals, gossip promotes survival and plays a big role in sexual selection. Gossip is how we find out important things like status and infidelity"...

    It's pseudointellectual rambling.

    The answer about why we have sexual fantasies is basically that: "Because men are weirder and want to mate more", with BUZZWORDS like "savanna" and "tribe" etc. thrown in but no answer given at all.

    For example, sadomasochism, what could be behind that? I don't really know, something about fear, needing an adrenaline boost, trust, power, ranking in tribe... just by throwing some brainstorming into that question I could easily write a better answer.

    Apparently the astonishing reason women are so concerned about men's wealth/status is because women have evolved to be dependant on men to be help them raise their children.

    But of course you already knew that, along with nearly everyone else in the world. Even if you don't know anything about evolution it's not hard to figure that one out. Completely disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars First Class!
    Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RBXBAM3R5CIIX I loved this book and hope you enjoy the review. ... Read more

    10. Evolutionary Psychology (2nd Edition)
    by Steven J. C. Gaulin, Donald H. McBurney
    Hardcover: 416 Pages (2003-08-04)
    list price: US$108.60 -- used & new: US$69.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131115294
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    The second edition of Evolutionary Psychology is the only book on the market that shows the relevance of evolutionary thinking to the entire range of psychological phenomena, and it does so at a level appropriate for readers new to the field. Each chapter deals with a particular topic by illustrating how an evolutionary approach illuminates behavior as a response to problems faced by humans in our evolutionary past.The authors—representing the disciplines of both psychology and anthropology—present their material traditionally: they first provide the foundation for understanding the fundamentals of modern evolutionary theory; then systematically apply this theory to learning, cognition, perception, emotion, development, pathology, and more.For any reader interested in a richer understanding of human behavior and the psychological mechanisms that underlie it. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro
    This book is fantastic. It clearly states what hypotheses are made by evolutionary psychology and gets past the endless drivel of arguments against ev psych from people who do not have a clear understanding of the topic. It's a fun easy read, too. A few of the chapters are a bit lacking, mostly because ev psych has very little to say about the topics, however, the ones most pertinent make up for that fact.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't leave your house until you read this!
    This book is fantastic. It will change your dating life, your family life and your view of the world. It explains everything we do and why. As a psychology and criminology major, it has change how I will pursue my career. You really should read this.
    As a note, if you attend UAlbany, the Dr and grad student that teach this class are not recommended even on your best day. They are terrible. The information in this book however, is priceless.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the clearest book about Evolutionary Psychology
    This is the clearest, smartest introduction to the field of evolutionary psychology that exists. Gaulin succinctly, clearly, and brilliantly provides an overview to the whole field. Buy it, read it, live it!
    ... Read more

    11. Essential Evolutionary Psychology
    by Simon J Hampton
    Paperback: 280 Pages (2010-01-20)
    list price: US$41.95 -- used & new: US$30.55
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    Asin: 1412935857
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    Essential Evolutionary Psychology introduces students to the core theories, approaches, and findings that are the necessary foundations for developing an understanding of evolutionary psychology. It offers a sound, brief, and student friendly explication of how evolutionary theory has been and is applied in psychology. The book unpicks the very essence of human evolution, and how this knowledge is used to give evolutionary accounts of four of the central pillars of human behavior - cooperation, attraction, aggression, and family formation. It also covers evolutionary accounts of abnormal behavior, language and culture.
    ... Read more

    12. Evolutionary Thought in Psychology: A Brief History (Blackwell Brief Histories of Psychology)
    by Henry Plotkin
    Paperback: 184 Pages (2004-07-30)
    list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$14.97
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    Asin: 1405113782
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Evolutionary Thought in Psychology: A Brief History traces the history of evolutionary thought in psychology in an accessible and lively fashion and examines the complex and changing relations between psychology and evolutionary theory.

    • First book to trace the history of evolutionary thinking in psychology from its beginnings to the present day in an accessible and lively fashion.
    • Focuses on the rise of evolutionary theories begun by Lamarck and Darwin and the creation of the science of psychology.
    • Explains evolutionary thought’s banishment by behaviorism and cultural anthropology in the early 20th century, along with its eventual re-emergence through ethology and sociobiology.
    • Examines the complex and changing relations between psychology and evolutionary theory.
    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pithy acount of how psychology dealt with evolutionary theory
    This is an amazingly compact summary of how psychology has alternately embraced and ignored developments in evolutionary theory over the past two centuries. The compactness is largely due to the superb writing, which often effortlessly compresses three points into a single short sentence. So good is the writing that when I tried to isolate extracts to illustrate this they started running into one another! Uncompressed, from another pen, I think this book could easily have run to 400 pages.

    Ifound this book unusual in focusing on psychology alone. The familiar stages in its history took on a wholly new coloring when seen as either the embrace, or more interestingly the denial, of evolutionary theory. I've not seen the two stitched so tightly together, distinct from social science in general and social issues such as racism and eugenics.

    The author boldly brings his account up close to the present, facilitating the weighing of how new developments in evolutionary theory such as evolutionary psychology contribute to psychology itself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Brief yet helpful survey of the history and prospects for an enlightened synthesis
    This book presents a brief review of the relationship between evolutionary thought and psychology, along with an assessment of the current state of evolutionary psychology and its prospects of providing an enlightened melding of the two disciplines.

    After identifying precursors, Plotkin begins his survey in earnest with the start of both disciplines in the latter half of the 19th century.He traces initial interest expressed by psychologists in evolutionary thought to James and Freud.He considers their projects to have be dead-ends with respect to integrating evolution into psychology because they failed to meet Plotkin's "principle of specific action.Evolutionary theory only effectively enters psychology when specific aspects of the theory drive empirical studies and frame causal explanations."James came from a Darwinian core, but did not develop a research program based on that core.Freud posited evolved mechanisms of the unconscious mind that were without adequate empirical foundation.

    The rise of behaviorism by the middle of the 20th century led to the banishment of speculations regarding mentalistic mechanisms, and suppressed evolutionary contributions to psychology for decades.During this period, the study of culture developed in cultural anthropology under the primary influence of Franz Boas, who built on a foundation asserting the near complete independence of culture from biology.

    This separation of evolutionary biology from the study of mind, behavior, and culture was breached in the 1970's with attempts to extend insights from ethology and then sociobiology from non-human animal studies to humans.A firestorm resulted. Some attacks were without merit. Others reinforced the need to heed the "principle of specific application" if research is to stand up to the heat which continues to greet forays across the divide.

    Plotkin wraps up with a tentative yet sympathetic look at contemporary evolutionary psychology.He offers a balanced view that accepts insights from critics and cautions about presumptions to inheritance when developmental or other explanations might be invoked.His call is for research, conducted with civility, motivated by a resolve to develop the research programs needed to tease out the evolutionary structures that underlie our mental faculties.

    Plotkin provides a useful survey of this subject, although the brevity presupposes a reader with some familiarity with the history of psychology.To the newer student embracing an evolutionary perspective to investigate human behavior and culture, the book can serve as a head-up to why this is such a sensitive approach to take.

    The book could have used a bit more editing to simplify recurrences of convoluted sentence structure.At times, you need to slow down and reread passages to get the author's meaning.In the end, your patience will be rewarded
    ... Read more

    13. The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
    by Robert Wright
    Paperback: 496 Pages (1995-08-29)
    list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$7.01
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    Asin: 0679763996
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics--as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies. Illustrations.Amazon.com Review
    An accessible introduction to the science of evolutionarypsychology and how it explains many aspects of human nature. Unlikemany books on the topic,which focus on abstractions like kinselection, this book focuses on Darwinian explanations of why we arethe way we are--emotionally and morally. Wright deals particularlywell with explaining the reasons for the stereotypical dynamics of thethree big "S's:" sex, siblings, and society. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (129)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Ground-breaking
    Robert Wright & Eliot Aaronson have endeavored to make Evolutionary Psychology (EP) understandable by lay persons and the non-scientists, and both have (in my humble opinion) succeeded admirably in doing so. While Aaronson, in his very readable and user friendly, "Social Psychology," has given us the social rules that govern most modern social behavior, Wright, in this book, has explained where those rules come from and the evolutionary logic that makes them work as well as the often dense evolutionary trajectory we human animals have taken to get there.

    This book, despite the controversial aspects dealing with gender, sex and race, is so central to our basic understanding of how humans work in general social situations that it should be required reading for anyone in the human and psychological sciences. And apparently it has indeed been widely read by Wright's colleagues as there have been a rash of books written on EP and its related topic since 1994, all of which cite this book. On my short list are the following ones (none of which I have yet reviewed on Amazon.com): Marc Hauser's "Moral Minds;" Matt Ridley's "The origin of Virtue;" David Buss', "The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating;" Susan Neiman's "Moral Clarity;" Lee Alan Dugatkin's The Altruism Equation, and next to this book, my favorite, Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values."

    In this volume, we get a lively, dense "semi-academic" discussion of "the whys and wherefores" of evolutionary psychology and what it means for human behavior in particular, and human morality more generally. While I found Wright's use of Darwin's life (as his chief case in point), interesting, it used up a lot of valuable time in developing what was otherwise an uninteresting "particular case." My point is that while Darwin produced interesting and world class science, his life for its own sake was, in all its Victorian glory, dull in the extreme.

    The most controversial section of the book of course is the first section dealing with gender and sex. Since a great deal of the author's findings raise questions about our contemporary "politically correct" (but often factually and biologically incorrect attitudes always with its mostly "intuited conclusions"), one could predict that this would be a controversial section. However, even though I found some of the findings in later chapters (on race for instance) equally controversial (mildly suggesting a further justification for racism), I agree with other reviewers that Wright's scholarship is well above reproach: His conclusions do not in any way suggest that he is using EP to push his own hidden "racist" or "sexist" agenda.

    It seems to me that human development has made both male and female behaviors (such as the evolutionary strategy of deception, both of oneself and of others) equally complicit as being among the ugliest and most understudied "hidden variables" of the human condition. Bringing these facts out into the light of day, however should not have come as a surprise since we have long observed and remarked about such behavior as being practiced by lower animals. What is new here is simply discovering that we humans engage in the same behaviors, and for exactly the same reasons.

    Likewise, in the second section on the evolution of emotions, a great deal has been written attempting to explain what appears to be one of man's most anomalous behaviors, altruism. Yet, Wright's explanations of altruistic behavior, as well as those of guilt, jealousy and envy, etc. -- as always being situated such that it maximizes reproductive success -- makes imminent good sense as part of a larger strategy of evolutionary fitness. What is new here is simply discovering that we humans engage in the same behaviors, and for exactly the same reasons as lower animals.

    The same applies to the last even richer section on morality, in which status, self-esteem, and biochemistry are in constant interplay to produce hierarchy and social status. The author's implicit utilitarian theory as a primary basis for developing morality, while it appears to have some face validity, did not seem to go far enough. at least for me. There simply appeared to have been too many holes in the theory: so many intervening variables that it made a theory based on utilitarian concepts at the very least, inefficacious. Thus any social theory based solely on utilitarianism, was bound for trouble. At the margins, but not in the main, utilitarian logic has obvious (sex) appeal. But its value drops off steeply and continues to decline the more one looks more deeply into its meanings.

    As a general rule the book proves that the only thing certain is that: genetics and environment are engaged in a constant and a serious interplay, with neither being a clear winner all the time. It is the subtleties of this interplay that must be watched carefully and that makes things interesting as well as problematic. This revelation alone is a theme repeated often enough throughout the book that raising it as a general alert makes the book a valuable resource for all social scientists, humanists and politicians who might have a tendency to legislate social policy and morality in a dogmatic fashion.Five stars for the ground-breaking content alone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction to evolutionary psychology
    You should read this book for an excellent introduction to evolutionary psychology.

    Although this book was written in 1994, it is not dated as evolutionary psychology is still quite new and the book touches on many subjects that are thought-provoking and would probably shock 99% of your dinner party guests.The author does a very good job of introducing the discipline, providing a history of its development and placing it in the context of academic thought (at least at the time of writing).A reader will get a good sense of what is meant by neo-Darwinism, or the New Darwinian Paradigm, and the implications of this movement for understanding human behavior.

    The author also ties together related disciplines and brings in relatively well-known examples of evolutionary thinking (e.g. vampire bats sharing blood as an example of reciprocal altruism) to weave an interesting book that makes a lot of complex interrelated disciplines interesting, relevant to the book, and accessible to the casual reader.The book is well written and many parts are fun to read and discuss subjects (e.g. human sexuality) in the light of evolutionary psychology such that the subject is fresh and frequently amusing.Humor runs through this book, which is a good thing given the brutality of nature and callous self-interest of natural selection.

    Some of the discussion of morality later in the book gets a little far afield in my opinion and Wright gets on shakier ground as he attempts to explain why natural selection might develop a moral animal.Granted, he is dealing with some very heavy subjects, each of which could be a philosophy course in itself, but he leans a little too much towards a progressive view of human nature in which morality is the "right" thing to do.This runs counter to most of the book in which natural selection is described as completely uncaring of morality and even as an "evil" process. Wright cannot have it both ways.

    Nonetheless, most of the book is very informative and an interesting and amusing read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Of scientists and science writers
    The Moral Animal (TMA) is a fine book. It mingles what were, back in 1994, the most recent findings in evolutionary psychology with the cultural atmosphere of Victorian England at the time when Charles Darwin was refining his famous theory about the origin of species by means of natural selection. This constant interweaving of modern and old, adding to the blend the writings of John Stuart Mill and Samuel Smiles, is what differentiates TMA from the bunch of human behaviour books.

    TMA covers a lot of ground for a 400-page book (the juice of it). The downside, quite obviously, is that TMA is very superficial on some pivotal aspects. Game theory models, an important concept to understanding supposedly altruistic behaviour, are not sufficiently explained. For a better explanation on this topic read the chapter "Nice Guys Finish First" from Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene. Another example is haplo-diploidy, the quirk of nature that makes ants and other social insects siblings more related to each other than your everyday diploid animal siblings (humans included). For a better explanation here refer to Matt Ridley's The Red Queen. The fears brought about by the Darwinian revolution in psychology: the Fear of Inequality; the Fear of Imperfectability; the Fear of Determinism; and the Fear of Nihilism are briefly discussed in TMA's chapter Blaming the Victim. These same fears are wonderfully dissected and debunked in Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate.

    What makes TMA somewhat less appealing to me is the fact that Robert Wright despite being a competent science writer is not a scientist in the traditional sense i.e. he does not conduct original research, just helps popularize science. Of course I do recognize the role of science writers and I realize that many scientists are poor writers. Albert Einstein fathered many staggering theories but is not known for having written a remarkable book. The proto-science of evolutionary psychology, however, along with its contributing sciences of genetics, zoology, biology, anthropology have all been blessed by researchers that are also very talented writers.

    So if you are after a fine, although somewhat dated, review of the field of evolutionary psychology you will certainly enjoy TMA. But if you are a hard-core fanatic like I am, you need to go for the original and ground breaking books. Some of them are even more dated than TMA but were written by the famous guys themselves and are not one bit less readable than TMA. Here is my short list of must reads::

    1 - Desmond Morris trilogy:: The Naked Ape; The Human Zoo and Intimate Behaviour - Morris takes a beating on TMA but he shaped my early notions of human behaviour and I am very indebted to him. Despite that, I think his books are terrific even though have been proved wrong in some aspects;

    2 - Edward O. Wilson:: Sociobiology and On Human Nature - One of the founding fathers of the new science - the new synthesis as he calls it - and a two time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non Fiction (The Ants and On Human Nature);

    3 - Richard Dawkins:: The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype - Another founding father;

    4 - Stephen Jay Gould:: The Mismeasure of Man - Get a different opinion by someone just as brilliant;

    5 - Steven Pinker:: The Blank Slate - A more recent (2003) review of similar issues on a gem of a book (a Pulitzer finalist);

    6 - Carl Sagan:: The Dragons of Eden - Another Pulitzer winner, fascinating though dated. Another interesting book from Sagan is Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors even though it disturbingly advocates the notion of The Noble Savage.

    7 - Matt Ridley:: The Red Queen - OK, Matt Ridley is not a scientist as well in a strict sense - but what a good book he managed to write...

    Leonardo Alves - Brazil 2010

    4-0 out of 5 stars An issue of morality.
    It is one of the greatest books i have come across in the 21st century.
    it goes that deep into living being.
    Fantastic details.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly work made accessible
    An excellent Read!I was always fascinated by the subject and now my curiosity is aptly satisfied.What's more is that the vague ideas have turned into questions that I can actually formulate as I continue to look into the subject of Evolutionary Philology, which has, admittedly, captured my mind... ... Read more

    14. The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
    Hardcover: 1056 Pages (2005-07-28)
    list price: US$150.00 -- used & new: US$89.99
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    Asin: 0471264032
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    The foundations of practice and the most recent discoveries in theintriguing newfield of evolutionary psychology

    Why is the mind designed the way it is? How does input from the environment interact with the mind to produce behavior? By taking aim at such questions, the science of evolutionary psychology has emerged as a vibrant new discipline producing groundbreaking insights. In The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, leading contributors discuss the foundations of the field as well as recent discoveries currently shaping this burgeoning area of psychology.

    Guided by an editorial board made up of such luminaries as Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, Don Symons, Steve Pinker, Martin Daly, Margo Wilson, and Helena Cronin, the text's chapters delve into a comprehensive range of topics, covering the full range of the discipline:

    • Foundations of evolutionary psychology
    • Survival
    • Mating
    • Parenting and kinship
    • Group living
    • Interfaces with traditional disciplines of evolutionary psychology
    • And interfaces across disciplines.
    In addition to an in-depth survey of the theory and practice of evolutionary psychology, the text also features an enlightening discussion of this discipline in the context of the law, medicine, and culture. An Afterword by Richard Dawkins provides some final thoughts from the renowned writer and exponent of evolutionary theory. Designed to set the standard for handbooks in the field, The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology is an indispensable reference tool for every evolutionary psychologist and student. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "you say you want a revolution..."
    Well, it's here.This is exciting stuff.If you don't find it exciting it's possible that you are unconcious.
    It actually is a relief to me that so much of this is considered controversial or fringe, which is so absurd. perhaps there's a conspiracy by creationists/intelligent designists to select evolutionists as their advanced life forms.I want to be carful not to miss anyone who 400 years after Galleleo's trial, decides now that he still needs forgiveness.
    We are truely at the threshold of a brave new world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Literature Review
    I think that David Buss has assembled a cohesive and thorough overview of evolutionary psychology.This book offers an in depth examination of the standard topics.I believe that this area of psychology will benefit scholars in the social sciences a great deal in the future, as it will lend some substantial connection to the life sciences.I would also recommend Barret,Dunbar, and Lycett. ... Read more

    15. Evolutionary Psychology and Violence: A Primer for Policymakers and Public Policy Advocates (Psychological Dimensions to War and Peace)
    by Richard W. Bloom, Nancy Dess
    Hardcover: 304 Pages (2003-03-30)
    list price: US$78.95 -- used & new: US$78.95
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    Asin: 0275974677
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    Each chapter in this volume poses a public policy issue related to violence, describes aspects of evolutionary psychology that are relative, and then posits public policy recommendations based on this psychological model. Topics covered also include psychopathy, despotism, and suicide bombings. This volume is designed as an accessible way for policymakers outside of academia to learn about new theoretical developments. ... Read more

    16. Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology (Oxford Handbooks)
    Paperback: 720 Pages (2009-06-15)
    list price: US$64.95 -- used & new: US$58.42
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    Asin: 0199561788
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychologyprovides a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in this fast-growing area of research. With contributions from over fifty experts in the field, the range and depth of coverage is unequalled.

    In addition to well studied areas of investigation, such as mate choice and reproduction, the volume also includes chapters on the philosophical underpinnings of evolutionary psychology, comparative perspectives from other species, recent neurobiological findings, and gets to grips with the issue of cultural evolution in relation to human psychology. All the chapters combine a solid review of the relevant literature with well reasoned arguments and robust discussions of the major findings, as well as original insights and suggestions for future work.

    All the chapters are written by active researchers in the field of evolutionary psychology and so, as might be expected, a wide diversity of opinions is presented. The critical, wide-ranging and diverse discussions are thought-provoking and, taken together, the handbook as a whole provides a well balanced assessment of current research, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives.

    In addition, the editors provide an initial chapter and section introductions that place the contributions in context and help guide the reader by highlighting the major themes raised by the contributors. While each chapter thus stands on its own, and the book can be used as a work of reference, the integration of themes across chapters and sections means it can also be read in its entirety as a complement to textbooks and other publications in the field.

    The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology is the definitive text on this burgeoning field. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A good read but not brilliant
    An all-embracing volume, a good read, but lacks excitement and enthusiasm. Not worth having in a personal library but would be excellent for public and professional libraries. ... Read more

    17. Studies in the Evolutionary Psychology of Feeling
    by Hiram Miner Stanley
    Paperback: 212 Pages (2010-10-14)
    list price: US$23.18 -- used & new: US$23.17
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    Asin: 0217058817
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    Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free.This is an OCR edition with typos.Excerpt from book:. CHAPTER III THEORIES OF PLEASURE-PAIN'"TTHE bearing of our studies on a theory of the condi- J- tions of pleasure-pain is obvious. If we consider pure feeling as the primary, fundamental, and conditioning mentality, it stands before all other mentality, and cannot be interpreted as conditioned. Pain as primum mobile is not intrinsically dependent on any other psychosis. Hence we run counter to the Herbartian School, which maintains that psychism exists from the first for itself as intellectual ideational activity, and that pleasure-pain is but reflex of the efficiency and ease, or the inefficiency and difficulty of this activity. The checking of the current of ideas may give a pain, but our exposition has been that pain arose before ideas or presentations of any kind, and long before any interference could be felt as pain.Again, if we say " all pain comes from tension " (Mind, xii. p. 6), we have to ask, Tension of what ? If we say tension of sensation or ideation, this is Herbartianism merely. How also can tension be felt as painful, except through sensation of tension, which is a feeling of intense sensation—obviously a late psychosis ? And certainly pain is more than a general consciousness fatigue. And further stress and strain result in pain, because we imply these as painful activities by the very notion of the words. A stress or strain is assumedly painful activity, but this is not explanation. But apart from this, if the organism felt pain merely as direct result of struggling and straining, itwould cease activity ; activity and evolution would stop. It may be that by tension is not meant a mode of consciousness, but of nervous or muscular activity ; but as we are now considering psychosis only as conditioning pure feeling, we leave this aspect for discussion til... ... Read more

    18. Evolutionary Psychology: Alternative Approaches
    by Steven J. Scher, Frederick Rauscher
    Hardcover: 288 Pages (2002-11-30)
    list price: US$175.00 -- used & new: US$139.01
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    Asin: 1402072791
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Evolutionary psychology has been dominated by one particular method for studying the mind and behavior. This is the first book to both question that monopoly and suggest a broad range of particular alternatives. Psychologists, philosophers, biologists, anthropologists, and others offer different methods for combining psychology and evolution. They recommend specific changes to evolutionary psychology using a wide variety of theoretical assumptions. In addition, some essays analyze the underpinnings of the dominant method, relate it to the context of evolutionary and psychological theory and to general philosophy of science, and discuss how to test approaches to evolutionary psychology. The aim of this collection is not to reject evolutionary psychology but to open up new vistas which students and researchers can use to ensure that evolutionary psychology continues to thrive. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Collection of High Quality Papers
    The human brain is the result of a long and complex evolutionary trajectory. Evolutionary psychology attempts to use this fact to understand the human brain's particular capacities and limitations. Evolutionary psychology has provided many key insights into human behavior. First, since the human brain is extremely costly to nurture and maintain, its general contribution to human fitness must be high, and hence the brain must be an adaptation to the particular conditions under which our species evolved. Therefore, understanding these conditions may shed strong light on human psychology. Second, the human brain's information processing capacities are likely to be closely associated with the particular adaptive needs of our species, rather than being a simple, general purpose information processor. Thus, rather than being infinitely malleable, humans are predisposed to behave in certain ways in the sense that under a very broad range of environmental conditions some behaviors will be virtually universally exhibited and others will be extremely rare, while behaviors to which we are not predisposed will be exhibited either not at all, or only in a very restricted set of environmental circumstances. In short, evolutionary psychology holds that a consideration of our evolutionary history is extremely powerful in generating plausible hypotheses concerning human psychology that can be tested using the standard tools of experimental research.

    Those who reject evolutionary psychology in the general form stated above are generally either ill-informed or have a political or religious agenda that clouds their scientific judgment. Creationists, for instance, cannot accept evolutionary psychology. Nor can Marxists or extreme cultural determinists, for whom human nature either does not exist, or takes the form of infinite cultural malleability.

    Evolutionary psychology, then, is simply one more tool (albeit an unusually powerful tool) in the behavioral scientist's repertoire. However, a small but highly creative and extremely influential group of evolutionary psychologists, including D. Buss, J. Tooby, L. Cosmides, D. Symons, S. Pinker have constructed a version of evolutionary psychology that includes key assertions that are highly contentious and many believe are incorrect. These thinkers appear to many scientists (myself included) to form a sort of scientific cult: they always agree with each other, they reject any outside criticism, their message never changes, and they recruit by directly training new members rather than having their ideas accepted by the general scientific community. To distinguish this group from evolutionary psychology in general, I will call their doctrine EvPsych (the book under review calls them "narrow" evolutionary psychologists, a particularly poor choice of words, since they are anything but narrow, and Kluwer, the bureaucratic and infinitely stuffy publisher, true to form, insists on an identically worded disclaimer at the head of each chapter of book, saying that by "narrow" they do not mean "narrow.")

    EvPsychers believe that (a) human culture is an effect of human genetics, and culture explains nothing important concerning human behavior; (b) human behavior in general is an adaptation to the specific conditions of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA) in which our species emerged from other hominid species; (c) the human brain is a highly modular organ, each module having emerged to solve a particular evolutionary problem; (d) for this reason, the human brain lacks all the characteristics of a general information processor, and cannot solve any problems other than those that challenged our existence in our dim evolutionary past. In particular, we are doomed to apply old, generally ineffective, methods to the solution of new problems. This is the tragedy of the human condition.

    EvPsych is wrong in each of the above assertions, and everyone knows this except the EvPsychers themselves. Moreover, they have hindered the general integration of evolutionary psychology into the repertoire of behavioral science with their tendentious and outlandish claims. The book under review is an important contribution towards restoring evolutionary psychology to its rightful place in the behavioral sciences. It's main attraction is that the editors, Steven Scher and Fredrick Rauscher, recognize that the best critique is a cogent alternative, and this is exactly what the various chapter of the book provide for us. I do not have the space to comment on each of the thirteen chapters, but a few prominent themes emerge.

    First, several authors challenge the coarse-grained modularity assumption of EvPsych, using our contemporary neuroscientific and developmental knowledge of the structure of the brain. This includes especially stunning contributions of Steven Quarts, William Bechtel, and Jennifer Mundale. These authors present the state of the art understanding of the neurological development of the human brain from embryo to adult form, and argue for a "developmental evolutionary psychology" in which the brain has a fine-grained modularity that results from the dynamic interaction between organism and environment during growth and maturation of the individual.

    Second, several authors challenge the "gene-centered" view of evolution, which the EvPsychers borrowed from Dawkins, Hamilton, Wilson and other biologists who dominated evolutionary theory in the 1960's and 1970's. Thus Linnda Caporeal argues for "repeated assembly," which is a form of what is commonly known as gene-culture coevolution, and David Sloan Wilson points out the errors in reasoning that lead gene-centered theorists to reject truly altruistic (other-regarding) behavior in humans. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy exposes the sexual stereotypes of the gene-centered approach by reviewing the evidence on female mate choice.

    Several chapters are philosophically-motivated critiques of EvPsych. I do not believe that philosophers ever contribute by criticizing scientific theories, and I think my view is confirmed by this book.

    I quite recommend this book to those who are new to the field. There is some excellent material here. A major drawback is the publisher, Kluwer. The book is grossly overpriced, there is no index or general bibliography, and the typeface is cramped and low resolution.
    ... Read more

    19. Motivation and Emotion: Evolutionary, Physiological, Cognitive, and Social Influences (Advanced Psychology Text Series)
    by Mr David Edwards
    Hardcover: 488 Pages (1998-07-23)
    list price: US$144.00 -- used & new: US$94.00
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    Asin: 0761908323
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    David C. Edwards provides the best of contemporary findings and summarizes how past research contributes to current thought. Within each topically organized chapter, which all begin with a concise overview statement and end with a personal summary, the author highlights material of special importance and concludes major sections with a summary. Each chapter also ends with a set of questions that will help student readers.

    ... Read more

    20. Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology
    by David F. Bjorklund, Anthony D. Pellegrini
    Hardcover: 444 Pages (2001-12-15)
    list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$24.00
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    Asin: 1557988781
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Authors present a hybrid approach to evolution and development, pointing out, although underlying assumptions held by evolutionary and developmental psychologists have been at odds, each field has much to offer the other. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Addition to the Literature
    This book, published under the imprimatur of the American Psychological Association, is meant to be a textbook on human developmental psychology, which is the study of individual development from embryo to adulthood.The idea that there is an intimate link between individual development and species evolution was publicized more than a century ago by Haeckel, who coined the famous phrase "Ontogeny [individual development] recapitulates phylogeny [species development]." However attractive Haeckel's idea, it prove to be far too simple (see the excellent book "Ontogeny and Phylogeny" by S. J. Gould). For most of the 20th Century, developmental psychologists dealing with humans virtually ignored the evolutionary literature. This book is a largely successful attempt to rectify this curious situation.

    Developmental psychology explains how nature (genes) and nurture (environment) interact in determining individual intelligence, personality, and social behavior. The authors take a thoroughly "developmental systems perspective," in which there is a "bidirectional interaction at all levels of organization" (p. 68) between genes and environment.Since the interaction between genes and culture is in fact highly nonlinear, this perspective is correct, as long as it is not take to the point where we deny the usefulness of heredity estimates (which the authors do not do, though there is virtually no behavioral genetics in the book).

    The authors expound basic evolutionary psychology, they compare human and animal behavior, and generally suffuse their exposition with an evolutionary dimension. But what exactly is the connection between ontogeny and phylogeny? We are told that much of human behavior is adaptive (e.g. morning sickness in pregnancy), but it is unclear how this affects developmental theory, for which the important question is "is morning sickness good or bad for mother and/or child?" In several cases, they show how developmental psychology can improve evolutionary thinking (e.g., understanding the pace ofindividual cognitive development, or the relative importance of domain specific vs. domain general cognitive capacities). But the other direction is only weakly represented in the book.

    The most important principle of evolutionary theory that applies to developmental psychology, according to the authors, is that infants are not tabula rasa, but rather are predisposed to learn and develop in certain directions (e. g., the acquisition of language, recognition of faces, willingness to share, potential for anger and aggression). They apply this nicely to cognitive development, but fall flat when discussion social development and interaction.

    This is because the evolutionary psychology position on social development is in serious need of updating. The book presents the standard ev psych view that cooperation, altruism, and aggression can be understood in terms of self-interest, inclusive fitness (Hamilton), and reciprocal altruism (Trivers, but attributed to Hamilton and Axelrod in the book). The development here is very slim, but the position itself is simply wrong.

    As has been repeatedly shown (see, e.g., the new Russell Sage book on "Commitment," edited by Randy Nesse, or Sam Bowles and my News and Views article and the Fehr-Gächter paper in Nature, vol. 415, January 10,2002), human behavior is much more broadly and deeply social than traditional ev psych understands. Human development includes not only cognition, cheater detection, and the like, but also guilt, shame, empathy, sympathy, a taste for vengeance and retaliation, the capacity to be socialized into prosocial values, and even more. These are basic developmental themes that are missing from this book, though they are known to social psychologists and are an active subject of research.

    Of course, I should not fault the authors for not being on the vanguard of evolutionary developmental psychology, since it's hard to get teacher to use a book that has material that they didn't learn in graduate school. But the challenge for the (near) future is to correct this imbalance in evolutionary psychology. ... Read more

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