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Evolutionary Psychology : A Critical Introduction



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This is the edition with a publication date of 1/1/2011.

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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. Clear learning objectives and chapter contents outlined at the start of each chapter Key terms highlighted with definitions, either as marginal notes or in chapter glossariesCase examples of community psychology in action Each chapter ends with a critical assessment section Discussion points and ideas for exercises that can be undertaken by the reader, in order to extend critical understanding Lists

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Evolutionary approaches to behaviour
The evolution of cognition
Cooperation as a classic problem in behavioural biology
Mate choice and sexual selection
The evolutionary psychology of human beauty
Life history theory and human reproductive behaviour
Parenting and families
Personality and individual differences
Social cognition and psychoses: The imprinted brain theory
Interactions between cognition and culture
The future of evolutionary psychology
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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