Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction – Dr Diana Fleischman

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The only reason you’re here, reading this, is because there is an unbroken chain leading back from you to the origin of life itself. In nature, adaptations shaped by environments to solve the problems of survival and mating: Endless forms of beautiful complexity like echolocation, courtship dances, and lactation. For millions of years we’ve had to find food, find mates and take care of our children and for hundreds of thousands of years we’ve used language to communicate, made tools, formed societies and shared our cultural innovations. Evolutionary psychology sees the human mind as shaped by the problems we faced over and over again throughout our deep history. According to evolutionary psychologists nothing about human nature makes sense except in light of evolution.

The endless forms in the human mind include emotions, thought patterns, perceptions, and social interactions which can be discovered and examined by investigating their possible function in solving problems of survival and reproduction.

Evolutionary psychology has had a massive influence on the field of psychology and the public’s perception of the human mind. But detractors also criticise evolutionary psychology for being biologically determinist, reactionary, and lacking falsifiability and scientific rigour. This talk will introduce you to the field of evolutionary psychology, its foundational principles and methods as well as common misunderstandings, questions and legitimate concerns.

Diana Fleischman, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. After an internship at a chimpanzee research facility, Diana earned her PhD in evolutionary psychology at the University of Texas at Austin studying hormonal influences on disgust sensitivity.

After two research positions, one investigating handwashing and the other looking at hormonal influences on women’s psychology, Diana arrived at Portsmouth where she researches disgust and teaches a course on the Psychology of Human Sexuality. Diana is currently working on a popular book applying evolutionary psychology and animal training to romantic relationships. You can follow Diana on twitter @sentientist.


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Some Toughts (24)

  1. Avatar
    added on 11 Sep, 2019

    I want to know "why men grow beard" now…

  2. Avatar
    added on 14 Oct, 2019

    Hey that's a yeast company

  3. Avatar
    added on 15 Oct, 2019

    1950s really were better for normal ppl.

    Anyway, ppl who still live that lifestyle are having the babies; the liberals are dying out.

  4. Avatar
    added on 17 Oct, 2019

    shes hot

  5. Avatar
    added on 1 Dec, 2019

    I would have liked to see more discussion on falsifiability. Seems to me that most Evo Psych experiments are just like psych experiments, but that their claims are much broader. You have not merely to show that a particular behaviour exists, but that it evolved, and that it evolved for the claimed reason. It's this failure to close the evolutional evidence loop, given the paucity of evidence, the vast combinatorics of possibility, and our own very human capacity to discern patterns where none exist, where the charge of unfalsifiability must be answered.

  6. Avatar
    added on 22 Dec, 2019

    Evolutionary Psychology: A branch of psychology, unwittingly inspired by Charles Darwin and Rudyard Kipling, which describes how we behave through made up stories that guess why we had to behave. In this case, the stories are about what traits our ancestors had to evolve 250,000 years ago to survive. At that time, Mother Nature or evolution was especially demanding, and selected those behavioral traits that permitted survival, much like a mom selects out table manners in her kids. Since all the evidence of this selection process has been washed away in the sands of time, this provides a wonderful opportunity for psychologists to act like trial lawyers, and fabricate evidence and design in tightly spinning plots that would do Agatha Christie proud. Evolutionary psychologists provide 'just so' stories to explain everything about human behavior, and all without the troublesome need to assemble proof. Thus, according to EP, we can run fast because our ancestors had to escape cave bears, got smart because they had to know where the cave bears were, and got sexy because they could rescue cave babes from the cave bears.
    from Dr. Mezmer’s Dictionary of Bad Psychology, at

  7. Avatar
    added on 26 Dec, 2019


  8. Avatar
    added on 4 Jan, 2020

    Do you think burial practices came about in association with our disgust response?

    A body left unburied creates many of the scenarios you were describing that trigger our disgust response.

    Putting it in the ground prevents that.

    Ceremonial associations could be a bi-product?

  9. Avatar
    added on 22 Apr, 2020

    This professor is awesome! Super smart!

  10. Avatar
    added on 11 May, 2020

    Dr. Fleischman's lecture adds nicely to what LU's (Stanford) Dr. Kathryn Molohon taught me in Cultural Anthropology. Women are shapers.

  11. Avatar
    added on 20 May, 2020

    What can be sexier than an intelligent woman?

  12. Avatar
    added on 24 May, 2020

    Diana Fleischman is living proof of evolution in action – she's American, but moved to the UK and became more intelligent!

  13. Avatar
    added on 25 May, 2020

    I saw her on triggernometry! She's great, really good sense of humour

  14. Avatar
    added on 29 May, 2020

    Richard Dawkins must have pressed the like button 😏

  15. Avatar
    added on 11 Jun, 2020

    Thank You, it is captivating 🙂

  16. Avatar
    added on 16 Jun, 2020

    Is this the basis of social justice?

  17. Avatar
    added on 16 Jun, 2020

    The whole field is conjecture. What a shame.

  18. Avatar
    added on 9 Jul, 2020

    That was very fun to watch.

  19. Avatar
    added on 1 Aug, 2020

    Actually fire is the best and the conclusive answer to our intelligence or enlarged brain. Sexual selection seems less likely in that regard

  20. Avatar
    added on 10 Sep, 2020

    Only for those who are seeking the truth
    Points to be considered:

    1) It is impossible to create single cell by nature.

    2) Who designed cell division?

    3) Can brainless nature control and organize trillions of processes to convert single cell to complete chick in 21 days?

    4) Universe has a start. Was it created by itself?!

    5) Who taught Giant Hornet Queen to build its nest?

    6) Who taught spider to spin Its Web?

    7) Who taught Cuttlefish to change its colors?

    8) Who organize bees team work?
    All bees came from single Queen.
    How can a new born bee, know its job?


    Holy Quran Chapter 39
    Verse 62. Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Maintainer of all things.

    Evolution is a fact, but it is controlled and managed by Allah The Greatest Creator, not by random brainless nature.

    Please take some time to read words of Allah our creator,
    and May Allah guides you to the truth.

    For more to read
    Kindly have a look at:

    Holy Quran answers the 3 basic questions.
    Who created us?
    Why are we created?
    What will happen after death?

    Chapter 18
    Verse 29
    And say, “The truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills—let him believe. And whoever wills—let him disbelieve”. We have prepared for the unjust a Fire, whose curtains will hem them in. And when they plead for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten metal, which scalds the faces. What a horrible drink, and what an evil resting-place.

    Verse 30
    As for those who believe and do good deeds—We will not waste the reward of those who work righteousness.

    Verse 31
    It is they who will have the Gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow. There they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and will wear green garments of silk and brocade, reclining on couches. What a wonderful reward, and what an excellent resting-place.

  21. Avatar
    added on 15 Sep, 2020

    31:50 What the mind evolved to do

  22. Avatar
    added on 17 Sep, 2020

    Ouaou, that field is worth than I thought. It's actually pure conjecture, hoping to get validation by splashing biology here and there. You know there is something terribly flawed with a field when it's having the nerve to claim one day it will swallow two other ones. She starts her speach by saying that evolutionary psychology hopes to swallow biology and psychology. Is that it? Maybe evolutionary psychology wants to swallow physics or economics too. Ouaou.

  23. Avatar
    added on 19 Sep, 2020

    Very Informative,.
    Thank you for uploading this!

  24. Avatar
    added on 21 Sep, 2020

    25:14 "and all the other males are kind of scattered around, being incels" nice

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