Thomas E. Dickins

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To properly understand behavior, we must obtain both ultimate and proximate explanations. Put briefly, ultimate explanations are concerned with why a behavior exists, and proximate explanations are concerned with how it works. These two types of explanation are complementary and the distinction is critical to evolutionary explanation. We are concerned that(More)
Over the last three decades, the application of evolutionary theory to the human sciences has shown remarkable growth. This growth has also been characterised by a 'splitting' process, with the emergence of distinct sub-disciplines, most notably: Human Behavioural Ecology (HBE), Evolutionary Psychology (EP) and studies of Cultural Evolution (CE). Multiple(More)
Niche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of(More)
One often heard complaint against evolutionary approaches to the behavioural sciences is that humans have in some way acted to escape their own evolutionary history. Critics who might take this approach cite the rise of complex culture and the huge impact we have had in terms of transforming our own environment. Surely, we have left our ancestral troubles(More)
Men's body odor influences women's mate choice and individual variation among traits affects hedonic perceptions of this odor (e.g., immune system characteristics). Previous research by Sergeant (2002) indicated that one such characteristic is sexual orientation: body odor from homosexual men was perceived by heterosexual women as more hedonically pleasing(More)
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Teenage childbearing may have childhood origins and can be viewed as the outcome of a coherent reproductive strategy associated with early environmental conditions. Life-history theory would predict that where futures are uncertain fitness can be maximized through diverting effort from somatic development into reproduction. Even(More)
Homosexual males are reported to be less physically aggressive than heterosexual males (Ellis, Hoffman, & Burke, 1990; Gladue & Bailey, 1995). Previous aggression studies have not, however, compared all forms of direct aggression, indirect aggression and empathy among these populations. Empathy is a significant factor to consider since it both mitigates the(More)
Lankford claims that suicide terrorists are suicidal, but that their suicidal tendencies are often frustrated by injunctive social norms. Martyrdom represents a solution, and terrorist organizations exploit this. In this commentary, we claim that this argument has not been fully made and that such ideation in itself does not explain a willingness to engage(More)
Smaldino's target article draws on and seeks to add to a literature that has partially rejected orthodox, gene-centric evolutionary theory. However, orthodox theory has much to say about group-level traits. The target article does not reference or refute these views, and provides no explicit arguments for this narrow approach. In this commentary we: (i)(More)
Humans uniquely form stimulus equivalence (SE) classes of abstract and unrelated stimuli, i.e. if taught to match A with B and B with C, they will spontaneously match B with A, and C with B, (the relation of symmetry), and A with C (transitivity). Other species do not do this. The SE ability is possibly the consequence of a specific selection event in the(More)
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