Author Archives: Gordon

Originally posted on Social Evolution Forum:
In his target article Whitehouse describes a fascinating and extremely worthwhile program of research. We understand that this research is in its early stages, and so we are not too concerned that at the…

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Cultural Group Selection in Phase Transition

Originally posted on Social Evolution Forum:
I am writing this in Frankfurt, where we have just concluded a week-long meeting on cultural evolution. I was hoping to write about it earlier, but this meeting has been so intense that I…

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The extended evolutionary synthesis and the role of soft inheritance in evolution

Last month, Tom Dickins and Qazi Rahman published a provocative review article with the above title in Proc R Soc B (hat tip Emma Cohen): I made a rather longwinded comment about the article on Emma’s Facebook page, which I thought … Continue reading


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From Tattling to Gossip: The Evolution and Development of Indirect Aggression

Just had an abstract proposal accepted for a special issue of Evolutionary Psychology on “Evolutionary Developmental Psychology” – see It still has to go through peer review (submission deadline is 1st September) but I’m very excited about this because … Continue reading

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EHBEA abstract

It turns out I can’t make it to EHBEA 2012, so I thought I’d post the abstract of the talk I was going to give. Please contact me if you’re interested in finding out more about this study 🙂 Explaining … Continue reading

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Infants’ sense of inequality

Inequality has been much in the news recently with the Occupy protests, with which I have a great deal of sympathy: It has often been argued that people (and even capuchin monkeys!) have an innate sense of fairness, in that … Continue reading

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Does gossip really make people less likeable?

Photograph by kamshots For anyone interested in gossip, there was a little study published by Sally Farley a few days ago in the European Journal of Social Psychology (here are links to the original article and the blog post where … Continue reading

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Imitation and reliability in infants

A recent article by Diane Poulin-Dubois and colleagues at Concordia University is interesting both because it reports on a fascinating area of study (imitation in infants) and because it illustrates several common flaws in experimental psychology. The original article is … Continue reading

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The meaning of “meant to”

Having neglected my blog for a few months, I’m going to be devoting some time to it every Friday – basically, taking Fridays as a “work-for-myself” kind of day. This next post has been a toughie to get out, as … Continue reading

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Is aggression adaptive?

Sticking with the aggression theme from my last post on bullying, I’ve just read an early-view article in Aggressive Behavior by some evolutionary psychologists at Binghamton University which is theoretically very interesting. Gallup, O’Brien and Wilson show that aggression in … Continue reading

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