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Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology
Neuroscience Perspectives concerning Human Behavior and Experience

January 2012 | 536 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Many books in evolutionary psychology emphasize just a small part of the total picture. William J. Ray's book gives students a clear understanding of how current psychological knowledge of human behavior and experience draws from a variety of perspectives. It begins with an understanding of evolution and the close connection between organisms and their environment, focusing on how the environment and genes can influence humans and the cultures of which they are a part. Using current research in social processes, decision making, and brain imaging, Ray explores how humans solve certain life problems in the same way that many non-human species do. He also highlights human abilities not seen in other species, including our ability to use language, develop culture, and create writings and art that can influence other humans thousands of years later. Written in a clear, easy-to-understand manner, the book emphasizes developmental processes and family relationships, sexual and social relationships, and emotionality and language. It concludes with an examination of health and disease, psychopathology, and culture, all seen through an evolutionary lens.

PART I: Introduction and Background
Chapter 1: Introduction to an evolutionary perspective
Chapter 2: What is evolution?
Chapter 3: Evolution and genetics
PART II: Basic human function and process
Chapter 4: Evolution of brain and function
Chapter 5: Developmental processes
Chapter 6: Emotionality
Chapter 7: Language
Chapter 8: Sex and gender
Chapter 9: Sexual selection
Chapter 10: Kin and family relationships
Chapter 11: Social relations
Chapter 12: Making social decisions
PART III: Applications
Chapter 13: Health and disease
Chapter 14: Psychopathology
Chapter 15: Culture


Instructor Teaching Site
The Instructors site will include Power Points, a Test Bank, Class Assignments & Discussion Questions.

The Student study site will include Journal Articles & Web Resources.

"I would absolutely adopt it and recommend it."

Peter K. Jonason
University of South Alabama

"I was very impressed with the book. The text does an excellent job of demonstrating that natural and sexual selection provide a general sketch upon which environmental interaction builds our complex behavioral repertoires and that this interplay shapes the human experience from basic brain structure to the complexities of culture."

Shawn R. Charlton
University of Central Arkansas

This is an excellent text and covers a wide range of recent evolutionary psychology topics.

Mrs Issy Hallam
Psychology, South Devon College
May 22, 2017

This text covers a wide range of evolutionary psychology issues in a clear and logical order, yet you can still dip in and out of the chapters. I particularly like the end of chapter review questions and glossary pointers, which will enable students to consolidate their learning. On a practical note, the size of the book (approximately 26x18cm) makes it easier to carry about despite its hardback cover. A very real consideration for any student or teacher!

Mrs Issy Hallam
Psychology , South Devon College
January 30, 2016

The supplemental materials made the difference when deciding between this text and another.

Dr Stephanie Stilling
psychology, Univ Of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
June 29, 2015

No longer teaching on Intro 2

Dr Chris Egan
School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
February 9, 2015

A solid text but it was not the
first-choice for clarity, illustrations
and access to current research.

Dr Dennis Barone
January 29, 2015

An excellent text, informative and user friendly.

Mrs Karen Eaton-thomas
School of social justice and inclusion, University of Wales, Trinity St David
January 16, 2015

In my opinion there are other alternatives that are better suited for our purposes.

Mr Peter Karlsson
Sch of Health & Social Sciences - HOS, Halmstad University
December 11, 2014

Probably the best book on evolutionary psychology that I have read, the chapters are clear and concise, so shall be happy to recommend to students

Miss Marie Robbins
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
June 24, 2014
Key features


  • Cutting-edge neuroscience research (e.g., brain imaging) relating to evolutionary psychology, with a more integrated perspective of human evolutionary processes
  • Study resources at the end of each chapter with review questions, key terms and concepts, glossary terms, and further readings help assess the reader assess their comprehension of the major points covered and enhance their learning experience
  • Additional website resources, such as the Human Genome Project and the research performed at the Smithsonian Institution on human evolution, to introduce the student to additional avenues to follow up on current research, offering relevant and up-to-date findings

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

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