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Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction

Viren Swami (Editor)
February 2011, ©2010
Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction (EHEP001548) cover image


The last decade has witnessed an exciting change in our understanding of the way in which the mind operates and the reasons behind a myriad of human behaviours. The traditional idea that nurture trumps nature in explanations of human behaviour has been supplanted by the evolutionary argument that human beings share evolved mental architectures that govern their behaviour.

This volume is an introduction to evolutionary approaches to psychology, bringing together seminal work in the field and exploring the ways in which evolutionary psychological research can illuminate our understanding of human behaviours and nature. Together, the chapters in this volume present a fresh perspective on evolutionary approaches to psychology, critically evaluating the extant literature while maintaining the need for evolutionary psychologies.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Evolutionary Approaches to Behaviour.

Chapter 2: The Evolution of Cognition.

Chapter 3: Cooperation as a Classic Problem in Behavioural Biology.

Chapter 4: Mate Choice and Sexual Selection.

Chapter 5: The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Beauty.

Chapter 6: Life History Theory and Human Reproductive Behaviour.

Chapter 7: Parenting and Families.

Chapter 8: Personality and Individual Differences.

Chapter 9: Social Cognition and Psychoses: The Imprinted Brain Theory.

Chapter 10: Interactions Between Cognition and Culture.

Chapter 11: The Future of Evolutionary Psychology.

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Author Information

Viren Swami trained as an evolutionary psychologist, and for his doctorate examined the roles that body shape and weight play in judgements of physical attractiveness across cultures. Viren’s current research in the area focuses on the influence of evolution, culture, and individual psychology on perceptions of human beauty, and his work has been widely discussed in national and international media. Viren is also currently conducting research in other fields of interpersonal attraction, including identifying predictors of positive body image, the effect of romantic love on partner perceptions, weight-based discrimination, and the history of beauty in art and sculpture. Other current projects include research on sociocultural adjustment among sojourners, and cross-cultural differences in lay beliefs about various topics, including intelligence, conspiracy theories, mental illness, and extraterrestrial life.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Written by key scholars in the field
  • Full compliant with the BPS syllabus
  • Critical evaluation of the literature from different evolutionary perspectives
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Professor Reviews

"This book is a refreshing and contemporary contribution to the field, and focuses on some of the most interesting recent developments in evolutionary psychology.  The content is given appropriate historical context, and the necessarily multi-disciplinary nature of evolutionary psychology is clear throughout.  Written by leading and productive figures, this text will be of great value to students interested in the evolution of human behaviour and cognition."

Dr Bridget Waller, University of Portsmouth

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Evolutionary Psychology: A Critical Introduction
ISBN : 978-1-4051-9122-7
388 pages
February 2011, ©2010
$44.95   BUY

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