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Social class through the evolutionary lens

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Daniel Nettle


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One of the most striking things about humans is that they behave in different ways in different places. You don't need to travel to an exotic location to see this: just stroll through different districts of your nearest city. You'll see vast differences in behaviour over the space of just a couple of miles. You might think that this flexibility undermines the case for explaining human behaviour in evolutionary terms, but in fact the opposite is true. It's natural selection that gave us land other animals tool the ability to vary our behaviour in response to local context, and natural selection can help explain the ways we deploy that ability. This means that the social sciences and evolutionary biology have a lot more in common than we usually imagine.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nettle D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychologist

Year: 2009

Volume: 22

Issue: 11

Pages: 934-937

ISSN (print): 0952-8229

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: The British Psychological Society