Why Students Love Evolutionary Psychology . . . and How to Teach It

Why Students Love Evolutionary Psychology . . . and How to Teach It

In this lecture, David M. Buss, PhD, of the University of Texas at Austin, discusses evolutionary psychology and tools for teaching evolutionary psychology in the classroom. Buss discusses core tenets of evolutionary psychology and reviews such topics as sexual selection, evolved psychological mechanisms and ultimate and proximate causation.

This video was supported by a grant from the American Psychological Foundation, thanks to generous support from Lee Gurel, PhD.



November 5, 2012 / 21 Comments / by / in
  • It's a heuristic device. Look up 'Gene-centered view of evolution'

  • He even said it was a thought experiment.

  • congratilation for to put subtitles
    it's helpfull

  • It's important to remember that evolution doesn't necessarily give rise to the best traits, just any old trait as long as it survives. Mutations are random, sometimes a creature may evolve some largely bad or neutral traits along with some good ones, but they'll end up surviving anyway, because the good will outweigh the bad. And there's no such thing as good, neutral or bad traits in the absolute sense of those words, rather, there's better and worse traits for survival. This explains why some creatures have goofy, pathetic traits, mutations are largely Darwinian, random, not Lamarckian, it's natural selection which tends to weed out the bad traits, but it doesn't do a perfect job, there's no such thing as perfection, so creatures end up having all kinds of traits, like homosexual or pedophilic behaviors, or hair and nails that grow indefinitely, that do not benefit the animal in any way shape or form, that nonetheless are able to parasitize and pass themselves down from generation to generation, because of the good traits they're accompanied by. So just because you have a trait, doesn't mean it's beneficial, it may be largely neutral, or detriment. We can't look at traits in isolation, but they only become meaningful as part of a whole.

  • This guy is a genius.

  • Very insightful presentation. Thank you Professor Buss!

  • This is an old post below that I thought should receive an answer.

    teleological bias when he asks students 'what would you do if you were a gene'. May misguide understanding, since it is the very existence of the body that obtain the genes that drive survival of genes.. it's not that the gene has a conscious motive to survive

    You're right and wrong. First this was a thought experiment for the students. Obviously genes themselves cannot think. But a genes successful continuation without motive still becomes a force of nature. The students have to think gene replication while a gene
    just does replication without thought. And if the gene messes up and the body dies then
    the gene dies with it. genes and bodies have a symbiotic relationship. Dawkins explains this much better then I can.

  • he sounds sorta like james woods 

  • Tai Lopez sent me here

  • 11:06 … only stupid opportunistic can hold that two at the same time

  • David Buss is a gimp.

  • I don't understand why David Buss puts down behaviorism at the end of his talk and even compares it to phrenology. Evolutionary psychology IS behaviorism on a very large timescale. It's the very same thing; nothing more nothing less.

  • 7:12 "Is this thing on?" <mic feedback squeals>

  • it's just a theory

  • thanks for the upload

  • Good lord (pun intended) – learn to move off that podium, this isn't a lecture about Evolutionary Psychology… it's death by PowerPoint.

  • Awesome! Just recently heard an in-depth interview with David Buss on The Art of Charm Podcast! http://bit.ly/DavidBuss

  • 14

  • Evolution is science. Evolutionary psychology as it exists is mostly a bunch of hypotheses.

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