“We have at any moment in time, many desires; many of which get subjugated to other desires that are more important to us.”
Against a backdrop of rapid social and cultural change, the entire human psyche is in a quest to understand itself. Evolutionary psychology is not a new field of study. However, its popularity and the amount of interest people have in it has skyrocketed recently. And the reason? We are beginning to observe how evolutionary psychology dramatically influences the way we perceive our world.
How do you think it affects our understanding of love, passion, and human nature?
Professor David Buss joins us in today’s episode to discuss the concepts of evolutionary psychology and human nature. We explore mating and sex differences in humans, understand evolution by natural and sexual selection, and use that evolutionary lens to examine the human mind. Evolution is universal at the underlying psychological mechanisms but not necessarily at their expression - behaviors can be variable.
Most of our psychological adaptations like mating are exquisitely sensitive to worldly input. Tune in to learn about the various reasons for divorce among partners today, David’s findings from his extensive research for his new book, When Men Behave Badly, sex difference denialism, and the biggest misconceptions around the proliferation of different mating lifestyles.
David M. Buss is a professor at the University of Texas, Austin. He is also a researcher and has authored several books on Evolutionary Psychology. The main focus of his research is the strategies of human mating.
[00:26] Learn about the history of evolutionary psychology
[12:01] David’s thoughts on evolutionary psychology
[21:02] Some interesting themes that unfolded during David’s research for his book
[28:09] David talks about some misnomers in sex differences
[33:07] Learn about the major sex differences
[40:12] Understanding universal applicability of psychological studies
[55:47] Some points to check for healthy long-term relationships (similarity in fundamental life goals and values - religious, political views and intelligence, sense of humor, approval of kin group and emotional stability).
[01:06:46] David talks about his upcoming book, When Men Behave Badly [01:15:51] Potential investigations in evolutionary psychology (status, prestige, reputation and coalitional psychology)
[01:17:53] What are the qualities to look out for in a partner for long term success in marriages?
[01:22:31] David mentions two other subjects that interest him deeply - sexual morality and reputation, and why
[01:29:43] David shares his thoughts on different mating lifestyles and the misconceptions around evolutionary psychology
“It's only by deeper scientific understanding that we'll be able to solve some of these social ills.”
“We have to identify the causes, we have to identify the underlying psychological mechanisms that are at play, the circumstances that activate or inhibit them, the defenses that have evolved to prevent becoming a victim to them.”
“When you get sexual passion and it clouds the brain, getting other people's perspectives could sometimes be valuable.”
“Don't trust everybody's view.”
“If the pupil is to learn anything, it is that the world will do most of the work for you. And if you try to defy the world, it will teach you a lesson.”
“It's more difficult to change desire than it is to change its expression and behavior.”
“Psychology is a lot more flexible than people stereotype.”
“We have at any moment in time, many desires, many of which get subjugated to other desires that are more important to us.”
● Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind by David Buss
● When Men Behave Badly by David Buss
● Evolutionary Psychopathology by Marco Del Giudice
● Daniel Conroy-Beam, Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
● Marco Del Giudice, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, The University of New Mexico
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