Evolutionary Psychology


Dr. David Rakison

This class is intended to acquaint students with the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Concepts and principles of human evolution will be developed in the context of classic and contemporary issues in cognitive, developmental, personality, and social psychology. The instructor will introduce the key concepts, issues, and lines of research, but in each case students are expected to take an active role in discussing and developing the topic under consideration. We will examine the relevance of evolutionary thinking to a range of psychological phenomena including problems of survival, long-term mating strategies, short-term sexual strategies, parenting, kinship, cooperative alliances, aggression and warfare, conflict between the sexes, and prestige, status, and social dominance. We will also examine more briefly evolutionary approaches to development, cognition, and language.


Required textbooks:         David M. Buss (2014). Evolutionary Psychology: The new science of the mind. Fifth edition. Pearson.