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Evolutionary Experimental Psychology

Jesse Marczyk
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  • September 10, 2013
  • 06:21 PM

Better Fathers Have Smaller Testicles, But…

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

There is currently an article making the rounds in the popular media (or at least the range of media that I’m exposed to) suggesting that testicular volume is a predictor of paternal investment in children: the larger the testicles, the … Continue reading →... Read more »

Mascaro, J., Hackett, P., & Rilling, J. (2013) Testicular volume is inversely correlated with nurturing-related brain activity in human fathers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/

  • September 10, 2013
  • 02:17 AM

Conscience Does Not Explain Morality

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

“We may now state the minimum conception: Morality is, at the very least, the effort to guide one’s conduct by reason…while giving equal weight to the interests of each individual affected by one’s decision” (emphasis mine). The above quote comes … Continue reading →... Read more »

DeScioli P, & Kurzban R. (2009) Mysteries of morality. Cognition, 112(2), 281-99. PMID: 19505683  

DeScioli P, & Kurzban R. (2013) A solution to the mysteries of morality. Psychological bulletin, 139(2), 477-96. PMID: 22747563  

  • September 3, 2013
  • 04:36 PM

The Popularity Of Popularity

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Whatever your personal views on the book, one would have a hard time denying the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey, which has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide. The Harry Potter series manages to dwarf that popularity, having … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 15, 2013
  • 11:41 AM

Simple Rules Do Useful Things, But Which Ones?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Depending on who you ask – and their mood at moment – you might come away with the impression that humans are a uniquely intelligent species, good at all manner of tasks, or a profoundly irrational and, well, stupid one, … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 10, 2013
  • 02:51 PM

Do People Try To Dishonestly Signal Fairness?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

“My five-year old, the other day, one of her toys broke, and she demanded I break her sister’s toy to make it fair. And I did.” – Louis CK This quote appeared in a post of mine around the middle … Continue reading →... Read more »

Shaw A, Montinari N, Piovesan M, Olson KR, Gino F, & Norton MI. (2013) Children Develop a Veil of Fairness. Journal of experimental psychology. General. PMID: 23317084  

  • August 1, 2013
  • 12:49 AM

Why Would Bad Information Lead To Better Results?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

There are some truly strange arguments made in the psychological literature from time to time. Some might even be so bold as to call that frequency “often”, while others might dismiss the field of psychology as a variety of pseudoscience … Continue reading →... Read more »

Firestone, C. (2013) How "Paternalistic" Is Spatial Perception? Why Wearing a Heavy Backpack Doesn't- and Couldn't - Make Hills Look Steeper. . Perspectives on Psychological Science, 455-473. info:/

  • July 26, 2013
  • 10:50 AM

Why Do People Adopt Moral Rules?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

First dates and large social events, like family reunions or holiday gatherings, can leave people wondering about which topics should be off-limits for conversations, or even dreading which topics will inevitably be discussed. There’s nothing quite like the discomfort that … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 21, 2013
  • 05:15 PM

The Inferential Limits Of Economic Games

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Having recently returned from the Human Behavior & Evolution Society’s (HBES) conference, I would like to take a moment to let everyone know what an excellent time I had there. Getting to meet some of my readers in person was … Continue reading →... Read more »

Burton-Chellew MN, & West SA. (2013) Prosocial preferences do not explain human cooperation in public-goods games. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(1), 216-21. PMID: 23248298  

  • July 14, 2013
  • 01:58 PM

Equality-Seeking Can Lift (Or Sink) All Ships

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

There’s a saying in economics that goes, “A rising tide lifts all ships”. The basic idea behind the saying is that marginal benefits that accrue from people exchanging goods and services is good for everyone involved – and even for … Continue reading →... Read more »

Dawes CT, Fowler JH, Johnson T, McElreath R, & Smirnov O. (2007) Egalitarian motives in humans. Nature, 446(7137), 794-6. PMID: 17429399  

  • July 10, 2013
  • 02:19 AM

Why Would You Ever Save A Stranger Over A Pet?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

The relationship between myself and my cat has been described by many as a rather close one. After I leave my house for almost any amount of a time, I’m greeted by what appears to be a rather excited animal … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 4, 2013
  • 11:04 AM

Washing Hands In A Bright Room

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Part of academic life in psychology – and a rather large part at that – centers around publishing research. Without a list of publications on your resume (or CV, if you want to feel different), your odds of being able … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 28, 2013
  • 01:55 AM

This Is Water: Making The Familiar Strange

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

In the fairly-recent past, there was a viral video being shared across various social media sites called “This is Water” by David Foster Wallace. The beginning of the speech tells a story of two fish who are oblivious to the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 15, 2013
  • 12:32 PM

Mathematical Modeling Of Menopause

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Some states of affairs are so ubiquitous in the natural world that – much like the air we breathe – we stop noticing their existence or finding them particularly strange. The effects of aging are good examples of this. All … Continue reading →... Read more »

Morton, R., Stone, J., & Singh, R. (2013) Mate Choice and the Origin of Menopause. PLoS Computational Biology, 9(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003092  

  • June 10, 2013
  • 11:18 PM

How Hard Is Psychology?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

The scientific method is a pretty useful tool for assisting people in doing things related to testing hypotheses and discerning truth – or as close as one can come to such things. Like the famous Churchill quote about democracy, the scientific … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 4, 2013
  • 12:48 AM

When (And Why) Is Discrimination Acceptable?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

As a means of humble-bragging, I like to tell people that I have been rejected from many prestigious universities; the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Yale are all on that list. Also on that list happens to be the University … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 1, 2013
  • 12:48 AM

Why Are They Called “Spoilers”?

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Imagine you are running experiments with mice. You deprive the mice of food until they get hungry and then you drop them into a maze. Now obviously the hungry mice are pretty invested in the idea of finding the food; … Continue reading →... Read more »

Leavitt JD, & Christenfeld NJ. (2011) Story spoilers don't spoil stories. Psychological science, 22(9), 1152-4. PMID: 21841150  

  • May 27, 2013
  • 10:50 PM

Two Fallacies From Feminists

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Being that it’s summer, I’ve decided to pretend I’m going to kickback once more from working for a bit and write about a more leisurely subject. The last time I took a break for some philosophical play, the topic was … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 27, 2013
  • 10:34 AM

It’s (Sometimes) Good To Be The King

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

Given my wealth of anecdata, I would feel confident saying that, on the whole, people high in status (whether because of their wealth, their social connections, or both) tend to not garner much in the way of sympathy from third … Continue reading →... Read more »

Polman, E., Pettit, N., & Wiesenfeld, B. (2013) Effects of wrongdoer status on moral licensing. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(4), 614-623. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2013.03.012  

  • May 18, 2013
  • 11:40 AM

Why Psychology 101 Should Be Evolutionary Psychology

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

In two recent posts, I have referenced a relatively-average psychologist (again, this psychologist need not bear any resemblance to any particular person, living or dead). I found this relatively-average psychologist to be severely handicapped in their ability to think about … Continue reading →... Read more »

Smallegange, R., van Gemert, G., van de Vegte-Bolmer, M., Gezan, S., Takken, W., Sauerwein, R., & Logan, J. (2013) Malaria Infected Mosquitoes Express Enhanced Attraction to Human Odor. PLoS ONE, 8(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063602  

  • May 11, 2013
  • 01:19 AM

Welcome To Introduction To Psychology

by Jesse Marczyk in Pop Psychology

In my last post, I mentioned a hypothetical relatively-average psychologist (caveat: the term doesn’t necessarily apply to any specific person, living or dead). I found him to be a bit strange, since he tended to come up with hypotheses that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Cornwell, R., Palmer, C., Guinther, P., & Davis. H. (2005) Introductory Psychology Texts as a View of Sociobiology/Evolutionary Psychology’s Role in Psychology. Evolutionary Psychology, 355-374. info:/

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