Evolutionary Social Psychology

Douglas Kenrick, Y. J. Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Evolutionary social psychology is the study of how people think about, feel about, and behave toward others, as viewed through the lens of evolutionary biology. This approach to social psychology synthesizes developments in several fields, including zoology, ecology, cognitive neuroscience, and anthropology. The beginning premise is that all recurrent human social behaviors reflect the influence of physical and psychological predispositions that helped our ancestors survive and reproduce. The evolutionary approach is a perspective that can be utilized to generate hypotheses about a wide range of human thoughts and behaviors. Here, we provide a brief synopsis of the theory and research generated by this perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780123750006
ISBN (Print)9780080961804
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Affiliation
  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Human sex differences
  • Life history theory
  • Mating
  • Memory
  • Modularity
  • Sexual selection
  • Social behavior
  • Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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