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Human Instinct

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  384 ratings  ·  31 reviews
From caveman to modern man ...

Few people doubt that humans are descended from the apes; fewer still consider, let alone accept, the psychological implications. But in truth, man not only looks, moves and breathes like an ape, he also thinks like one.

Sexual drive, survival, competition, aggression - all of our impulses are driven by our human instincts. They explain why a
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Bantam (first published October 1st 2002)
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Neal Grout
This book is a great introduction to evolutionary psychology without much of the academic gargon which usually comes with the subject. At least it was until the last chapter when the author let rip with his religious beliefs. Yes its true that science cannot explain everything and in some cases never will. That does not mean we can just make stuff up, or use 2000 year old myths, to fill in the gaps. 90% great, 10% complete rubbish
Toby Primo
a very accessible and broad account of the evolution of 'human nature', but he completely ruins it by saying at the end something stupid like, '.. but we can never fully understand the universe, there will always be some mystery which we must attribute to divine cause..' ... He is Lord Professor Robert Winston of Imperial College London, how can he spend an entire chapter splurging out such crap... guess what.. he's Jewish and prays to God. Nuff said. I have lost all respect for him as a scienti ...more
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
siz benim öyle dinsiz takıldığıma bakmayın din iyi bir şeydir aslında diyerek kitabı bitirdi:)
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Engagingly written book on how some of our human behaviour is explained through how we have evolved. It doesn't pretend to know all the answers, but looks at our historical roots as well as abnormal and less desirable behaviour, and how they could provide an advantage. The last chapter seemed to fit less well with the rest of the book though.
Shee Tsim Nam
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a matter of 5 years I finished this book. It takes time to digest. As the author said superficially it is science, but it is not so sure in a deeper sense. The description of the link of genes to human and animal behaviour is really fantastic. But is not so 'enjoyable' as after all there are lots of knowledge that one needs to grasp hold of before reading further. So each time I can go through only a few pages, and sometimes putting it down for weeks or months. The attempt to incorporate r ...more
Anna Rasmussen
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the first books I read on evolutionary psychology and remains one of my favourites. Winston is concise, intelligent and likeable throughout the book. I found reading this book completely refreshing after only reading scientific journal articles on evolution and human behaviour during my time at University. I would recommend to anyone with an interest in psychology or the biological elements that influence our behaviour.
Vedat Guven
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genlerimizin bizi nasıl yönettiğini, toplumu şekillendirdiğini anlatıyor. Bizler genlerimize sahip değiliz; genlerimiz bize sahip aslında. Ve vücudumuzu bir kılıf olarak kullanıyor genler. 5 milyon yıl önce Afrika'daki hominid atalarımızın ağaçtan yere inerek ve iki ayağının üzerinde yaşayarak başlayan evrim serüveni, homo erectus ve sonrasında homo sapiens'e kadar günümüze geldi. Öğrenme, duygular ve mantıktaki olağanüstü sıçramaya paralel olarak yeni içgüdüler geliştirmeye devam ettik.
Si Gates
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic examination of how our instincts honed on the Savannah have been carried forward in to our modern world, and how they guide and influence our everyday lives. Expertly yet accessibly written, this book strikes a nice balance between hard science and anecdote.
The application of game theory to evolutionary tactics was a particular highlight, but a wonderful read throughout.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An adequate and broad popular science introduction to evolutionary psychology by a well-known UK professor, medical doctor, scientist, television presenter and politician - Lord Winston - which unfortunately descends into mushy religious apologetics at the end.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Winston tarafından yazılmış bir kitabı ilk okuyuşum oluyor kendisi)) Ve kitabı sevdim diyebilirim. İnsan içgüsünü güzel anlatmış. Evrimi gerçek değil de teori olarak kabul eden benim gibi inançlı biri için hiç fena olmamış. İnsan ve evrimine ilgi duyan herkese tavsiye ederim.
Son bölüme kadar herkese hitap edecek bir dilde ilerleyen popüler bilim kitabıyken, sonunu "evrende hala bilemediğimiz ve bilemeyeceğimiz, yüce yaratıcının gizemi şeyler var" gibi insan haklına hakaretle getirmesi akıl alır gibi değil. Boşlukların tanrısına sığınan bir biliminsanı düşünemiyorum.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable look at how human behaviour evolved and how we are affected today by our evolution from the Savannah of Africa.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. A lucid description of evolutionary forces which shape our actions millennia later, even if it is often not politically convenient to admit this.
Hanne Lorimer Aamodt
A little too entertaining on behalf of the science and a little too outdated by now.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Winston chose a fascinating and provocative topic! This book takes a wide-ranging cross-section of current scientific understanding in this area and compiled into one 400+ page book. Given such a diverse selection of sub-topics there's many glancing mentions of studies without speak of sample-sizes or peer review, so it's very hard to put a lot of faith in the conclusions drawn in the book. Nonetheless, the book is certainly more factual than I expected from a documentary author and certa ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
While still an interesting read I think I expected more of this book. It takes a decidedly evolutionary biology view of all things human, which, although scientifically correct, is not my point of view. However, his style is great and he has a gift to explain tough things very clearly. I look forward to the next book of him to reads and if you want to know about evolutinary biology, this is a great starter!
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a comprehensive basic of Evolutionary Psychology, Winston does a very good job. It could be one of the best books on our understanding of the life except for the last chapter.

The last chapter about religion and belief absurdly ruins the value of the book.

Yet, it is definitely worth reading.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it! Love it! Love it! Although I sit between becoming a Christian and a Science thinker, I'm beginning to think they can go hand it hand. Not because of this book, because it all but calls religion a waste of time.

It's amazing the way we learn from and adapt from the past, for reasons that are somewhat unexplainable!
Emma Woodcock
Gives you an insight into how female and male brains work, how we differ so much from each other, and how these developments take place at such an early stage in our lives. Robert delves into freudian philosophy and looks at our ancestory from the Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, to Homo Sapiens. Easy to digest and fascinating.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like to know the forces inside your brain, shaping your behaviour, this book is fantastic. It's fun to read and very insightful.
excellent --amazing.
Kamil Salamah
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievably FANTASTIC
Caner Ergen
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gunluk yasamdaki temel icgudulerimizin evrimsel temelleri, okunmasi gereken bir kitap..
Tan Ren
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well explained book. If you are into the theories of evolution, but need an in-dept explanation of what modern science has discovered, this is the book.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Now I understand why everyone is so crazy and emotional. Thanks Mr. Winston!
Mim English morgan
Another great read if you have an interest in neuropsychology or evolutionary psychology - easy to digest whilst being very informative.
i read turkish translation.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an interesting book on the evolutionary effects on humans. So well written and engaging.
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who liked the tv series
Recommended to Ambika by: Hari
I thought it was an interesting read. Learnt a few interesting facts about babies and suchlike. But it wasn't really a page-turner. I think more of a dive in and out kind of book.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a great book maybe too many of these have been written?
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