Best Books on Evolutionary Psychology | Top 10 Biological Psychology Books

Evolutionary Psychology is a theoretical approach that studies animal minds and behavior based on the human evolutionary process. It tends to analyze the psychological traits that have been evolved, like human beings’ natural selection. According to some researchers and psychologists, the animal brain also adapts to situations and takes actions accordingly. Animals psychologically adapt to the environment in the same process of physical adaptation. Evolutionary psychology mainly focuses on how Darwin’s evolution has molded animal minds and behavior. The following are some of the best books on evolutionary psychology.

10 Best Books on Evolutionary Psychology

I think these books will provide you a better understanding of the field of evolutionary psychology.

1. Evolutionary Psychology, by David Buss

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyDavid Michael Buss is an American evolutionary psychologist. He is a professor at the University of Texas. His area of research includes sex differences in humans while mating selection. Buss has authored a number of books focusing on evolutionary biology and psychology.

In Evolutionary Psychology, Buss has explained the human mind’s mechanisms that separate us from other life forms. Evolutionary psychology is an innovative science. It is a combination of both the modern principles of psychology and evolutionary biology. There are huge biological perspective examples that will inform you about the environment of evolutionary adaptedness.

The adapted mind always tries to control our surroundings. In this book, Buss provides students with theories and concepts to study human behavior from the perspective of evolution. He explains the evolution of the human mind with the help of evolutionary psychology. The book contains critical thinking questions and case studies that will help the students understand evolutionary psychology.

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2. Positive Evolutionary Psychology, by Glenn Geher and Nicole Wedberg

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyGlenn Geher is an American author and psychology professor at the State University of New York. He won the SUNY Chancellor Award for his contribution in the field of teaching and research. He is the founder of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS). 

Nicole Wedberg is a Psychology Master’s student at the SUNY New Paltz. She is working on her thesis and assisting several research projects on Evolutionary Psychology. 

Positive Evolutionary Psychology is one of the best books on evolutionary psychology. The book contains eleven chapters that describe the fundamentals of both evolutionary psychology and positive psychology. The authors have explained how psychologists use Darwin’s understanding to improve the lives of individuals and communities. The book shows the difference between evolution and natural selection.

This book brings an insight into the incorporation of evolutionary and positive psychology and their effect on human life. With these two help, psychologists have deciphered happiness, resilience, gratitude, and love. The book describes these aspects of human life from the perspectives of both evolutionary and positive psychology. 

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3. Male, Female, byDr. David C. Geary PhD

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyDr. David C. Geary Ph.D. is an American cognitive developmental and evolutionary psychologist. His area of interest includes mathematical learning and sex differences. He is also a professor of Psychological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at the University of Missouri.

Male, Female, is one of the best books on evolutionary psychology. In this book, Geary has described the foundations of human sex differences. Geary says that men and women differ from each other based on evolutionary principles. Sex differences in human beings are similar to those of other species, but the expression is unique to humans. There are a lot of evolutionary psychology studies.

This book explains the principles of sexual selection, such as female choice, male-male competition, sex differences in parenting, social-political preferences, brain development, and cognition, etc. Geary has explained the development of sex differences with the help of evolutionary psychology.

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4. Beyond Evolutionary Psychology, by George Ellis

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyGeorge Francis Rayner Ellis is a Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics professor at the University of Cape Town. He is the former president of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation. 

Beyond Evolutionary Psychology discusses the relation between evolution, culture, psychology, and emotion. Ellis explains this relation with the help of our evolutionary heritage, ecological, and social environment. The author shows us how our brain develops our cognition and behavior. As a result, it becomes difficult for readers to understand the inborn and learned brain modules. Ellis explains that humans are not born with any language device; instead, they have to acquire that language. This book is significant for students of evolutionary psychology and biology. Also, you will get in touch with famous biological psychologists from this book.

This evolution book will learn how the mind works in the blank slate of our cognitive process.

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5. Evolutionary Psychiatry, by Anthony Stevens and John Price

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyAnthony Stevens is a psychiatrist, prolific writer, and Jungian analyst. His writings focus on psychotherapy, evolutionary psychiatry, and Jung’s theory of archetypes. He is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. 

Evolutionary Psychiatry is one of the best books on evolutionary developmental psychology. In this book, the authors explained a different psychiatry structure, drawing conclusions from Darwin’s theory. According to the authors, psychiatric symptoms indicate ancient adaptive strategies. These symptoms can be treated evolutionarily. In this book, the authors have mentioned many theories on the existence of different psychological disorders. Inherently, we possess selfish genes.  The selfish gene always tries to control our minds and body. This book clearly defines human nature psychology.

The book also provides detailed information on various disorders and shows how the evolutionary theory can identify symptoms’ origin. This book takes Darwinian Psychiatry to a new level for both the special.

6. The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour, by Lance Workman, Will Reader, et al.

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyLance Workman is a British psychologist. He is specialized in biological psychology, clinical psychology, and evolutionary psychology. He is currently a psychology professor at Bath Spa University.

This book mainly focuses on evolutionary psychology, ethology, and human behavioral ecology. But it also explains other aspects of human sciences, such as neuroscience, cognitive science, sociocultural anthropology, clinical psychology, and so on.

In this book, the authors have described Darwin’s evolution and its influence in the respective fields. The book contains current theories and ideas of several researchers on evolutionary psychology. There are a lot of evolutionary perspective examples in this book. This book is not only helpful for evolutionary psychologists. It is a valuable asset for scholars and students as well.  

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7. The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Endocrinology, by Lisa L. M. Welling and Todd K. Shackelford

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyLisa L. M. Welling, an Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology at Oakland University. She researches hormonal and psychological sources of individual differences in human mate preferences and behavior. She also focuses on human sexual behavior and adaptive preferences.

Todd K. Shackelford is an American psychologist. He is a professor at Oakland University. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. 

What is evolution? You can know perfectly from this book. This is one of the excellent books which I like most. This handbook is one of the best books on evolutionary psychology. It explains behavioral endocrinology from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. The book focuses on three themes – (a) Development and survival, (b) Reproductive behavior, and (c) Social and affective behavior. It tries to explain the influence of hormones on life history, mate selection, violence, mood disorders, etc. This book covers various topics of both evolutionary psychology and behavioral endocrinology. It makes a beneficial resource for both students and researchers.

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8. Evolutionary Psychology 101, by Glenn Geher PhD

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyGlenn Geher is an American author and psychology professor at SUNY. He was awarded the SUNY Chancellor Award for his contribution in the field of teaching and research. He founded the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS). 

Evolutionary Psychology 101 elaborately discusses various theories of evolutionary psychology and their controversies. In this book, the author explains the psychological processes of human survival and its reproductive benefits. It gives an insight into how sexual selection can shape the human mind. This book is one of the best foundations of evolutionary psychology.

This book discusses topics like childhood, intrasexual competition, sex, parenting, familial and non-familial relationships, and much more. The author also gives an idea of how the potential of evolutionary psychology influences society and religion. The book also focuses on controversies, such as genetic determinism, racism, and sexism.

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9. Evolutionary Psychology, by Robin Dunbar, Louise Barrett, et al. 

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyRobin Dunbar is a British evolutionary psychologist and anthropologist. He has specialized in primate behavior. He heads the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group at the University of Oxford. 

Louise Barrett is a psychology professor at the University of Lethbridge. She is also a trained ecologist and anthropologist. Her research on animals shows the influence of ecology on sociability and cognitive evolution.

In Evolutionary Psychology, the authors explain the influences of evolutionary theory on human behavior. This beginner’s guide is one of the best books on evolutionary psychology. It is mainly written for general readers and students. This book covers all the fundamental topics of the subject. These include the role of evolution on mate selection, genetic influence on parenting, and so on. The book provides an in-depth review of evolutionary psychology through various examples, case studies, and contextual facts.

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10. The Evolution of Desire, by David M. Buss

Best Books on Evolutionary PsychologyDavid M. Buss is an American evolutionary psychologist and a professor at the University of Texas. His research area includes sex differences in human beings while selecting partners. He has authored several books on evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology.

The Evolution of Desire is one of the best books on evolutionary psychology. This book explains human mating behavior and secrecies of love through evolutionary psychology. The book answers this simple question – “If we all desire love, then why conflicts cross the way of our relationships?” The author advises the readers to dive deep into our evolutionary past in order to understand human mating. This book includes studies of more than 10,000 people of different ages and cultures. The book explains all men’s and women’s wants, drawing on examples from several research types. It also focuses on why sexual desires vary from men to men, women to women, and men to women. The author also explains how conflict, competition, and manipulative behaviors alter human mating.

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Evolutionary psychology is not only a sub-discipline of psychology. Its evolutionary theory can create a strong foundation for all the fields of psychology, like evolutionary biology. These books will help the readers to dive deep into the history of evolutionary psychology and its applications.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who is the founder of evolutionary psychology?

Charles Darwin is considered to be the founder of evolutionary psychology. According to Darwin, the social instincts of human beings have evolved by the process of natural selection. Later, psychologists became interested in Darwin’s theory of evolution, which resulted in different theories on evolutionary psychology. Like our social instincts, our psychological instincts evolve along with time and the environment. 

2. What is the evolutionary psychology example?

Evolutionary psychologists suggest that animal brains consist of numerous mechanisms that are specified to do certain tasks. For instance, birds use a particular memory system to remember species songs. For remembering the taste of poisonous food and the location of healthy food, they use a completely different memory system. 

3. What is the impact of evolutionary psychology on human behavior?

Evolutionary psychologists have stated that the different patterns of behavior are the result of natural selection. This means physical characteristics and behavior both have evolved from natural selection. Hence adaptive behaviors are kept and passed from one generation to another. And these adaptive behaviors increase the success of reproduction.

4. What is psychological adaptation?

A psychological adaptation is a cognitive or behavioral trait that helps an organism to survive in its environment. Psychological adjustments mainly help human beings and animals in the selection of their mating partner. For example, psychological adaptations in males have made them polygynous. This means they can create multiple offspring from separate female partners. Due to psychological adaptation, males can easily lure women into a short-term relationship.

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