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Human Evolutionary Psychology - Louise Barrett


Published: 26th November 2001
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Other people and their behaviour are a subject of endless fascination for us. Our understanding of why we behave in certain ways can be greatly enhanced if we take an evolutionary perspective. Understanding the evolutionary pressures that have shaped human behaviour can give us a new insight into why we prefer a good gossip to a lengthy session of algebra, or why children are so good at learning language and so poor at sharing nicely with others.

Human Evolutionary Psychology offers a comprehensive overview of all aspects of human evolutionary behaviour and psychology. Tackling everything from mate choice to marriage patterns, childcare to cultural evolution, Human Evolutionary Psychology critically assesses the value of evolutionary explanations to humans in both modern western society and traditional pre-industrial societies. The combination of broad scope and in-depth analysis makes it the ideal introduction to this exciting and rapidly expanding area of research.

'This is more than a much needed comprehensive introductory text to the area. It is an antidote to the erroneous view that evolutionary approaches to human psychology and action is some monolithic view focussed 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, Professor of Psychobiology, University College London. 'A monumental work. Buy it for the bibliography list. Read it for the pleasure of seeing a powerful new field making the transition to maturity.' - Randolph Nesse, M.D., Director, Evolution and Human Adaptation Program, University of Michigan and coauthor (with George Williams) of Why We Get Sick 'This is an impressive review of the literature on the evolution of human behaviour, 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 '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

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xii
The Evolutionary Approach to Human Behaviourp. 1
Natural selectionp. 3
Speciation and the evolutionary processesp. 4
Asking the right questionsp. 5
Reductionism vs holismp. 7
Approaches to the study of human behaviourp. 8
The problem of external validityp. 11
Human evolutionp. 13
Towards a unified approachp. 14
Modern human originsp. 16
Chapter summaryp. 21
Further readingp. 21
Basics of Evolutionary Theoryp. 22
Individual selection and the selfish genep. 22
Genomic imprintingp. 24
The problem of altruismp. 25
Calculating degrees of relatednessp. 28
Prisoner's dilemmap. 31
Other models of cooperationp. 32
Evolutionarily stable strategiesp. 33
Parental investment and parent-offspring conflictp. 34
Sexual selectionp. 37
Female choice for exaggerated male traitsp. 40
Why do handicaps have to be so costly?p. 42
Chapter summaryp. 44
Further readingp. 44
Cooperation Among Kinp. 45
Kin selection in humansp. 45
Rules of thumb and kin recognitionp. 48
Adoption: an exception to kin selection?p. 50
Reproductive value and kin selectionp. 52
Reproductive valuep. 53
Kinship, homicide and child abusep. 56
Homicide and infanticide as 'conflict assays'p. 59
Kinship and contingencyp. 61
Kinship and healthp. 64
Chapter summaryp. 66
Further readingp. 66
Reciprocity and Sharingp. 67
Cooperation in humans: a difference in degree or kind?p. 67
Fairnessp. 69
Reciprocity and information exchangep. 69
Competitive altruismp. 71
Labour exchange and bet hedgingp. 72
Food sharing among hunter-gatherersp. 72
The marginal value theorem and tolerated theftp. 77
The tragedy of the commonsp. 85
Are humans inherently selfish?p. 86
How 'selfish' genes lead to non-selfish peoplep. 90
Chapter summaryp. 91
Further readingp. 92
Mate Choice and Sexual Selectionp. 93
Universal principles of mate choicep. 94
Anisogamyp. 95
Lonely hearts advertisements: methodological considerationsp. 97
Evolution of pairbondingp. 104
Sexually selected traitsp. 105
WHR and body mass indexp. 109
The problem of concealed ovulationp. 112
Conditional mate choice strategiesp. 118
Courtshipp. 122
Fitness consequences of mate choicep. 126
Changes in bridewealth among the Kipsigisp. 128
Chapter summaryp. 136
Further readingp. 136
Life-history Constraints and Reproductive Decisionsp. 137
Optimising family sizep. 137
Why do humans have such large brains?p. 139
Why are human babies born so early?p. 141
Impact of offspring production on parental survivalp. 143
Optimality models and stochastic dynamic programmingp. 146
Are !Kung birth rates low by accident rather than design?p. 148
Scheduling reproductionp. 150
For love or moneyp. 154
The demographic transitionp. 158
The evolution of menopausep. 164
Phenotypic correlationsp. 165
Celibacy and homosexualityp. 168
Chapter summaryp. 169
Further readingp. 170
Parental Investment Strategiesp. 171
Conflict in the wombp. 171
Parental biases and sibling rivalryp. 172
Pregnancy sickness and parent-offspring conflictp. 173
Teaching biases and peer groupsp. 175
Family environment and future reproductive strategiesp. 176
Infanticide: scheduling investmentp. 178
Paternity certainty and sexual jealousyp. 182
Selective infanticide and the sex ratiop. 188
Testing the Trivers-Willard hypothesisp. 192
Condition-dependent investment strategiesp. 194
Chapter summaryp. 202
Further readingp. 202
Marriage and Inheritancep. 203
Matrilineal vs patrilineal inheritancep. 204
Marriage and inheritance: a phylogenetic analysisp. 205
Environmental correlates of polygynyp. 206
Resource competition and lin
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780333725580
ISBN-10: 0333725581
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 438
Published: 26th November 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 19.0  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.82
Edition Number: 1