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Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  992 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Where did we come from? What is our connection with other life forms? What are the mechanisms of mind that define what it means to be a human being?

Evolutionary psychology is a revolutionary new science, a true synthesis of modern principles of psychology and evolutionary biology. Since the publication of the award-winning first edition of Evolutionary Psychology, there h
Hardcover, 518 pages
Published 1998 by Allyn & Bacon
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Xiang It's hard to judge whether it worth the price, but The Evolution of Desire by the same author covers a lot of concepts presented in this book and is w…moreIt's hard to judge whether it worth the price, but The Evolution of Desire by the same author covers a lot of concepts presented in this book and is written in a less academic style. And presumably much cheaper.
Arshia This is a great book that explores the concepts and theories that have been discovered and explored in the realm of evolutionary psychology. It not on…moreThis is a great book that explores the concepts and theories that have been discovered and explored in the realm of evolutionary psychology. It not only presents the research behind the concepts presented but also some of the contradictory research that may oppose certain ideas. It is quite a balanced and worthwhile book. As for its costly price tag — you have to keep in mind that this is (in addition to being a great book) a university textbook — and we all know how expensive textbooks can get when you have no choice but to purchase a particular book for a particular course.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind, David M. Buss

Originally published: November 23, 1998

Beginning with a historical introduction, the text logically progresses by discussing adaptive problems humans face and ends with a chapter showing how the new field of evolutionary psychology encompasses all branches of psychology.

Each chapter is alive with the subjects that most occupy our minds: sex, mating, getting along, getting ahead, friends, enemies, and social hierarchies.

Why is c
Amir Tesla
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Such a great and informative book.
Among those books that I keep saying provides you with a new pair of eyes to see the world with, and comprehend what used to be invisible to you before.
Henrik Haapala
1. What is the book about?
Evolutionary psychology
2. What problem was the author trying to solve?
The problems of surviving, mating, parenting, criminality etc. that can be better understood with evolutionary psychology
3. What are the main arguments? Do I agree?
I agree with the basics and more. Natural selection has three basics: variation, inheritance and differential reproductive success. Intrasexual competition – competition between members of one sex. Intersexual selection – preferential mate
Bob Nichols
“Evolutionary Psychology” is an excellent summary of the evolutionary foundations for human behavior. The picture that emerges is straightforward. We have strong social tendencies. We are aggressive in promoting and defending our interests; we can be and are brutal toward our kind (“Among the more than 4,000 species of mammals, only two have been observed to form coalitions that kill conspecifics: chimpanzees and humans,” Buss writes); and sex and social dominance pervades our lives. We are, in ...more
Tiago Faleiro
It's a fascinating field and I think this book this a pretty good job of outlining most of its core aspects. It's well written, and no particular knowledge is required. While some general background in psychology is helpful, the author makes sure to define and explain uncommon terms. At the end of Part1, it contains a neat and brief summary of psychology so one is better able to put the content ahead in context, from Freud's psychoanalytic theory to the cognitive revolution.

It starts off with a
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I start with the critique points, I have to say: With all caveats, it is a great read with a lot of insights, and a well written one. Echoing some other reviews here, this is one of the few psychology textbooks I would recommend for everyone.

Now, few remarks:
a) The content is skewed towards "global level of analysis" with issues like mating, parenting, and cooperation. There's almost zero material on the evolution of basic human psychology like perception, emotions, cognitive abilities or
3.5 stars

Quite interesting and illuminating, although one tends to start seeing human behaviour, especially the "mating dance" between both sexes in a rather cynical light. Sometimes it seems depressing how much our preferences and character traits today are the product of recurrent environmental adaptive problems men encountered tens of thousands of years ago.. that life's only goal is to be as reproductively successful as possible and that every single thing seems to revolve around getting sex
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic-science
This is the textook I'm using this year in my Comparative Psychology class, which combines ethology and evolutionary elements. This is a very good book on the topic. I haven't finished the class yet so we'll see how the students like it. However, it's a tremendous introduction to the field, which provides a lot of food for thought.

There are places where the author speculates beyond the data, but that's probably to be expected in what is a very new field. It is a very exciting field as well.
Apr 29, 2016 added it
Shelves: educational, 2016
Pretty simple and informative guide to Evolutionary Psych. Easy to understand and explains things really well.
Griffin Wilson
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read the 4th edition (published 2009), however, you may find the 5th edition (published 2014) on Amazon with some more up-to-date research, although at about 4 times the price.

This work is a great introduction to the field of evolutionary psychology, and in one stroke manages to touch on (even if only briefly) most of the major insights the budding field has yet offered us; the work also provides the reader with heaps of 'recommended readings' and a 50+ page bibliography. I would have to say t
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have_ebook, 2016
if you're planning to read one psychology book in a lifetime, this should be the one
Beshoy Maher
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book should be the modern world's bible!
Sabuj Chattopadhyay
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The best textbook on the subject.
Barack Liu
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing

246-Evolutionary psychology-David Buss-Psychology-1999

- From an evolutionary standpoint, primitive women in the choice of long-term spouse, two core elements of concern are: male whether it has enough resources; men are willing to invest enough resources in themselves and their offspring. When primitive men choose a long-term spouse, the two core factors they pay attention to are: whether women have high fertility and high reproductive value; whether the uncertainty o
Adam Lam
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What do women want? So posited Freud, lamenting the query as "the great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul."

The authors summarize the findings and methodologies behind research on this question in an accessible (i.e. easy-to-read) format. Of course, this isn't the only question they explore. Other topics include phobias (Why do buildings seem taller when standing on the top floor versus t
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, psychology
This wonderful book which was recommended to me by a friend, is about evolutionary psychology, a field that I was only superficially familiar with. Even though the arguments presented here are mostly speculative and in the form of hypotheses, it is still a wonderful scientific effort and a wealth of information and data has been gleaned by psychologists that can give us insights about who we are, where we came from and why we possess the current behavioral traits from an evolutionary perspective ...more
Jurij Fedorov
This is my favorite book. I love it. This book has changed me as a person.
Holly Fediuk
Dec 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
If I could give this book a zero I would. Literally the worst textbook I've ever read my entire life and I read the WHOLE thing. Ive read alot of textbooks in my life and let me tell you, I could have written a better one myself. First of all, it feels as if Buss has run out of ideas to talk about so in each chapter he repeats himself a billion times. It's so incredibly repetitive and honestly if you don't have anything to say, why is this even a subject? And second what is with the last chapter ...more
Lubna Qanber
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lubna by: Raswl
I didn’t write one first because I found it’s hard to, for how huge the book is and the many various topics it talks about, I should’ve reviewed each part once I’ve read separately.

Anyhow, it was nice reading it, it explains “biologically speaking” humans behaviors and how humans evolved during time depending on real social experiments (statistics of course), biological studies, and studying various animals actions, for explaining (women-men, family, and social) relationships, how we deal with
Ben Merton
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evolutionary Psychology has been as transformative in the way I look at the world (and myself) as Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs & Steel.

The first 70-80 pages are heavily technical explanations about the methodologies of Evolutionary Psychologists. Ordinarily, one might expect to find this section at the end of the book. However, I suspect that skepticism about the field of Evolutionary Psychology provoked the editorial decision to give this greater importance.

If you are looking for insights into
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
The gist of this book in one sentence is: most of what social sciences teach us is either wrong or needless. Much of what we feel, think, and do is better explained by our biological evolution and adaptation than by groundless humanitarian theorising. Indeed, it has always seemed suspicious to me that we treat humans and humanity as if they emerged fully equipped from nowhere about 10 thousand years ago, and a psychologist or a sociologist does not have to pay much attention to where we had been ...more
Sharzad Modeli
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a textbook and huge book but really at times reads like a novel. It's an exploration about the human experience, and the different facets of life: sex, mating, getting along, getting ahead, friends, enemies, and social hierarchies. You know the adage of: "just see the world as it is without judging" - well this is a lesson in just here's how things go down and some evolutionary forces that are behind them. Overall, I have read it a few times and really go through the pages again and agai ...more
Simon M.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
While the book is well-written, evolutionary psychology as a school of thought it at its best in infancy. It is extremely limited in its viewpoints and seems to posit that modern heteronormative and misogynistic behaviors are inescapable truths of human nature. The school of thought exaggerates research findings, ignores a wealth of anthropological information that does not support the aforementioned views and makes hardly any attempt to explain observable variations in its claims.

I will stick w
Textbook used for my Evolutionary Psychology class at UTA. This was a great read. The author went through a ton of theories about the evolution of human behavior in areas such as mating, child rearing, warfare, and much more. I'd say read it with an open mind, not all of these theories are proven, many of them are based on a small study or survey and even the author often says "more research is needed."
Joe McKenzie
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book about how historic environmental factors can influence the current modern human psychology. Ties in the points it makes with facts about Darwin's own life which made is semi-autobiographical and helped add to the flavour.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sexist pseudoscience. Just kidding. At this point, I think that anyone who thinks that evolutionary psychology is sexist pseudoscience is just biased and/or ignorant. Fascinating stuff. I didn’t even feel like I was reading a textbook.
Phillip Batch
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really changed my perspective on how people work, and why. Very eye opening. Although, it is a text book and quite dry at times, the overall concepts are very profound. Essential reading for anyone who truly wants to understand the world around them.
Nando Pelusi
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Essential for understanding human experience without any bafflegab from social psychology. A re-writing of the fundamentals of psychology. (I would even say a much needed replacement for the standard social science model.)
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a breath of fresh air after reading Darwin's maury-esque claims
Ask Franck
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good, fundamental and important.
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David M. Buss is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, known for his evolutionary psychology research on human sex differences in mate selection.
Buss earned his PhD in psychology at University of California, Berkeley in 1981. Before becoming a professor at the University of Texas, he was assistant professor for four years at Harvard University, and he was a professor at t

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