Critics of evolutionary psychology and sociobiology have advanced an adaptationists-as-right-wing-conspirators (ARC) hypothesis, suggesting that adaptationists use their research to support a right-wing political agenda. We report the first quantitative test of the ARC hypothesis based on an online survey of political and scientific attitudes among 168 US psychology Ph.D. students, 31 of whom self-identified as adaptationists and 137 others who identified with another non-adaptationist meta-theory. Results indicate that adaptationists are much less politically conservative than typical US citizens and no more (...) politically conservative than non-adaptationist graduate students. Also, contrary to the “adaptationists-as-pseudo-scientists” stereotype, adaptationists endorse more rigorous, progressive, quantitative scientific methods in the study of human behavior than non-adaptationists. (shrink)
Male provisioning ability may have evolved as a “good dad” indicator through sexual selection, whereas male creativity may have evolved partly as a “good genes” indicator. If so, women near peak fertility (midcycle) should prefer creativity over wealth, especially in short-term mating. Forty-one normally cycling women read vignettes describing creative but poor men vs. uncreative but rich men. Women’s estimated fertility predicted their short-term (but not long-term) preference for creativity over wealth, in both their desirability ratings of individual men (r=.40, (...) p<.01) and their forced-choice decisions between men (r=.46, p<.01). These preliminary results are consistent with the view that creativity evolved at least partly as a good genes indicator through mate choice. (shrink)
To understand the possible forms of extraterrestrial intelligence, we need not only astrobiology theories about how life evolves given habitable planets, but also evolutionary psychology theories about how intelligence emerges given life. Wherever intelligent organisms evolve, they are likely to face similar behavioral challenges in their physical and social worlds. The cognitive mechanisms that arise to meet these challenges may then be copied, repurposed, and shaped by further evolutionary selection to deal with more abstract, higher-level cognitive tasks such as conceptual (...) reasoning, symbolic communication, and technological innovation, while retaining traces of the earlier adaptations for solving physical and social problems. These traces of evolutionary pathways may be leveraged to gain insight into the likely cognitive processes of ETIs. We demonstrate such analysis in the domain of search strategies and show its application in the domains of emotional aversions and social/sexual signaling. Knowing the likely evolutionary pathways to intelligence will help us to better search for and process any alien signals from the search for ETIs and to assess the likely benefits, costs, and risks of humans actively messaging ETIs. (shrink)
Despite the importance of extrapair copulation (EPC) in human evolution, almost nothing is known about the design features of EPC detection mechanisms. We tested for sex differences in EPC inference-making mechanisms in a sample of 203 young couples. Men made more accurate inferences (φmen = 0.66, φwomen = 0.46), and the ratio of positive errors to negative errors was higher for men than for women (1.22 vs. 0.18). Since some may have been reluctant to admit EPC behavior, we modeled how (...) underreporting could have influenced these results. These analyses indicated that it would take highly sex-differentiated levels of underreporting by subjects with trusting partners for there to be no real sex difference. Further analyses indicated that men may be less willing to harbor unresolved suspicions about their partners’ EPC behavior, which may explain the sex difference in accuracy. Finally, we estimated that women underreported their own EPC behavior (10%) more than men (0%). (shrink)
The Müller & Schumann (M&S) view of drug use is courageous and compelling, with radical implications for drug policy and research. It implies that most nations prohibit most drugs that could promote happiness, social capital, and economic growth; that most individuals underuse rather than overuse drugs; and that behavioral scientists could use drugs more effectively in generating hypotheses and collaborating empathically.
Madole & Harden develop some good ideas about how to understand genetic causality more clearly, but they frame the benefits of behavior genetics research at a largely collective level, focused on the pros and cons of different ways to engineer the gene pool or social behavior. This neglects the individual benefits of hereditarian insights for mate choice and parenting.