This month’s event at The Weekend University will be ‘A Day on Evolutionary Psychology.’
In this series of talks, we’ll examine human psychology and behaviour through the lens of modern evolutionary theory.
Attendees will learn:
– The foundations of evolutionary psychology; how your emotions, thought patterns, perceptions, and social interactions have been shaped by millions of years of evolutionary history
– Why same sex behaviour evolved in human and non-human animals; the fascinating evolutionary origins of homosexual behaviour and why it is widespread – not only amongst humans, but other animals alike
– The amazing science of compassion focused therapy; learn about the rapidly growing evidence for this groundbreaking form of therapy, and how it can help you be kinder both towards yourself and others, end toxic self criticism, heal trauma and shame, and improve your emotional wellbeing.
Ahead of the event, each speaker has recommended some books to help attendees prepare for their lectures.
In this post, we cover their top picks.
Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction – Dr Diana Fleischman, PhD
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.
To prepare for her lecture, Diana suggests the following:
- Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1997). Evolutionary psychology: A primer. Found at: https://www.cep.ucsb.edu/primer.html
- Wright, R. (1994). The moral animal: The new science of evolutionary psychology. Pantheon Books.
- Confer, J. C., Easton, J. A., Fleischman, D. S., Goetz, C. D., Lewis, D. M., Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. M. (2010). Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations. American Psychologist, 65(2), 110.
- Miller, G. (2011). The mating mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. Anchor.
- Buss, D. (2015). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind. Psychology Press.
Against Nature? Homosexuality & Evolution – Professor Volker Sommer
Volker Sommer, PhD is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at University College London. His research interests focus on the evolution of primate social and sexual behaviour, cognition, rituals, biodiversity conservation, animal rights and evolutionary ethics.
He serves on the boards of various journals and is the only scientist advising on both the “Section on Great Apes” and the “Section on Small Apes” of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Sommer has published several hundred articles – scientific as well as popular – and two dozens of books, including novels and poetry. He is a renowned science journalist in German-speaking countries, regularly featured by major magazines and newspapers.
To prepare for his lecture, Professor Sommer recommends that you read:
Evolution & Compassion Focused Therapy – Professor Paul Gilbert OBE
Professor Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE is a British clinical psychologist, the founder of compassion focused therapy (CFT), compassionate mind training (CMT) and author of books such as The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life’s Challenges, Overcoming Depression.
He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 40 years with a special focus on the roles of mood, shame and self-criticism in various mental health difficulties for which Compassion Focused Therapy was developed. Professor Gilbert has written/edited 21 books and over 200 papers. In 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation as an international charity with the mission statement: “To promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion”.
To prepare for his lecture, Professor Gilbert recommends:
- Living Like Crazy – Professor Paul Gilbert
- The Compassionate Mind – Professor Paul Gilbert
- Gilbert, P., (1995). Biopsychosocial approaches and evolutionary theory as aids to integration in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. Found at: http://bit.ly/2Pz4QpC
For more information on the event and a full breakdown of the talks, please see the event page.