ISBN-10:
0691096228
ISBN-13:
9780691096223
Pub. Date:
02/17/2002
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Human Evolutionary Psychology / Edition 1

Human Evolutionary Psychology / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691096223
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 02/17/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 1,202,583
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Louise Barret is Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Ecology at the University of Liverpool and Codirector of the De Hoop Baboon Project in South Africa. Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Ecology at the University of Liverpool and the author of Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language, Primate Social Systems, The Trouble with Science, and Primate Conservation Biology. John Lycett is Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Liverpool, where he studies human reproductive and parental investment decisions.

Table of Contents

Preface.- The Evolutionary Approach to Human Behaviour.- Basics of Evolutionary Theory.- Cooperation Among Kin.- Reciprocity and Sharing.- Mate Choice.- Life History Constraints and Reproductive Decisions.- Parental Investment Strategies.- Marriage and Inheritance .- The Individual in Society.- Cognition and the Modular Brain.- Social Cognition and its Development.- Language.- Cultural Evolution.- References.

What People are Saying About This

Henry Plotkin

This is more than a much-needed comprehensive introductory text to the area. It is an antidote to the erroneous view that the evolutionary approach to human psychology and action is some monolithic view focused solely upon the concept of adaptation and reproductive success. As this book shows, it is many things, including the study of the causal powers and origins of human culture. If this book has a single message, it is long live pluralism.
Henry Plotkin, University College London

Ruth Mace

This is an impressive review of the literature on the evolution of human behavior, including human evolutionary ecology and psychology. It will be a useful teaching resource, and there is nothing quite like it currently available.
Ruth Mace, University College London

Steven Scher

This well-written and balanced textbook presents the complexity of the debate over evolutionary psychology. A valuable addition to the teaching resources for the growing area of evolutionary psychology, it provides the foundational information that allows students to confront the primary source material.
Steven Scher, Eastern Illinois University

From the Publisher

"This is an impressive review of the literature on the evolution of human behavior, including human evolutionary ecology and psychology. It will be a useful teaching resource, and there is nothing quite like it currently available."—Ruth Mace, University College London

Customer Reviews