While evolutionary psychology is a fascinating science, it is also often misunderstood. In this highly acclaimed undergraduate textbook, Workman and Reader assume no prior knowledge of evolution and instead carefully guide students towards a level of understanding where they can critically apply evolutionary theory to psychological explanation. The authors provide an engaging and balanced discussion of evolutionary psychology without committing to a specific school of thought, and organise chapters around topics familiar to psychology students. Retaining the successful structure and pedagogy of previous editions, the text has been updated to include the latest advances in the field, with new material added on homosexuality, a consideration of feminist criticism, grandparental investment, and developments in neuroscience and epigenetics. The fourth edition is now in full colour, with new figures and photographs, revised boxed case studies, additional discussion questions, and an updated online test bank.
1. Introduction to evolutionary psychology
2. Mechanisms of evolutionary change
3. Sexual selection
4. The evolution of human mate choice
5. Cognitive development and the innateness issue
6. Social development
7. The evolutionary psychology of social behaviour: kin relationships and comfort
8. The evolutionary psychology of social behaviour: reciprocity and group behaviour
9. Evolution, thought and cognition
10. The evolution of language
11. The evolution of emotion
12. Evolutionary psychopathology and Darwinian medicine
13. Evolution and individual differences
14. Evolutionary psychology and culture
Lance Workman is Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of South Wales, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a freelance science writer. He was previously Head of Psychology at Bath Spa University, and for 7 years was the interviews editor for The Psychologist. His teaching and research interests are in biological and evolutionary psychology, and he has published widely on both human and animal behaviour. Workman regularly comments on developments in psychology in the media and national press, and has hosted his own series on psychology for Radio Wales.
Will Reader is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University. His research and writing interests include the relationship between evolution and technology (particularly social media and the internet) and education research. He has recently completed research on social networks and evolution funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Reader's work has been featured in a range of media publications, including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Hindustani Times, and Science Daily, though he is particularly proud of obtaining 'quote of the week' in the New Scientist Magazine.
"This is a clearly written, well-organized and massively comprehensive introduction to evolutionary psychology. Disciplinary boundaries are kept loose, and Workman and Reader do not hesitate to discuss adjacent fields when these are relevant. There is a reassuringly friendly tone to the textbook, and readers always know that the authors are on their side, anticipating difficulties and helpfully resolving them as one reads along."
– Jerome H. Barkow, Dalhousie University, Canada
"To paraphrase the great molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Jacques Monod, 'A curious aspect of evolutionary psychology is that everybody thinks he understands it'. This book by Workman and Reader enables just that for everyone. Among the many strengths of this highly recommended undergraduate textbook are that it is simple, clear and well written, and it introduces important topics in evolutionary psychology without any need of prior knowledge in the field."
– Damjan Franjevic, University of Zagreb, Croatia
"Workman and Reader present evolutionary psychology as a useful perspective for understanding the way the human mind functions today in light of our species' history. The strengths of this textbook include the attractive box sections containing discussions of particularly interesting theories and research results, as well as the vivid, engaging narrative that makes the content accessible not only to psychologists but also to anyone interested in the social sciences."
– Łukasz Jach, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
"The fourth edition of Evolutionary Psychology by Lance Workman and Will Reader is the continuation of a proven formula: it's easy and pleasant to read, and it provides all the basic information in the field. However, this edition also contains a few important changes: many chapters have been updated with new theories and data from empirical research, and the visual materials are refreshed, extended and printed in colour. I highly recommend this textbook."
– Sylwester Orzechowski, University of Wrocław, Poland
"Lance Workman and Will Reader provide an excellent overview of evolutionary psychology in the latest instalment of this textbook. Over fourteen well-written and balanced chapters, they explore key themes relating to how the mind may be shaped through evolution. This textbook is ideally suited for undergraduate students, as well as people interested in an introduction to the field."
– Thomas Alrik Sørensen, Aalborg University, Denmark
"Psychology remains in a fragmented state, desperately in need of integration across its sub-disciplines, and this work can provide just such integration. With the organizing framework of evolutionary psychology, it illuminates links between this perspective and cognitive, social, developmental and biological psychologies. Concepts are very well explained, and it contains beautiful illustrations. Criticisms of evolutionary psychology are discussed and addressed in a well-balanced way. I welcome and can strongly recommend this fourth edition, which carries the torch of the earlier very successful editions."
– Frederick Toates, The Open University, UK
"Now in its fourth edition, Evolutionary Psychology remains a must-read book for anyone interested in what it means to be human. Drawing on a dazzling range of data and ideas, it presents a brilliant synthesis for students, specialists and the public alike."
– Simon Underdown, Oxford Brookes University, UK