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Essential Evolutionary Psychology

Essential Evolutionary Psychology

January 2010 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Essential Evolutionary Psychology introduces students to the core theories, approaches, and findings that are the necessary foundations for developing an understanding of evolutionary psychology.

It offers a sound, brief, and student friendly explication of how evolutionary theory has been and is applied in psychology. The book unpicks the very essence of human evolution, and how this knowledge is used to give evolutionary accounts of four of the central pillars of human behavior - cooperation, attraction, aggression, and family formation. It also covers evolutionary accounts of abnormal behavior, language and culture. The textbook then closes with a discussion of the wider objections to the very notion of evolutionary psychology, and, taking the view that evolutionary approaches are not going to go away it looks at how evolutionary psychology may develop in the future.

Accessible, lively and rich with the latest research ideas as vignettes, Essential Evolutionary Psychology should be main textbook reading for undergraduate students taking courses in Evolutionary Psychology or Evolution & Human Behavior. It should also be recommended reading to introductory students studying the Brain and Behavior.

Darwin's Argument and Three Problems
Heritability, Sexual Selection and Altruism

What Is Evolutionary Psychology?
The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness
Brains, Minds and Consciousness
Co-Operation and Interdependence
Families and Parenting
Mate Selection
Competition, Aggression and Violence
Evolution and Language
Evolution and Abnormal Psychology
Evolution and Culture
The Future of Evolutionary Psychology

`It is refreshing, in the wake of the sometimes uncritical enthusiasm for evolutionary psychology, to read a thoughtful and balanced account of the problems as well as the benefits of an evolutionary perspective on human behaviour' - Professor Anne Campbell, Durham University

A book very well organized with syntheses that help in understanding the contents. The information presented in the boxes promotes a more specific reading. It is a good complement of study.

Dr Isabel Santos
Psychology, Universidade Lusofona de Humanidades e Tecnologias
April 10, 2012

I haven't received approval for the course yet, but was hoping to find a slightly higher level text since it will be a senior seminar.

Dr Kelly Harrison
Psychology Dept, Virginia Polytechnic Institution / State University
April 12, 2011

Interesting content, yet lacks the depth that I require for the postgraduate students.

Dr Hyun-Jung Lee
Department of Accounting and Finance, London School of Economics and Political Science
March 15, 2011

Very interesteing literature I sertainly will use as a reference book when creating material in courses in general psychology. It will not be adopted as course literature since it is too narrow, it would need a course of its own to be covered.

Ms Karin Josefsson
Sch of Health & Social Sciences - HOS, Halmstad University
March 1, 2011

This is a clear and well presented book, more interesting and accessible than other beginners guides to evolutionary psychology.

Ms Helen Hewertson
centre for research informed teaching, University of Central Lancashire
December 14, 2010

An ideal book for final year undergraduates. It will go a long way in helping to overcome the problem of introducing the theory without sounding like an evangelist for the subject.

Mr Damon Lane
History , Havering College of Further and Higher Education
November 2, 2010

I will recommend this book for final year honours and MSc students who take my option in Cognitive Neuroscience as supplementary reading and will order copies for the library for next academic year.

Dr Douglas Potter
School of Psychology, Dundee University
September 14, 2010

Excellent reading

Dr Glynis Van Der Hoek
Psychology , Derby University
September 10, 2010

The book is up-to-date and easy to understand. We will recommend it as one of the textbooks for the course.

Mrs Minna Lyons
Psychology , Liverpool Hope University
March 11, 2010
Key features

Key Features

  • Each chapter is prefaced by a list of questions that are addressed in the chapter to get students actively thinking about what the content of the chapter might be and what sort of purpose it might serve.
  • Each chapter begins with a list of learning objectives as targets which the text will cover by the end of the chapter.
  • Each chapter contains a list of key terms and concepts that are bolded throughout.
  • "Try it this way" boxes offer a different way of thinking about concepts because any one given way of explaining something doesn't always make sense to everyone.
  • "Before we continue, ask yourself . . ." sections are filled with questions that appeal to the readers to link the associated content to their own experience.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

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