Evolution of Emotions


Elements of an Evolutionary Approach

Selection Pressures


Natural Design for Gene Replication

Three Social Motivations and One Antisocial Motivation




Emotions in the Space of Three Social Motivations

Antisocial Motivation

Why Human Emotions Are As They Are

Social Lives of Chimpanzees

Human Ancestry

Modern Hunter-Gatherer Societies

Emotions as Bases of Human Relationships


To Think About and Discuss

Further Reading


FIGURE 2.0 About ten minutes before this photograph was taken these two male chimpanzees had a fight that ended in the trees. Now one extends a hand toward the other in reconciliation. Immediately after this, they embraced and climbed down to the ground together.

Like all primates, humans are an intensely social species. Indeed we probably owe our success as a species to our sociality.

Robin Dunbar (2001), p. 175

In 1860, on hearing that humans are descended from apes, the wife of the Bishop of Worcester is said to have remarked: “My dear, descended from the apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it does not become generally known” (Leakey & Lewin, 1991, p. 16). Although we are not exactly descended from present-day apes we do share common ancestors with them. The line that led to modern humans diverged from that leading to modern chimpanzees about six million ...

Get Understanding Emotions, 3rd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.