Evolution and Behavior

By Lance Workman, Will Reader

© 2016 – Routledge

268 pages | 51 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415522021
pub: 2015-10-13
US Dollars$37.95
Hardback: 9780415521994
pub: 2015-10-13
US Dollars$155.00

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About the Book

The relationship between how we evolved and how we behave is a controversial and fascinating field of study. From how we choose a mate to how we socialize with other people, the evolutionary process has an enduring legacy on the way we view the world. Evolution and Behavior provides students with a thorough and accessible introduction to this growing discipline.

Placing evolutionary psychology in context with the core areas of psychology – developmental, cognitive and social – the book explores some of the most fundamental questions we can ask about ourselves. Taking students through the principles of natural selection, it provides a nuanced understanding of key topics such as:

  • cognitive development and the role of intelligence,
  • memory, emotions and perception,
  • mental health and abnormal psychology,
  • sexual reproduction and family relationships,
  • the development of culture.

Addressing a number of controversial debates in the field, each chapter also includes concept boxes, the definition of key terms, chapter summaries and further reading. This is the ideal introductory textbook for anyone interested in evolutionary psychology. It will provide not only an essential overview of this emerging field, but also deepen readers’ appreciation of the core tenets of psychology as a whole.


"As this book demonstrates clearly, behavior becomes immensely more comprehensible through the lens of evolution. Workman and Reader’s text is thorough and readable, and not afraid to tackle the issues that many see as most challenging from an evolutionary perspective, such as culture and mental illness."

Dr Michael E. Price, Department of Life Sciences, Brunel University London, UK

Table of Contents

1. Why the fuss? Evolution and human behavior 2. How did we get here: human evolution and genetics 3. Darwin’s second selective force: sexual selection 4. Mate choice: the origin of human sexual preferences 5. Living with others: evolution and social behaviour 6. Growing up: Evolution and development 7. Decisions, decisions: the evolution of cognition and emotion 8. When things go wrong – evolution and abnormal psychology 9. Culture vultures: evolution and culture 10. Darwinian differences 11. Putting it together: Criticisms, Debates and Future Directions

About the Authors

Lance Workman is Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of South Wales in the UK.

Will Reader is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK.

About the Series

Foundations of Psychology

This series provides pre-undergraduate and first year undergraduates with appealing and useful books that will enable the student to expand their knowledge of key areas in psychology. The books go beyond the detail and discussion provided by general introductory books but will still be accessible and appropriate for this level. This series will bridge the gap between the all-encompassing general textbook and the currently available advanced topic-specific books which might be inaccessible to students who are studying such topics for the first time. Each book has a contemporary focus and fits into one of three main categories including Themes and Perspectives (such as Theoretical Approaches or Ethics), Specific Topics (such as Memory or Relationships) and Applied Areas (such as Psychology and Crime).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Physiological Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General