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Psychology General

Evolutionary Psychology: A Very Short Introduction

by (author) Maryanne Fisher

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
May 2022
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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One of the most powerful frameworks for understanding human behaviour is evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology takes the view that the brain, just like any other part of our body such as teeth or hands, has been shaped by the processes of natural and sexual selection. How we think, and the way we use logic or assess problems, has its roots in behaviour which enabled our ancestors to survive and reproduce successfully. Using this perspective, the divide between nature and nurture evaporates, as humans are shown to be the product of their genes and biology, as well as their environment, social groups, and families.

In this Very Short Introduction Maryanne Fisher show how examining the historic lives of our ancestors can provide insight into of our modern psychology, especially when we add data from modern-day hunter-gatherer societies, comparative studies on the great apes, and the fossil record. Surprisingly, alongside these traditional data sources, evolutionary psychology can also use surveys from university students, romance novels, and even patterns in online shopping behaviour. Throughout, Maryanne Fisher discusses how drawing together this diverse data allows us to understand the complexity of humans in a powerful manner

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Maryaanne Fisher is in the Department of Psychology at Saint Mary's University, Canada.