24

In the general population there does seem to be a positive correlation between psychometrically measured intelligence and observer rated attractiveness (Kanazawa, 2011). The power of the relationship seems to be medium to low. Two possible explanations for this relationship are: Intelligence and physical attractiveness both depend on physical health; ...


13

I don't think this is a serious scientific theory at all. The "theory" makes many assumptions about the supposed behaviour of Neanderthals that are not based on evidence, e.g. that they preferred cold to heat. Archaeological evidence indicates that they used fire. There is also a lack of evidence that their social skills were on par with those of autistic ...


12

The conclusions drawn in Inoue & Matsuzawa's (2007) study, which seems to be available here, are suspect. First off, the sample sizes (6 chimp, 9 human subjects) are simply too small to draw good inferences about working memory, at least about human working memory, but as I imagine chimps are somewhat expensive subjects, c'est la vie. Secondly, and more ...


11

The reptilian brain is the oldest part of the triune brain. And the triune brain is a unified account of brain function and brain evolution. The story goes like this. The brain can be divided into three sections: The reptilian brain, named so because it encompasses structures that did not change much from reptile to man. It includes the basal ganglia and ...


10

With regard to your first question about the psychological processes of interpersonal attraction there are (at least) 4 factors that have been found in the social psychology literature. Contextual Aspects. People are more likely to develop attraction towards those they see more frequently than others. This is known as the Mere Exposure Effect (Saegert, ...


10

Sounds no more dubious than the pop-psychological view of Neandertals in general. One should be aware that the real picture of what Neandertals were, and how various modern human populations are related to them, has changed very rapidly in recent years. I doubt the claims you include about Neanderthal society. We have no idea about to what degree a ...


10

This question becomes more complicated if we think in terms of "emotions" (e.g., angry, happy, sad, afraid, etc.) than in terms of "affect" (positive and negative feelings, high and low arousal). I'll start with affect and move on to emotions. An affective state tags an object with a certain value--and it does so very quickly (e.g., Pham, 2007). For ...


9

High working memory is associated with greater ability to learn meanings of abstract symbols, such as is required to do mathematics. I would be highly skeptical of a claim that there is a trade-off between WM and general intelligence. Ian M. Lyons, Sian L. Beilock, Beyond quantity: Individual differences in working memory and the ordinal understanding ...


9

No. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different functions, and the brain would not spontaneously reorganize based only on a improved WM. Memory is a huge factor in intelligence, and improving WM would likely result in increased scores on intelligent tests, and in general is a good thing. References: Increased prefrontal and parietal ...


9

There are (at least) two ways epigenetic traits are inherited. The important background in both cases is gene expression: there is a misconception that genes are for this or that, where the reality is that most traits come from an overlap of several genes expressing themselves in different ratios. As a simple example, consider two varieties of bird of the ...


9

It appears that there's been a lot of research done by USC professor Antonio Damasio on the importance of emotions. There's some fascinating case studies and interviews that are worth reading and listening to, but the short summary, as I understand it, is: Emotions are important because they end up directing reason. Without emotion, there are simply too ...


9

The two main folks in crying research (of whom I'm aware) are Ad Vingerhoets and Jonathan Rottenberg. They've (together and separately) published reviews of adult crying and crying across the lifespan, as well as empirical articles. The general impression they give is that we know very little about the neuropsychobiology of crying, given that crying has ...


8

It's an interesting question, I imagine the desire is multifaceted and that it may reflect multiple desires and multiple activities. In particular, I'd distinguish between (a) the desire for a viewing experience and (b) the desire to get to the top and achieve goals. Desire to Climb There are many examples of people taking joy in climbing. This can be ...


8

This is a bit of a quick answer and hopefully others will provide a more comprehensive response. The number of reflexes that exist in humans is arguably a separate issue to the support for evolutionary psychology. The answer below focuses specifically on the support for evolutionary psychology in academic psychology. Almost all researchers in psychology ...


7

First of all, asymmetries in apparently symmetric creatures (of which most are) are actually quite typical. However, in most cases of hand dominance, there is no population-wide hand dominance. In other words, the population is split 50/50 between left and right handers. In humans, however, a lack of hand dominance is often associated with cognitive ...


7

There is a processing fluency theory that explains it quite nicely. In short, according to this theory the symmetrical objects are pleasant as they are easier to process. See Reber et al (2004) for a detailed description: We propose that aesthetic pleasure is a function of the perceiver's processing dynamics: The more fluently perceivers can process an ...


7

The correlation between physical attractiveness and IQ is somewhere between insignificant and mildly positive, with a slightly higher correlation for men. The correlation between physical attractiveness and perceived intelligence is more significant. There are typically two approaches to explain the (albeit mild) correlation: Nature: From an evolutionary ...


7

Since this (excellent) question has been around for a while without any answer, I thought I'd give my two cents. I think we do this as a gesture of respect to the other person. We may fear that if we don't acknowledge them at all, it will come off as rude or arrogant. Maybe we fear that if we don't even look at the other person, we're basically pretending ...


6

Furthermore the feelings caused by the "nails on a chalkboard" sound do not at all trigger a fight-or-flight response or put me on edge as a loud noise or something that startles me does. If anything it is almost paralyzing, which seems counter to the evolutionary theory. Yes, I agree, it seems to, however what about the fainting goats? We could have traits ...


6

Neurobiology and Evolution are not exactly my field of expertise, but I'll try to answer anyway. Are there any neurotransmitters that appeared only in human evolution history? Probably not. The common human neurotransmitters we know of, are also found in other animals. More surprisingly, most of them are also found in organisms with no nervous-system, ...


6

If non-human animals do have intelligence too, why is their intelligence not as advanced as humans? Notions like “advanced” or “better” really have no place in evolutionary thinking. Again, evolutionary fitness is about self-reproduction and success compared to whatever competition is present at any moment. There is no force “optimizing” species to meet ...


6

What is the difference in the brains for animals capable of these great differences in sexual activity and what part of the brain is responsible for this? In my opinion is a matter of creativity and curiosity. Evolved species try to interact with their ambient in unusual ways, testing different approach to the same "problem" not only to satisfy primary ...


6

In my mind there are two main explanations of this kind of instinct behaviours. The first one is rooted in evolution. There are many examples of human innate behaviours which we can't explain e.g. when we see a lace or tape on the street we automatically jump and feel scared. Although we live in big city our brain associates the lace with a snake. It is an ...


5

Let's first be clear that we didn't evolve from monkeys/apes/etc. That's a common misconception. Evolution states that we and monkeys/apes/etc. evolved from a common ancestor. Same with fish. If you go back far enough, we and fish share a common ancestor... we did not, however, evolve from today's Salmon or Macaque. That being said, the origin of ...


5

My answer to this question would be pretty straightforward. From a neurobiological standpoint, sex causes the release of various pair-bonding influencing hormones oxytocin, vasopressin and dopamine. These "feel good" hormones promote bonding and basically encourage the couple to stay together. The more the pair have sex, the more these hormones get ...


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