Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version

Fall 10-3-2014


Published in Human Nature 25:4 (December 2014), pp. 443–447; doi: 10.1007/s12110-014-9215-2


Copyright © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Used by permission.


As befitting an evolutionary approach to the study of human behavior, the papers in this special issue of Human Nature cover a diversity of topics in modern and traditional societies. They include the goals of hunting in foraging societies, social bias, cooperative breeding, the impact of war on women, leadership, and social mobility. In combination these contributions demonstrate the utility of selectionist’s thinking on a wide variety of topics. While many of the contributions employ standard evolutionary biological approaches such as kin selection, cooperative breeding and the Trivers- Willard model, others examine important human issues such as the problems of trust, the cost of war to women, the characteristics of leaders, and what might be called honest or rule-bound fights. One striking feature of many of the contributions is a novel reexamination of traditional research questions from an evolutionary perspective.