10 votes
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Have different mental strengths evolved in men and women?

There is little neurological evidence that finds a difference between men and women. However there are psychological studies that do find a small difference in mental strengths. This interesting TED ...
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  • 216
9 votes
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Why do humans cry?

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,...
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  • 4,246
6 votes
Accepted

Why are people insecure?

Short answer Hypothesis (1) Background The question is quite broad, as exemplified by the statement: They may be insecure about their looks, their (odd) behavior, or may question whether they belong ...
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5 votes

What is the evolutionary advantage of being embarrassed?

Marks and Nesse investigated evolutionary causes of anxiety disorders and reported about embarrassment in particular: Social threats evoke responses that promote group acceptance, for example, ...
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5 votes

Why do we long for freedom?

Too lazy to paraphrase right now, so quoting from a newsletter Brehm [the guy how introduced the notion Psychological Reactance--my note] has made but one remark about why people seem to behave as ...
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  • 9,895
5 votes

What is the evolutionary purpose of envy?

A lot of sources might be of use here, but one thing in your question is not clear to me - when you write "envy", do you mean a kind of resentment towards someone with material possessions that you ...
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  • 121
4 votes
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Evolutionary motivation for the existence of pleasure?

First a couple of definitions: Positive reinforcement occurs when an event or stimulus is presented as a consequence of a behavior and the behavior increases. Negative reinforcement occurs when the ...
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4 votes
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Why did humans develop the "sense of humour"?

Interestingly, the same question you asked has been asked since quite some time: The Act of Creation, 1964 - Arthur Koestler What is the survival value of the involuntary, simultaneous contraction ...
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  • 1,154
4 votes
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What do chimpanzees do with fire in the wild, and can they be trained to manipulate burning objects?

Primatologist Jill Pruetz at Iowa State University in Ames was observing savanna chimpanzees in Senegal and found that chimps there have mastered the first step in controlling fire. However there is ...
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4 votes
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Why fear is the opposite of desire and not disgust?

Just because two phenomena (partially!) share brain architecture does not mean they are experientially similar or opposite. There is little understanding of how neuronal activity creates conscious ...
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4 votes

How can be explained from an evolutionary perspective the fact that some successful people do not want to have children?

Before addressing your true question, I just want to say that you can find individuals with almost any characteristic, even non-adaptive ones. Variation can exist for many reasons including genetic (e....
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  • 700
3 votes
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Why do brains prefer internal consistency?

Short answer Cognitive dissonance arises because people want to protect their world-view or self-concept. Even people well versed in science may deny the facts in favor of false beliefs. Background ...
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3 votes

Why are we the smartest species on the whole known universe?

The evolution of higher intelligence in hominids is an empirically difficult enough evolutionary question that (a) it might be better for biology.se and (b) any answer needs to be taken with a pinch ...
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  • 191
3 votes

Why do humans cry?

In addition to @mrt's great answer. I feel that the following excerpt from the 'crying' section from the "The Newborn Infant" chapter in my Developmental Psychology classes' textbook would ...
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  • 1,154
3 votes
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Why do we like stories?

I'll try to roughly answer your question. It's not an easy one, and by no means does it have a narrow answer. Scientists have suggested, like you mentioned that stories show a lot about the basis of ...
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  • 1,154
3 votes

Why are children afraid of the dark?

Human's fear of the dark comes from our evolutionary past. Scientists believe it is genetically encoded in our DNA to be afraid of the dark due to the attacks of predators on our ancestors mostly ...
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2 votes
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Recognizing which object is new, while forgetting original objects

Is there a name for this phenomenon in cognitive science? What you are describing is a number of things that in general have to do with attention and memory. The first one of them is priming. ...
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  • 577
2 votes

Is there evidence of a mechanism for transmission of instinct?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/dec/12/japan.justinmccurry Here they talk about scientist who shut down fear of cat in mice behavior. After genetic engineering the mouse isn't afraid of the cat ...
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2 votes

Can forgetting labor pain be an evolutionary advantage as animals don't know how to avoid labor?

I agree. The connection between having sex and the pain of labor is so distant, it seems unlikely that it could be selected against. In theory though, there could be enough time in human history for ...
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  • 106
2 votes
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Why are we the smartest species on the whole known universe?

I just finished a special issue on 'Humans - Why we're unlike any other species on the planet' (Sci Am, September 2018). In this issue, Kevin Laland has a paper (How we became a different kind of ...
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1 vote

Bottom up thinking - what is it?

Hutchinson, B. (2002), an article in the book Synergy Matters by Adrian M. Castell may help in understanding what is meant by bottom up thinking and the opposite, top down thinking. [T]he term ‘top ...
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1 vote

Is there an evolutionary psychology explanation why children have high pitched voices?

Children have high pitched voices relative to adults because their vocal folds are shorter and physics demands that short vocal folds result in higher pitches. The format frequencies of children are ...
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  • 2,617
1 vote

Predisposition toward organizing information in a hierarchical manner?

This is not out of desire, it is out of necessity of abiding a feature of information and knowledge itself. Quite frankly, this goes into a bit of data science and information theory (I personally ...
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1 vote

How could siblings rivalry / jealousy be useful to human evolution?

First, it must be understood that not all traits in an animal are evolved or selected traits – some are only variations. Some of these variations may be selected by some evolutionary pressure in the ...
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  • 1,795
1 vote

Can new emotions be created or discovered?

The atlas of personality, emotion and behaviour catalogues over 3,000 emotions (Mobbs, 2020). The atlas's approach taken to identifying and cataloguing the emotions was to start with existing lists ...
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  • 1,688
1 vote

Why do many parents prevent children from being exposed to anything sex-related?

If I were to guess, the reason is probably something to the effect of: because children would not understand since they lack the same (or same level of) sexual urges that adults have. Another thought ...
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