Evolutionary Psychology


Course Objective

The course will introduce students to the main concepts, theories and
studies in the growing discipline of Evolutionary Psychology. The goal
is to give students insight into topics central in Psychology from an
Evolutionary point of view. Central in this course is whether certain
behaviors could be the results of an evolved adaptation to solve
problems that our ancestors faced. Possible costs and benefits of these
suspected adaptations will then be discussed. During the course we will
provide some insights into the following questions:

- Why do we have such big brains?
- Why do men want to have sex sooner than women?
- Why do we help others?
- Why do we make war?

Course Content

This course shows students how to explain human behavior from an
evolutionary perspective. During the course we will use this perspective
to explain sexuality, cooperation, parenting, aggression, and cognition.
The course consists of lectures and students will also do several
assignments to practice evolutionary theorizing.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and assignments.

Method of Assessment

Exam with 60 multiple choice questions (80% of grade) and two open-ended
questions (20% of grade). The assignments may also count for a small
percentage of the final grade.


Buss, D. M. (2014). Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind
(fifth edition). US: Pearson Education.

Additional Information

As of 2018-19 this course is part of the University Minor Psychologie en
het Brein.

General Information

Course Code P_BEVOLPS
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. M. van Vugt
Examiner prof. dr. M. van Vugt
Teaching Staff prof. dr. M. van Vugt
mr. G.F. Palomo Velez

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: