Examined Lives: Positive Evolutionary Psychology (Session 30)

Thursday, March 16th, 12-1pm ET / 4-5pm UTC

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Steven P. Gilbert
Sage Gibbons
In our next Examined Lives on Positive Evolutionary Psychology we will explore what evolutionary psychology has to tell us about happiness.

Cosmides and Tooby (1997) stated that evolutionary psychology “is not an area of study, like vision, reasoning, or social behavior. It is a way of thinking about psychology that can be applied to any topic within it.” Evolutionary psychology is thus a lens that we can use to look at any aspect of human behavior.  That lens can be used to examine what conditions are conducive to happiness and life satisfaction — the central concerns of positive psychology, an established field of research which studies the factors that increase such “positive” life outcomes.  Positive evolutionary psychology is thus an integrative and applied discipline, i.e. it uses  insights from both evolutionary and positive psychology to provide guidance for human flourishing.   The leading figure in the field, Glenn Geher, Ph.D., defines positive evolutionary psychology as “the use of evolutionary principles to help people and communities experience more positive and fulfilling lives.”

Zoom Link

Recommended Background:
Book Review, Geher, G. & Wedberg, N. (2020) Positive Evolutionary Psychology: Darwin’s guide to living a richer life, Oxford University Press (Links to Scientific American*)
Glenn Geher interview on YouTube, Modern Wisdom Podcast 439

Short articles by Glenn Geher, Ph.D.:

Psychology Today: Positive Evolutionary Psychology

Happiness is a Detail: An evolutionary perspective on happiness as a means not an end (Links to Substack**)

Darwins Guide to Living a Richer Life (Links to Substack**)

Six Natural Reasons Why Life is Hard (Links to Substack**)

*The book review on Scientific American does require you to create a free account.

**When you click on the links it will look like you have to sign in or create an account, but you don’t  — you just have to click on “continue reading” in the little pop-up box.