Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology 

The Evolution of Violence

  • Includes a Foreword by Steven Pinker
  • Multidisciplinary approach to violence as an aspect of human behavior
  • Builds on an evolutionary perspective
  • Features innovative empirical and theoretical insights

Series: Evolutionary Psychology

By: Todd K Shackelford(Editor), Ranald D Hansen(Editor), Steven Pinker(Foreword By), Richard Dawkins(Afterword by)

200 pages, 7 b/w illustrations


Hardback | Nov 2013 | #219350 | ISBN-13: 9781461493136
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £81.99 $107/€92 approx

About this book

Our contemporary capacity for understanding and empathy suggests that people are becoming less disposed to violence. At the same time, current developments in war technologies and the popularity of blood-soaked movies and video games point to the opposite conclusion. The works of Darwin hold crucial keys to the puzzle, yet his theories – and evolutionary theory in general – are often dismissed as relics, or worse.

The Evolution of Violence explores and explodes myths about evolutionary theory while restoring Darwinian concepts to modern-day relevance. In these provocative pages, violence scholars from across the disciplines elegantly argue that evolutionary perspectives, far from conflicting with current science, complement and enhance standard social theory. Compelling original essays in areas such as domestic abuse, sibling conflict, and aggression in women make the case with clarity, and the contributors' theoretical and empirical insights carry significant practical implications for violence prevention. Among the featured topics:

- Sexual selection and the psychology of intergroup conflict.
- Warfare and human nature.
- Evolutionary behavioral genetics of violent crime.
- Intimate partner violence: an evolutionary view.
- Evolutionary perspectives on child welfare law.
- An evolutionary developmental lens for understanding the causes and consequences of human aggression.

Scholarly and useful for researchers and evolutionary scientists while accessible to interested laypersons, The Evolution of Violence is no simple reminder of how far we've come as a species – it points clearly to our human potential for future progress.


- Intimate Partner Violence in Evolutionary Perspective
- War Before Civilization - 15 Years On
- Violence in Literature: An Evolutionary Perspective
- Evolutionary Perspectives on Child Welfare Law
- Warfare and Human Nature
- Sexual Selection and the Psychology of Intergroup Conflict
- Evolutionary Behavioral Genetics of Violent Crime
- The Evolutionary Psychology of Sibling Conflict and Siblicide
- Aggression Grows Up: Looking Through an Evolutionary Developmental Lens to Understand the Causes and Consequences of Human Aggression
- Adaptation and Coherence: Evolutionary and Dynamical Perspectives on Human Violence
- Violence and Aggression in Women

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Todd K. Shackelford received his Ph.D. in evolutionary psychology in 1997 from the University of Texas-Austin, his M.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1995, and his B.A. in psychology from the University of New Mexico in 1993. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where he is Co-Director of the Evolutionary Psychology Lab. He led the founding of new Ph.D. and M.S. programs, which launched in 2012. Shackelford has published over 280 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and has edited 10 volumes, and his work has been cited over 7 500 times. Much of Shackelford's research addresses sexual conflict between men and women, with a special focus on testing hypotheses derived from sperm competition theory. Since 2006, Shackelford has served as editor of Evolutionary Psychology.

Ranald D. Hansen is a Professor of Psychology at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also serves as the CEO of Innovation Emporium, Inc., a company focused on knowledge management, creating sustainable industry-university partnerships, and educational environment optimization. His research in cognitive science and psychophysiology has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. A significant portion of this work was directed toward developing a model derived from an evolutionary science perspective for integrating emotive and cognitive processes. In the past decade he has participated in creating multiple regional innovation drivers, including technology accelerators and innovation zones.

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