About this book
- The first text to present the fundamental processes of evolution and genetics in a succinct, accessible form for those with no biology background.
- Lays out the conceptual toolkit one needs in order to think in evolutionary terms, including the necessary building blocks of genetics.
- An emphasis on humans and their close relatives makes it ideal for students of psychology and the behavioural sciences.
- The Online Resource Centre features additional resources for both lecturers and students, enhancing the book's educational value.
Evolutionary theory is driving forward our understanding of human behaviour like never before. Yet, many of us lack a firm grasp of the basics of the theory of evolution - a clear picture of what evolution is, and how and why it operates. But such clarity is essential if we are to fully understand and explore the fascinating behavioural questions that lie before us.
Evolution and Genetics for Psychology lays out the conceptual toolkit one needs in order to think in evolutionary terms - and to apply this thinking to any subject. With the toolkit firmly in place, it goes on to show how these key concepts are applied to issues of human behaviour, from sex to social relationships, to learning.
Evolution and Genetics for Psychology does not set out to teach evolutionary psychology or behavioural genetics, but explores the key fundamental principles on which such disciplines are based. If you need to understand what heritability really means, what the difference is between a gene and an allele, or whether evolutionary and social explanations are compatible, this book is the survival guide you need.
Online Resource Centre
The Online Resource Centre to accompany Evolution and Genetics for Psychology features
For registered adopters of the text:
Figures from the book in electronic form, ready to download
A test bank of questions, with feedback linked to the book, for both formative and summative assessment
Topical updates: the latest on key topics covered in the book
Answers to end of chapter questions
Readership: Any student of psychology or other human science disciplines requiring a grounding in the key concepts of evolution and genetics. Also of value to any postgraduate student or academic needing an easy-to-read primer on these topics.
Table of Contents
1. The Significance of Darwinism
1.1: What problems does the theory of evolution solve?
1.2: Evolution by natural selection in a nutshell
1.3: Incorporating genetics: The modern synthesis
1.4: Common objections and misunderstandings
1.5: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
2.1: The phenotype
2.2: The genotype
2.3: Genetic variation
2.4: From genotype to phenotype
2.5: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
3.1: Inheritance does not work by blending
3.2: Mendelian genetics
3.3: Quantitative Genetics
3.4: Heritability and natural selection
3.5: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
4.1: Malthus: Checks on reproduction and competition to reproduce
4.2: Natural selection at the genotypic level
4.3: Group selection
4.4: Kin selection
4.5: Advanced topics: Evolutionary transitions, levels of selection, and intra-genomic conflict
4.6: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
5. Natural Selection
5.1: Modes of selection
5.2: Selection and variation
5.3: Selection and adaptation
5.4: Constraints on optimality
5.5: How to test adaptationist hypotheses
5.6: Getting natural selection clear
5.7: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
6.1: The diversity of reproduction in nature
6.2: Why have any sex at all?
6.3: The evolution of anisogamy
6.4: Sex differences
6.5: Pluralism in sexual strategies
6.6: Sexual selection and mate choice in humans
6.7: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
7. Life histories
7.1: When to die: The evolution of life span
7.2: When to breed: The evolution of reproductive strategies
7.3: Parental care
7.4: Grandparental care
7.5: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
8. Social life
8.1: Why live in groups?
8.2: Types of groups
8.3: Consequences of group living
8.4: Human groups in comparative perspective
8.6: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
9. Plasticity and learning
9.1: Conditions for the evolution of phenotypic plasticity
9.2: Developmental induction
9.4: Associative learning
9.5: Social learning
9.6: Learning and adaptation
9.7: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
10. Our place in nature
10.1: Reconstructing the tree of life
10.2: Humans as primates
10.3: What makes humans different?
10.4: Summary, Taking it Further, and Questions
11. Evolution and Contemporary Life
11.1: Human evolution is still going on
11.2: Evolution leaves a legacy
11.3: The place of evolutionary theory in the explanation of current behaviour
11.4: How should cross-cultural variation be explained?
11.5: How much of our behaviour is adaptive?
"I think that the book is written in an astonishingly clear way that indicates a great deal of thought has gone into writing it. It further indicates that Nettle is entirely on top of his discipline as he has the facility to make complex and technical matters easy to digest." - Tom Dickins, UEL
Daniel Nettle, University of Newcastle upon Tyne