Human Nature

http://link.springer.com/journal/12110

List of Papers (Total 43)

Social Networks and Knowledge Transmission Strategies among Baka Children, Southeastern Cameroon

The dynamics of knowledge transmission and acquisition, or how different aspects of culture are passed from one individual to another and how they are acquired and embodied by individuals, are central to understanding cultural evolution. In small-scale societies, cultural knowledge is largely acquired early in life through observation, imitation, and other forms of social...

Tandem Androgenic and Psychological Shifts in Male Reproductive Effort Following a Manipulated “Win” or “Loss” in a Sporting Competition

Male-male competition is involved in inter- and intrasexual selection, with both endocrine and psychological factors presumably contributing to reproductive success in human males. We examined relationships among men’s naturally occurring testosterone, their self-perceived mate value (SPMV), self-esteem, sociosexuality, and expected likelihood of approaching attractive women...

May God Guide Our Guns

The perceived support of supernatural agents has been historically, ethnographically, and theoretically linked with confidence in engaging in violent intergroup conflict. However, scant experimental investigations of such links have been reported to date, and the extant evidence derives largely from indirect laboratory methods of limited ecological validity. Here, we...

Trash-Talking and Trolling

Among the extra-physical aspects of team sports, the ways in which players talk to each other are among the more colorful but understudied dimensions of competition. To contribute an empirical basis for examining the nature of “trash talk,” we present the results of a study of 291 varsity athletes who compete in the top division among US universities. Based on a preliminary...

Evidence for the Adaptive Learning Function of Work and Work-Themed Play among Aka Forager and Ngandu Farmer Children from the Congo Basin

Work-themed play may allow children to learn complex skills, and ethno-typical and gender-typical behaviors. Thus, play may have made important contributions to the evolution of childhood through the development of embodied capital. Using data from Aka foragers and Ngandu farmer children from the Central African Republic, we ask whether children perform ethno- and gender-typical...

Food Sharing across Borders

Evolutionary models consider hunting and food sharing to be milestones that paved the way from primate to human societies. Because fossil evidence is scarce, hominoid primates serve as referential models to assess our common ancestors’ capacity in terms of communal use of resources, food sharing, and other forms of cooperation. Whereas chimpanzees form male-male bonds exhibiting...

Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy

MacDonald argues that a suite of genetic and cultural adaptations among Jews constitutes a “group evolutionary strategy.” Their supposed genetic adaptations include, most notably, high intelligence, conscientiousness, and ethnocentrism. According to this thesis, several major intellectual and political movements, such as Boasian anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis, and...

Grandmothers and Children’s Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa

Under poor circumstances, co-residence of a grandmother is generally considered to be beneficial for (grand)children. Empirical evidence does not unequivocally support this expectation and suggests that the grandmother’s importance depends on the family’s circumstances. We study the relationship between grandmother’s co-residence and children’s schooling in sub-Saharan Africa...

Correction to: Altruistic Behavior among Twins

The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The presentation of the article title and subtitle was incorrect.

Measuring the Unmeasurable

Within evolutionary biology, life-history theory is used to explain cross-species differences in allocation strategies regarding reproduction, maturation, and survival. Behavioral scientists have recently begun to conceptualize such strategies as a within-species individual characteristic that is predictive of behavior. Although life history theory provides an important framework...

Salmon Bias or Red Herring?

The purpose of this research is to empirically test the salmon bias hypothesis, which states that the “healthy migrant” effect—referring to a situation in which migrants enjoy lower mortality risks than natives—is caused by selective return-migration of the weak, sick, and elderly. Using a unique longitudinal micro-level database—the Historical Sample of the Netherlands—we...

How Do Hunter-Gatherer Children Learn Subsistence Skills?

Hunting and gathering is, evolutionarily, the defining subsistence strategy of our species. Studying how children learn foraging skills can, therefore, provide us with key data to test theories about the evolution of human life history, cognition, and social behavior. Modern foragers, with their vast cultural and environmental diversity, have mostly been studied individually...

Interethnic Interaction, Strategic Bargaining Power, and the Dynamics of Cultural Norms

Ethnic groups are universal and unique to human societies. Such groups sometimes have norms of behavior that are adaptively linked to their social and ecological circumstances, and ethnic boundaries may function to protect that variation from erosion by interethnic interaction. However, such interaction is often frequent and voluntary, suggesting that individuals may be able to...

The Role of Ontogeny in the Evolution of Human Cooperation

To explain the evolutionary emergence of uniquely human skills and motivations for cooperation, Tomasello et al. (2012, in Current Anthropology 53(6):673–92) proposed the interdependence hypothesis. The key adaptive context in this account was the obligate collaborative foraging of early human adults. Hawkes (2014, in Human Nature 25(1):28–48), following Hrdy (Mothers and Others...

Familiarity with Own Population’s Appearance Influences Facial Preferences

Previous studies have found that individuals from rural areas in Malaysia and in El Salvador prefer heavier women than individuals from urban areas. Several explanations have been proposed to explain these differences in weight preferences but no study has explored familiarity as a possible explanation. We therefore sought to investigate participants’ face preferences while also...

The Reproductive Ecology of Industrial Societies, Part II

Studies of the association between wealth and fertility in industrial populations have a rich history in the evolutionary literature, and they have been used to argue both for and against a behavioral ecological approach to explaining human variability. We consider that there are strong arguments in favor of measuring fertility (and proxies thereof) in industrial populations, not...

The Reproductive Ecology of Industrial Societies, Part I

Is fertility relevant to evolutionary analyses conducted in modern industrial societies? This question has been the subject of a highly contentious debate, beginning in the late 1980s and continuing to this day. Researchers in both evolutionary and social sciences have argued that the measurement of fitness-related traits (e.g., fertility) offers little insight into evolutionary...

Hunter-Gatherers and the Origins of Religion

Recent studies of the evolution of religion have revealed the cognitive underpinnings of belief in supernatural agents, the role of ritual in promoting cooperation, and the contribution of morally punishing high gods to the growth and stabilization of human society. The universality of religion across human society points to a deep evolutionary past. However, specific traits of...

Mobility and Navigation among the Yucatec Maya

Sex differences in range size and navigation are widely reported, with males traveling farther than females, being less spatially anxious, and in many studies navigating more effectively. One explanation holds that these differences are the result of sexual selection, with larger ranges conferring mating benefits on males, while another explanation focuses on greater parenting...

Managing Relationship Decay

Relationships are central to human life strategies and have crucial fitness consequences. Yet, at the same time, they incur significant maintenance costs that are rarely considered in either social psychological or evolutionary studies. Although many social psychological studies have explored their dynamics, these studies have typically focused on a small number of emotionally...

Reciprocity on Demand

Two competing models concerning food transfers prominent in the anthropological literature conceptualize such transfers either as sharing or as exchange. Sharing is understood as situational transactions formed through demands and unconditional giving, whereas reciprocal exchange is understood in terms of networking and keeping score. I propose that the picture is more...

With the Help of Kin?

Relatives play an important role in human reproduction according to evolutionary theories of reproductive behavior, but previous empirical studies show large differences in the effects of kin on fertility outcomes. In our paper we examine the effect of co-resident kin and non-kin on the length of birth intervals over the reproductive life course of Dutch women born between 1842...