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.
ROBIN DUNBAR is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Liverpool (previously Professor of Biological Anthropology at University College, London). He is the author of 9 books and 103 articles for, among others, Nature and New Scientist. LOUISE BARRETT is Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioural Ecology at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests lie in the evolution of cognition and the socioecology of human and non-human primates and she is co-director of the De Hoop Baboon Project in South Africa. JOHN LYCETT is Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Liverpool. His current research interests are in human reproductive decision making and parental investment decisions.
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.