Questions tagged [evolutionary-psychology]

For questions about the empirical evidence for explaining behavior as a function of ancient evolutionary pressures.

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What would be the evolutionary benefits of Hate?

From an Evolutionary Psychology perspective, what advantages would we get from being able to feel Hate towards another individual, thing, or event? Do we get a personal benefit of holding grudges, or ...
Elkin Montoya's user avatar
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What are examples of evolutionary benefits of the sharing motive in Tomasello's theory on the origin of human communication?

In "Origins of human communication" (self described by the author as "an empirically based theory of the evolutionary origins of human communication that challenges the dominant ...
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Why is Autistic Spectrum Disorder compatible with the Schizophrenia Spectrum in the DSM-V?

I am curious why DSM-V says autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia spectrum disorder are compatible. I am geologist, and all that topic about autism smells to me like a biologic cold adaptation ...
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Are autism and schizophrenia more severe in Sub-Saharan populations?

Some time ago, I read a Spanish news article discussing the creation of Neanderthal proto-brains using CRISPR. I have translated the relevant part: Interestingly, some characteristics of Neanderthal ...
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Why engage in intellectual activities?

What is the evolutionary psychology explanation of people engaging in intellectual activities (like mathematics, science or philosophy)? All I can think of is that such activities lead to models of ...
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What are the various evolutionary theories of social dominance orientation?

Are there any evolutionary explanations for how the social dominance orientation personality trait came into existence in humans and other animals? Jim Sidanius suggests that the SDO trait may be ...
Jude Zambarakji's user avatar
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Why do we explore?

I'm keep trying to list some of strong motivations to explain our "inner curiosity". But, the subject and this question are very broad, therefore I will give you some context. So, why do we ...
M.N.Raia's user avatar
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How does adaptively patterned variation explain the variety in specific personalities?

I read the article "Evolutionary perspectives on personality dynamics" by Lukaszewski, which explains that differences in personality can be explained by adaptively patterned variation. But ...
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What are the evolutionary advantages of displaying fear?

The advice to not show fear is often given, and for good reason. Displaying fear will make one appear weaker, increase the likelihood of others attacking, and cause self-doubt to spread. However, it ...
Pascal Widmann's user avatar
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Can some people be selectively psycopathic/sociopathic towards a specific race/ethnicity of people?

Psycopaths tend to display remorselessbess while normal people don't. But imagine 18th century USA, where Slaves were considered lower than animals. Or consider, a modern day college group, where ...
Abhay's user avatar
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Does dissociative amnesia bring any evolutive advantage?

Dissociative amnesia may appear after you have experienced a threat where you are unable to produce either fight or flight response. Can we ascribe any evolutive advantage to this course of events or ...
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Why does smiling indicate happiness? Why couldn’t frowning indicate happiness and smiling indicate sadness?

Is there an evolutionary reason behind this? What about raising eyebrows when surprised, or lowering them when angry?
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Is there any evolutionary psychology theory of the "hostile intent attribution" phenomenon?

"Hostile intent attribution" (HIA) refers to the tendency of people to think that others have bad intent when bringing about negative situations (e.g. injuries). For instance, people find it ...
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Why do people tend to put stigma on victims of offences against the person such as rape or bullying?

Introduction: Blame against victims, regarding offences against the person, such as rape or bullying, seems to be a generally consistent social phenomenon, regardless of cultural or historical context....
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Is suicide an evolved trait consistent with Hamilton's rule?

In wild turkeys, male turkeys that are related to eachother will band together to form groups where only one male in the group will reproduce and the others will simply exist to help the dominant male....
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Why did humans evolve to be traumatizable?

Why did humans evolve to be traumatizable, instead of being more resilient and treating trauma in a detached manner? Don't symptoms of trauma reduce a person's biological fitness? Is PTSD an ...
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Why is self-deception necessary to better deceive others?

Robert Trivers argues that we deceive ourselves in order to better deceive others, in part because self-deception can reduce unconscious body signals of lying (von Hippel & Trivers, 2011). On ...
Jared Jacobsen's user avatar
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Is there an evolutionary reason why people care so much about politics?

Is there an evolutionary reason why people care so much about politics? I speculate that it is because in ancestral times, politics was a literal life and death matter. Is there any books about this ...
user107952's user avatar
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Predisposition toward organizing information in a hierarchical manner?

I understand someone why we like hierarchical social structures today. They are present across virtually all cultures and we've used them for a very long time. However, it appears we also gravitate ...
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From an evolutionary perspective, why do humans grieve?

I've been trying to understand why humans grief. I read a few articles and come to this conclusion (which I want to check with experts): being separated creates bad feelings because, being ...
Charlie Parker's user avatar
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How could siblings rivalry / jealousy be useful to human evolution?

It looks like a useless burden and a waste of energy, why it evolved?
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Can new emotions be created or discovered?

Related: Are there emotions that only some people can feel? Is there any known observed or theoretical process by which new emotions could be observed or discovered? Although one may argue over the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
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What is the evolutionary advantage of being embarrassed?

What I am trying to understand is why do I feel embarrassed in certain situation. E.g. when I'm talking to people, why do I think about being judged or sounding stupid that would result me in ...
Zammy Page's user avatar
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Bottom up thinking - what is it?

Mlodinow has book Elastic thinking, which sounds interesting and where he mentions bottom up processes/thinking; which he equates with elastic thinking. I have watched numerous videos about it, and ...
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Is there an evolutionary psychology explanation why children have high pitched voices?

I have come across purely mechanical reasons that explain why children have piping/high pitched voices - length of trachea etc. However, I find myself wondering whether there isn't a deeper ...
DroidOS's user avatar
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Why are we the smartest species on the whole known universe?

Why? One possible reason would be because intelligent give humans, and only humans, evolutionary edge compared to their peers. Gorilla, for example, are strong because strength give Gorilla ...
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Why fear is the opposite of desire and not disgust?

Wikipedia page on desire has the following passage: A 2008 study by the University of Michigan indicated that, while humans experience desire and fear as psychological opposites, they share the ...
rus9384's user avatar
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How can be explained from an evolutionary perspective the fact that some successful people do not want to have children?

According to David Funder, Douglas Kenrick proposed a revised version of Maslow's hierarchy from an evolutionary perspective (1). He said that human beings will strive to move from 1 to 7 in a pyramid....
César D. Vázquez's user avatar
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Are men genetically programmed to seek multiple sexual partners more than women?

I saw this question on Skeptics Stack Exchange. Someone says "obviously, yes". The reasoning is that men have cheap sperm whereas females have expensive eggs. Hence, most males, in most ...
user4234's user avatar
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Why does "name it to tame it" work from an evolutionary psychology perspective?

There seems to exist a phenomenon where being aware of one's feelings gives us power over them. I have seen this in everyday life, but the strongest piece of evidence I've seen is from a talk by UCLA ...
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Why are there still left handed people?

About 90% of all people are right handed. About 10% of people are left handed. So why has left handedness persisted for so long throughout human evolution? Why does it stick around? What are the best ...
geocalc33's user avatar
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Which mental illnesses are probably natural? [closed]

Which states of mind that are classified as mental illnesses might be a natural and useful part of our brains? For example, some evolutionary biologists have suggested that some types of depression ...
zooby's user avatar
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When and how did public nudity and sex become shameful and unacceptable? [closed]

I am thinking about it from the evolutionary perspective. For nudity, I thought that maybe nude bodies may be associated with a higher probability of infection and diseases due to exposed parts. I ...
Ruturaj Gole's user avatar
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The impact of adverse historical event on individual time preference

I am a Development Economist, I recently get interested in time preference reading several insightful economic papers (Godoy 1998, Godoy 2001, Holden et al 1998, Holden 2013, Galor and Ozak 2015). I ...
Marcel Campion's user avatar
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Does female attractiveness correlate with age progression?

I'm interested in Evolutionary Psychology and the male perception of female beauty. One of the ideas I'm trying to investigate is the correlation between female fertility and her attractiveness. A ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
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Why do brains prefer internal consistency?

I need to preface this by saying I know next to nothing about this topic, so if the question is built on wrong premises, feel free to address that in an answer. From and related to: What is the ...
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Predator/prey-like simulations for dark tetrad traits?

Is there research attempting to model & simulate the spread of "negative genes" (and by this I mean just the phenotypic effect thereof) like the dark tetrad traits in a human population? For ...
the gods from engineering's user avatar
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Why do we long for freedom?

Psychological reactance is the effect of irrational choice for freedom - we choose to go for a greater loss just because we like to make the bad decision for ourselves. What is the advantage behind ...
Probably's user avatar
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List of nonverbal expressions of primary and secondary emotions

I'm currently looking for reliable scientific sources that might help me with rating emotions in video-material. Ideally a comprehensive list of facial-/postural expressions of primary and secondary ...
Comfort Eagle's user avatar
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Are there empirical studies that falsify propositions rooted in evolutionary psychology? [closed]

Conway III and Schaller (2002, p. 153) argue that "There is a long history of lodging charges of non-falsifiability against evolutionary thinking in the biological sciences". One of the critics they ...
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Do humans have inborn instincts to spread plant seeds? [closed]

I have been noticing for quite a while that I have this instinct to tear off and throw seeds from trees and plants. This happens quite literally without any thought and I rarely even notice the act. ...
Ognian Mirev's user avatar
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Is there a script to measure face width to height ratio? [closed]

I´d be interested whether you know a script or anything automated to measure the face width to height ratio of a set of pictures depicting faces. Otherwise, your experience how to do that ...
Florian's user avatar
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Recognizing which object is new, while forgetting original objects [closed]

I was looking at a row of candy bars in a vending machine today. Later on, I found another vending machine in the same building. Most of the bars were the same, but I immediately noticed that one was ...
Vermillion's user avatar
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Are we trying to motivate ourselves by combinating safe stressful situations with pleasure regards? [closed]

When there's a stressful situation with no real danger like we need a hug or we stress-eat. Are we trying to develop in our brain networks a fear of actually dangerous situations instead of fear of ...
Probably's user avatar
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What do chimpanzees do with fire in the wild, and can they be trained to manipulate burning objects?

It seems that most animals run away or avoid fire at all costs. This is especially apparent during wild fires. Humans, obviously, have figured out how to use fire as a tool. Are we the only known ...
Justas's user avatar
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What empirical research methods are usually applied to testing evolutionary psychology concepts? [closed]

Evolutionary psychology often brings forward elegant and easily grasped explanations, but just the fact that they sound logical is not a proof on its own. Moreover, evolutionary psychology seems to be ...
J Li's user avatar
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Can human brain neural circuits understand the concept of "other human beings" and their motives? [closed]

I've read that one of the tests of animal intelligence is whether or not the animal recognizes itself in the mirror or can determine that other animals have motives other than it's own (ex: can ...
Alex Stone's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why are people insecure?

Many people, especially teenagers, are insecure about some aspects. They may be insecure about their looks, their (odd) behavior, or may question whether they belong to a group (of friends, colleagues ...
Robin Kramer-ten Have's user avatar
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Is there evidence of a mechanism for transmission of instinct?

DNA would seem to be the only candidate for propagating instinctual behavior, yet I find that not credible. DNA mainly codes for the production of protein structures (like enzymes) and is mainly about ...
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Why are Children always so interested in adults? [closed]

I work as a kindergarten teacher, and it's always fascinating to me that children are so quick to be affectionate and take interest in what their teacher is doing. Is there an evolutionary reason for ...
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