Anthropology 7 – Spring Quarter 2011
Introductory Biosocial Anthropology
Professor John Tooby
Thursdays 5:00—7:50 PM
HSSB 2nd Floor Anthro Mail Room
Date/time of Midterm Examination:
Thursday, May 5
class time (after lecture)
Date/time of Final Examination:
Wednesday, June 8
Tooby office hours:
: Sangin Kim: firstname.lastname@example.org; Emily Miner: email@example.com;
Class webpage will be available on Gauchospace.
Enrollment Codes by section:
9:00 – 9:50
10:00 – 10:50
4:00 – 4:50
T 8:00- 8:50 PHELPS 3523
F 9:00- 9:50 GIRV 2123
: Anthro 7 is an introduction to the emerging new science of evolutionary psychology, together
with related fields such as human behavioral ecology (also known as evolutionary ecology) and human
ethology, that together constitute biosocial anthropology.
Evolutionary psychology is the study of our
evolved, universal human nature and its organizing impact on human life and culture.
This is a course
about human nature – its causes, its structure, and its effects on our lives.
Because our species’ architecture (mind, brain, body, and genome) was constructed by the evolutionary
process, understanding how our evolutionary past built us can give us new insights into what we are and
why we are designed the way we are.
In particular, this new scientific approach gives us the opportunity
to make new discoveries about the engineering specifications of our various mental programs (also
referred to as instincts, mechanisms, circuits, neurocomputational adaptations, etc.) such as parental love,
anger, friendship, sexual attraction, in-group mindedness, status-perception, aggressive threat, family
sentiments, and jealousy.
These programs were built step by step among our foraging ancestors, as
problem-solving circuits that helped them deal with the recurrent adaptive problems encountered by
These instincts are universal, that is, they reliably develop (or have the potential for
developing) in all normal members of our species.
They shape all human cultures, explain the
commonalties found among people everywhere, and provide the underlying logic that organizes human
Scientifically, evolutionary psychology was created by bringing together the study of evolutionary
biology, human evolution, information theory, hunter-gatherer studies, cultural anthropology,
neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, computer science, and related fields.
By using insights and
methods gained from integrating these fields, researchers can now systematically map the structure of the