Posts

Prof. Todd Shackelford

Todd Shackelford (@TKShackelford) is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology at Oakland University.

Together with his wife Viviana he is co-director of the Evolutionary Psychology Lab, leading a team of researchers seeking a deeper understanding of human sexual psychology and behavior by studying issues such as jealousy and infidelity, intimate partner violence and homicide, and human sperm competition and sexual conflict.

Todd is the Editor of the journal “Evolutionary Psychology”, Associate Editor of the journal “Personality and Individual Differences”, and he is also the editor of a number of books, the most apt of which today being the “The Evolution of Violence” and “The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War”.

In today’s episode we explore the evolutionary psychology of violence, in particular the sorts of violence that, on the face of it at least, appear to run counter to the Darwinian drive for survival and replication such as infanticide, spousal abuse, and suicide.

Along the way we also tackle the subject of “toxic masculinity”, dodgy statistics, the benefits of watching other men have sex with your wife, rape fantasies, and BDSM.

 

Enjoy this episode?

Please consider taking a moment to leave a positive review on Facebook or iTunes

Related Links

Todd K. Shackelford – Evolutionary Psychology Lab

Evolutionary Psychological Science – Todd’s Facebook Page

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War

Book Recommendations

           

Image courtesy: Paul Keller

Dr. Brian King

Dr. Brian King (@drbrianking) is a psychologist, stand-up comedian and public speaker who travels the world as a performer and an instructor, giving seminars to thousand of people each year on the health benefits of humor.

He was the founder and producer of the highly reviewed Wharf Room Comedy show in San Francisco and produces the annual Bay Area comedy competition “Walk the Plank”.

Brian is the author of a number of books including “Frozen Coffee Melting“, “A Field Guide to the North American Bloody Mary“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “The Laughing Cure: Emotional and Physical Healing – A Comedian Reveals Why Laughter Really is the Best Medicine“.

In today’s episode we explore the evolutionary origins of humor, whether being funny is a natural ability or a skill that anyone can learn, the anatomy of joke-telling, the mental and physical benefits of laughter, and why humor can be the perfect antidote to some of life’s darkest moments.

 

This episode has 22 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

 

Related Links

Brian’s Website

Brian’s Facebook Page

Brian’s YouTube Channel

Science declares this is the funniest joke in the world – CNet

Book Recommendations

               

Image courtesy: Petful via Flickr

Dr. Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and a clinical psychologist at the Veterans Health Administration specializing in the treatment of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He has published extensively on the treatment of PTSD in combat veterans, masculine identity in the aftermath of war, stress and rank in organizations, and the interplay between religious practice and psychopathology.

He is the author of “Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression“, and his TED talk about training soldiers to return home from combat has racked up over 1 million views.

In today’s episode we discuss the evolutionary psychology of warfare, how the combat theater mirrors the environment of early humans, common causes of PTSD in a military context, and the evolutionary justifications for viewing PTSD as an adaptive survival strategy.

We also explore what aspects of the military experience make it difficult for veterans to return to civilian life, what separates veterans who settle back into peacetime environments from those who don’t, and, in light of Hector’s TED talk, after training soldiers go to war, we ask how do we train them to come home again?

 

Related Links

Hector-Garcia.com – Hector’s website

Video of violent chimpanzee attack on a neighbouring troop – YouTube

About Face – A video gallery of veterans, their family members and clinicians talking in their own words about how treatment for PTSD helps

PTSD Consultation Program (US) – A free service available to any healthcare provider treating veterans, including providers outside of the VA

Book Recommendations

                                   

Image courtesy: The U.S Army (Spc. Breanne Pye)