Dienstag, 30. August 2016

Humans: Our own hostile force of nature?

Mark Flinn, professor of anthropology at University of Missouri, joins the Biological Realist Podcast to discuss the contributions of Richard Alexander to the evolutionary theory of human sociality.

[h/t Charles]

Global Variation in Homicide/Suicide Ratio

In Japan, there are roughly 62 times as many suicides as homicides. (Iceland 47:1, South Korea 41:1) In Jamaica, there are roughly 30 times as many homicides as suicides. (Venezuela 24:1, Honduras 15:1, South Africa 11:1)

data: 1,2

mistakes & slips:

"Although 'mistake' has a loose meaning in common language, it has come to have a rather precise technical meaning among those who study error, due the way it has been used in the work of Reason (1990) and Norman (1988), who distinguish between 'slips' and 'mistakes'. Mistakes are planning failures: errors of judgment, inference or the like, when actions go as planned-but the plan is bad. ...
A 'slip' is defined as an action not in accord with the actor's intention, the result of a good plan but a poor execution."

Senders & Moray, 1991

Human Nature News Podcast:

Human Nature News Podcast:
Michael A. Woodley interviewed by Frank Salter (Jul 2016)

Montag, 29. August 2016

"The best predictor of girls' willingness to take a particular risk is their belief about the likelihood of getting hurt, while for boys it is the perceived severity of the injury. That is, girls tend to avoid risks if they think they might get hurt, while boys seem to be willing to take risks if they do not think they will get too hurt."

Donnerstag, 25. August 2016

"Ideologically, MMC [Mutual Mate Choice] models can sound like they naturalize neo-Victorian family values of slow courtship, careful mate choice, voluntary eugenics, long-term monogamy, sexual fidelity, and paternal duty."

Geoffrey Miller

Mittwoch, 24. August 2016

>A central aspect of consciousness is the ability to look ahead, the capability that we call "foresight." It is the ability to plan ...<

Richard D. Alexander

Mittwoch, 10. August 2016

When Love Dies: Further Elucidating the Existence of a Mate Ejection Module

When Love Dies: Further Elucidating the Existence of a Mate Ejection Module
Brian B. Boutwell, J. C. Barnes Kevin, M. Beaver (2015)


As a species, humans are generally serial monogamists; in some cases mating with the same partner for years or even decades. Nonetheless, humans often mate with more than one partner over the life course, meaning that romantic pair bonds often come to an end. Prior research has tentatively suggested that a mental mechanism might exist that facilitates severing the romantic bond between mates. Put differently, because romantic love is a species-typical trait, all members of the human species may come equipped with the mental hardware for both falling in love as well as for ending a relationship. Currently, the evolutionary, cognitive, neurobiological, and genetic underpinnings of human mate ejection have yet to be fully elucidated. We examine each of these factors to illuminate the possible mechanisms that may underpin the human tendency to fall out of love.

Dienstag, 9. August 2016

The mate switching hypothesis

The mate switching hypothesis
David M. Buss, Cari Goetz, Joshua D. Duntley, Kelly Asao, Daniel Conroy-Beam (2016)
Personality and Individual Differences


Adaptations for mate switching
Adaptations include monitoring relative mate value and relationship load.
Infidelity functions to evaluate alternative mates, trade up to better mates.
Infidelity functions to exit existing relationships, transition to the mating pool.
Provides alternative to the ‘good genes’ hypothesis for why women have affairs


Leaving one mating relationship and entering another, serial mating, is commonly observed in many cultures. An array of circumstances can prompt a mate switch. These include (1) unanticipated costs inflicted by one's mate, or ‘relationship load,’ not apparent on the initial mate selection; (2) changes in the mate value of either partner, creating discrepancies where none previously existed; and (3) the arrival of a new and interested potential mate of sufficiently incremental value to offset the costs of a breakup. The mate switching hypothesis suggests that these circumstances created adaptive problems throughout human evolution that forged adaptations to anticipate and appraise opportunities to mate-switch, implement exit strategies, and manage challenges confronted in the aftermath. We review several studies that support various aspects of the mate switching hypothesis: The cultivation of ‘back-up mates,’ assessing mate-inflicted costs that comprise relationship load, monitoring selfishly-skewed welfare tradeoff ratios in a partner, gauging mate value discrepancies, and anticipating sexual, emotional, and economic infidelities. The mate switching hypothesis provides both a complementary, and in some instances a competing, explanation to the ‘good genes’ hypothesis for why women have sexual affairs, and parsimoniously explains a host of other mating phenomena that remain inexplicable on alternative accounts.

[via Siberian Fox]