Why You Date Who You Date: Evolutionary Psychology Explains

The history of evolutionary psychology began with Charles Darwin , who said that humans have social instincts that evolved by natural selection. Darwin’s work inspired later psychologists such as William James and Sigmund Freud but for most of the 20th century psychologists focused more on behaviorism and proximate explanations for human behavior. Wilson ‘s landmark book, Sociobiology , synthesized recent theoretical advances in evolutionary theory to explain social behavior in animals, including humans. After his seminal work in developing theories of natural selection, Charles Darwin devoted much of his final years to the study of animal emotions and psychology. He wrote two books; The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex in and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in that dealt with topics related to evolutionary psychology. He introduced the concepts of sexual selection to explain the presence of animal structures that seemed unrelated to survival, such as the peacock’s tail. He also introduced theories concerning group selection and kin selection to explain altruism. Darwin felt that acts of generosity decreased the fitness of generous individuals.

Happiness in the Perspective of Evolutionary Psychology

The details hardly matter, but in outline her story is numbingly familiar. After a movie she returned with her date to his car, which had been left in an isolated parking lot. She was expecting him to drive her home.

In evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecology, human mating strategies are a set of or as a spouse. Dating rules may vary across different cultures, and some societies may even replace the dating process by a courtship instead.

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Undergraduate Studies in Psychology

Author contributions: P. However, reported preferences need not correspond to actual mate choices, which are more relevant from an evolutionary perspective. In a study of 46 adults participating in a speed-dating event, we were largely able to replicate Buston and Emlen’s self-report results in a pre-event questionnaire, but we found that the stated preferences did not predict actual choices made during the speed-dates.

Instead, men chose women based on their physical attractiveness, whereas women, who were generally much more discriminating than men, chose men whose overall desirability as a mate matched the women’s self-perceived physical attractiveness. Unlike the cognitive processes that Buston and Emlen inferred from self-reports, this pattern of results from actual mate choices is very much in line with the evolutionary predictions of parental investment theory.

What characteristics are preferable in a human mate?

Table History of Psychology. [Skip Table]. Date, Psychologist(s), Description. to BCE, Plato, Greek philosopher.

Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. A Nature Research Journal. Here, by considering a well mixed population of individuals who produce signals and decide on their strategies in a game they play, based on the signals, we show that costly signals and costly cooperative strategies can co-evolve as a result of internal dynamics of the system.

Costly signals evolve, despite their apparent cost, due to a favorable cooperative response they elicit.

Psychology Test

In response to problems in our environment, we adapt both physically and psychologically to ensure our survival and reproduction. Sexual selection theory describes how evolution has shaped us to provide a mating advantage rather than just a survival advantage and occurs through two distinct pathways: intrasexual competition and intersexual selection. Gene selection theory, the modern explanation behind evolutionary biology, occurs through the desire for gene replication.

Evolutionary psychology connects evolutionary principles with modern psychology and focuses primarily on psychological adaptations: changes in the way we think in order to improve our survival. Two major evolutionary psychological theories are described: Sexual strategies theory describes the psychology of human mating strategies and the ways in which women and men differ in those strategies.

A biological perspective is relevant to the study of psychology in three ways: 1. The birth of Evolutionary Psychology begins with the publication of an essay “The Psychological Foundations of Culture” by Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity.

You can register here! In this interview with Max Ogles , Saad discusses the role of evolutionary psychology in modern marketing. Gad Saad: Evolutionary psychology is applying evolutionary theory to understand the human mind. Evolution is typically used to explain all biological diversity, from how flowers evolved, to how a particular trait of an animal evolves. For example, why does the peacock have its tail that way that it does? Put simply, evolutionary psychology is the pursuit of understanding the human mind through an evolutionary lens.

GS: The first thing that evolutionary psychologists argue is that the forces of natural selection and sexual selection that are operative in biology can be used to explain psychology. In the game of life, there are two things that need to happen: First, I need to survive, then I need to mate. I can only extend my genes if both of those things happen.

We uncover the adaptive problems that humans would have faced recurrently in the past, that would result in the human mind developing computational systems to solve these problems. Secondly, evolutionary psychologists argue that the human mind is an amalgamation of both domain- general mechanisms and domain- specific mechanisms. Domain general mechanisms are things like intelligence, which can be transported across domains. You can use intelligence to solve a calculus problem and also to read literature.

Evolutionary Theories in Psychology

When it comes to the heated subject of differences between how men and women behave, debate in psychology has centered on mate preferences and general interests. The available research shows that when it comes to heterosexual mating preferences, men are relatively more interested in physical beauty, while women are relatively more interested in earning capacity. As for general interests, men are more interested in physical things, while women are more interested in people.

Even the staunchest evolutionary psychologists would acknowledge these are partially overlapping bell curves: There are plenty of men who are fascinated by other people, and plenty of women looking for physical beauty in a partner above all else. Yet the findings have been met with fierce resistance in some quarters. At the Nature end, on the other hand, are various evolutionary psychology accounts which posit that sex differences in behavior were carved into place by evolution.

Mobile dating application Tinder has been criticized heavily due to its appearance-based matchmaking process, which many consider so.

Evolutionary psychology is a relatively new field. Scientists like Victor Johnston study the human brain and human behaviors — why we do the things we do — in the context of evolution. This clip outlines the “sweaty T-shirt” experiment, which showed that the sense of smell may have more to do with mate choice than previously thought. Females sniffing the T-shirts recently worn by males favored the scent of those whose immune response genes were different from their own. Meredith Small and Geoffrey Miller are also interviewed.

From Evolution: “Why Sex? All rights reserved. View in: QuickTime RealPlayer.

“Yes, but…” Answers to Ten Common Criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology

In response to problems in our environment, we adapt both physically and psychologically to ensure our survival and reproduction. Sexual selection theory describes how evolution has shaped us to provide a mating advantage rather than just a survival advantage and occurs through two distinct pathways: intrasexual competition and intersexual selection. Gene selection theory , the modern explanation behind evolutionary biology, occurs through the desire for gene replication.

Evolutionary psychology connects evolutionary principles with modern psychology and focuses primarily on psychological adaptations: changes in the way we think in order to improve our survival.

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The human capacity for positive and negative feelings is shaped by the forces of evolution, thus the evolutionary perspective should be relevant to the study of happiness. This paper attempts to identify the more pertinent innate qualities of the human brain, and discusses how the evolutionary perspective can be used to relate these qualities to the study of happiness. Two aspects of our evolutionary legacy appear to be particularly relevant: One, the consequences of discords between the present way of living and the environment of evolutionary adaptation; and two, the presence of feelings designed to influence behaviour.

The purpose of the present paper is to both expand on these two aspects and thereby arrive at an evolutionary based description of happiness; and to discuss the relationship between this biological account and some current approached to the study of happiness. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Rent this article via DeepDyve. Barkow, J. Segal, G. Weisfeld and C. Weisfeld eds. Google Scholar.

Buss, D. Cabanac, M.

Human mating strategies

A few years ago, I was giving an invited presentation to an audience of mostly sociologists and family studies professors on the topic of evolution and human reproductive strategies. I kid you not, I could see rows of people who looked genuinely horrified. It seems to me many critics of evolutionary psychology cling steadfastly to false stereotypes of the field, both theoretical and empirical. Add to that the methodological breadth of different techniques used by evolutionary scholars to test hypotheses about the adaptive design of the human mind, and it is understandably difficult to know what all evolutionary researchers have been, and currently are, up to as active Darwinian scientists.

Perhaps more than other social scientists, evolutionary psychologists use an incredible variety of research methods, ranging from self-report surveys and behavioral field test experiments, to investigations involving genetics, hormones, and neuroscience, to cross-species and cross-cultural comparisons, to ethnographies of foraging societies and computer modeling of artificial intelligences [2] [3] [4].

A New Study Supports Evolutionary Psychology’s Explanation For Why Men And Women Want Different Attributes In Partners debate in psychology has centered on mate preferences and general interests. In “Dating“.

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain useful mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, i. The purpose of this approach is to bring the functional way of thinking about biological mechanisms such as the immune system into the field of psychology, and to approach psychological mechanisms in a similar way. Though applicable to any organism with a nervous system, most research in evolutionary psychology focuses on humans.

Evolutionary Psychology proposes that the human brain comprises many functional mechanisms, called psychological adaptations or evolved cognitive mechanisms designed by the process of natural selection. Examples include language acquisition modules, incest avoidance mechanisms, cheater detection mechanisms, intelligence and sex-specific mating preferences, foraging mechanisms, alliance-tracking mechanisms, agent detection mechanisms, and so on.

It also draws on behavioral ecology, artificial intelligence, genetics, ethology, anthropology, archaeology, biology, and zoology. Evolutionary psychology is closely linked to sociobiology, but there are key differences between them including the emphasis on domain-specific rather than domain-general mechanisms, the relevance of measures of current fitness, the importance of mismatch theory, and psychology rather than behaviour.

Many evolutionary psychologists, however, argue that the mind consists of both domain-specific and domain-general mechanisms, especially evolutionary developmental psychologists. Reference Terms.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Mating and Dating