1st Edition

Evolutionary Social Psychology

Edited By Jeffry A. Simpson, Douglas Kenrick Copyright 1997
    448 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    What a pity it would have been if biologists had refused to accept Darwin's theory of natural selection, which has been essential in helping biologists understand a wide range of phenomena in many animal species. These days, to study any animal species while refusing to consider the evolved adaptive significance of their behavior would be considered pure folly--unless, of course, the species is homo sapiens. Graduate students training to study this particular primate species may never take a single course in evolutionary theory, although they may take two undergraduate and up to four graduate courses in statistics. These methodologically sophisticated students then embark on a career studying human aggression, cooperation, mating behavior, family relationships, or altruism with little or no understanding of the general evolutionary forces and principles that shaped the behaviors they are investigating. This book hopes to redress that wrong.

    It is one of the first to apply evolutionary theories to mainstream problems in personality and social psychology that are relevant to a wide range of important social phenomena, many of which have been shaped and molded by natural selection during the course of human evolution. These phenomena include selective biases that people have concerning how and why a variety of activities occur. For example:
    * information exchanged during social encounters is initially perceived and interpreted;
    * people are romantically attracted to some potential mates but not others;
    * people often guard, protect, and work hard at maintaining their closest relationships;
    * people form shifting and highly complicated coalitions with kin and close friends; and
    * people terminate close, long-standing relationships.

    Evolutionary Social Psychology begins to disentangle the complex, interwoven patterns of interaction that define our social lives and relationships.

    Contents: Part I:Introduction. D.T. Kenrick, J.A. Simpson, Why Social Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology Need One Another. Part II:Social Perception. D.L. Krebs, K. Denton, Social Illusions and Self-Deception: The Evolution of Biases in Person Perception. K. Springer, D.S. Berry, Rethinking the Role of Evolution in an Ecological Model of Social Perception. T.K. Shackleford, Perceptions of Betrayal and the Design of the Mind. Part III:Interpersonal Attraction. M.R. Cunningham, P.B. Druen, A.P. Barbee, Angels, Mentors, and Friends: Trade-Offs Among Evolutionary, Social, and Individual Variables in Physical Appearance. W.G. Graziano, L.A. Jensen-Campbell, M. Todd, J.F. Finch, Interpersonal Attraction From an Evolutionary Perspective: Women's Reactions to Dominant and Prosocial Men. Part IV:Pair Bonding and Mating Strategies. S.W. Gangestad, R. Thornhill, Human Sexual Selection and Developmental Stability. L.C. Miller, S.A. Fiskin, On the Dynamics of Human Bonding and Reproductive Success: Seeking Windows on the Adapted-For Human-Environmental Interface. D. Zeifman, C. Hazan, Attachment: The Bond in Pair-Bonds. Part V:Kinship and Social Relations. M. Daly, C. Salmon, M. Wilson, Kinship: The Conceptual Hole in Psychological Studies of Social Cognition and Close Relationships. N. Haslam, Four Grammars for Primate Social Relations. Part VI:Groups and Group Selection. L.R. Caporael, R.M. Baron, Groups as the Mind's Natural Environment. D.S. Wilson, Incorporating Group Selection Into the Adaptationist Program: A Case Study Involving Human Decision Making. Part VII:Capstone. D.M. Buss, The Emergence of Evolutionary Social Psychology.


    Jeffry A. Simpson, Douglas Kenrick

    "...presents an impressive series of case studies for why the rest of psychology should follow suit."
    Human Ethology Bulletin