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Good Reads  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology

The Social Leap The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy

Popular Science
By: William von Hippel(Author)
Publisher: Harper Wave
The Social Leap
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  • The Social Leap ISBN: 9780062740397 Hardback Dec 2018 Usually dispatched within 6 days
    £19.99
    #245338
Price: £19.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

A wide-ranging exploration of how our species' evolution has shaped our behaviour, prioritised social skills over physical dominance, and affected nearly every facet of modern life, in work, play, ageing, our quest for the good life from leading psychologist William von Hippel. For the last century we've been thinking about social intelligence incorrectly. Popular theories of our species' evolution hold that our brains developed in response to the mortal physical threats all around us – think saber tooth tigers, starvation, lack of protection from the elements – but new research holds that our large brains are the result of social challenges. As humans made the social leap from the trees onto the savannah, they had to work together to survive and this transition fundamentally altered our psychological makeup.

In The Social Leap, leading psychologist William von Hippel unpacks this revolutionary social hypothesis, following the human mind through three critical evolutionary inflection points – banding together on the savannah, the genesis of language, and the agricultural revolution – to understand how these events in our psychological past manifest themselves in our present. From the way we lead and innovate to why marriages last longer in rural areas than in cities, the implications of the social hypothesis are far reaching and surprising.

In the tradition of Sapiens and Guns, Germs and Steel, The Social Leap is a convincing look at evolution through the social rather than the physical lens, that blends history, biology, anthropology, and psychology to new clues about what makes us happy, how we construe success, and how to use that information to improve our lives today.

Customer Reviews

Biography

William von Hippel grew up in Alaska, got his B.A. at Yale and his PhD at the University of Michigan, and then taught for a dozen years at Ohio State University before finding his way to Australia, where he is a professor of psychology at the University of Queensland. He has published more than a hundred articles, chapters, and edited books, and his research has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Economist, the BBC, Le Monde, El Mundo, Der Spiegel, and The Australian. He lives with his wife and two children in Brisbane, Australia.

Popular Science
By: William von Hippel(Author)
Publisher: Harper Wave
Media reviews

"The Social Leap is a rollicking tour through humanity's evolutionary past, and William von Hippel is the consummate tour guide. With equal parts wisdom, humor, authority, and charm, von Hippel shows how our past explains the present and why our well-being rests on an understanding of how our minds evolved."
– Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink and Irresistible

"Forget gold toilets and private jets. The key to happiness may just lie in a cheeseburger – or a sandbox. Full of insight into human character, von Hippel's book provides a stimulating program for measuring success without material yardsticks."
Kirkus Reviews

"The Social Leap is one of the best books I have read in years. Its examination of the evolutionary roots of modern human behavior is both profound and revelatory. Seamlessly weaving captivating stories, rich science, and beautiful prose, von Hippel offers an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of our ancestors and, thereby, into our selves."
– Sonja Lyubomirsky, New York Times bestselling author of The How of Happiness

"The Social Leap is a rollicking tour through humanity's evolutionary past, and William von Hippel is the consummate tour guide. With equal parts wisdom, humor, authority, and charm, von Hippel shows how our past explains the present and why our well-being rests on an understanding of how our minds evolved."
– Roy Baumeister, New York Times bestselling author of Willpower

"This book is for everybody. Everybody, that is, who has a shred of curiosity about how we came to become human. von Hippel's panoramic view prompts us to ask ourselves: what do we wish to do with the miracle that we are now here?"
– Mahzarin R. Banaji, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

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