Evolutionary Social Psychology

Douglas Kenrick, Jon K. Maner, Norman P. Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


Social psychological findings and methods can provide valuable tools for evolutionary theorists. Social psychologists have developed useful methods for understanding ongoing motivational and cognitive processes, as well as useful ways of thinking about and studying organism environment interactions. Social and cognitive psychologists have focused predominantly on the flaws and limitations of human information processing. Evolutionary psychologists presume that many errors and biases ultimately manifest underlying decision rules that, on average, were adaptive throughout much of human evolutionary history. This chapter discusses six key domains of social life, including coalition formation, status, self-protection, mate choice, mate retention, and parental care. A truly comprehensive model of behavior must include insights from evolutionary psychology along with the insights of dynamical systems theory. An integration of evolutionary and dynamic models may be key to understanding the emergence of cultural norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939376
ISBN (Print)0471264032, 9780471264033
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • Coalition formation
  • Cultural norms
  • Dynamical systems theory
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Mate retention
  • Parental care
  • Self-protection
  • Social psychological research
  • Social psychologists
  • Social status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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