Nothing in Popular Culture Makes Sense except in the Light of Evolution

@article{Saad2012NothingIP,
  title={Nothing in Popular Culture Makes Sense except in the Light of Evolution},
  author={Gad Saad},
  journal={Review of General Psychology},
  year={2012},
  volume={16},
  pages={109 - 120}
}
  • G. Saad
  • Published 1 June 2012
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Review of General Psychology
An evolutionary lens can inform the study of cultural forms in a myriad of ways. These can be construed as adaptations, as exaptations (evolutionary byproducts), as gene–culture interactions, as memes, or as fossils of the human mind. Products of popular culture (e.g., song lyrics, movie themes, romance novels) are to evolutionary cultural theorists what fossils and skeletal remains represent to paleontologists. Although human minds do not fossilize or skeletonize (the cranium does), the… 

Tables from this paper

Human Nature and Pop Culture
You might be asking yourself, why a special issue on evolutionary approaches to studying popular culture? After all, isn’t evolutionary psychology focused on reproductive success and the ancestral
The Consuming Instinct
  • G. Saad
  • Biology
    Politics and the Life Sciences
  • 2013
TLDR
Professor Saad contends that an infusion of evolutionary and biologically based perspectives into the discipline of consumer behavior and related government regulatory policies yields myriad benefits, notably greater consilience, more effective practices, an ethos of interdisciplinarity, and methodological pluralism.
Screen of vision : Ayn Rand and the possibilities of an objectivist aesthetics of cinema
This thesis is my attempt to establish a foundation, based on the philosophy of Objectivism as it was developed and elaborated by the Russian-American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, for the
Technology, Psychology, and Evolution
The chapter begins with the premise: could we have remained a society devoid of technology? Loaded with neurotransmitters that contribute to search behavior and lead to goal-directed behavior, human
The Analogical Peacock Hypothesis: The Sexual Selection of Mind-Reading and Relational Cognition in Human Communication
TLDR
This new account suggests that mind-reading social skills increased reproductive success and consequently became targets for sexual selection, and the social brain hypothesis is proposed.
Evolution and Consumer Psychology
TLDR
The consumer realm offers a window into the authors' evolved human nature that provides consumer researchers important benefits including the ability to identify novel research questions, and greater interdisciplinarity, methodological pluralism, theoretical parsimony, and consilience.
‘Porn Trouble’
Abstract In this article, I explore the emergent relationship between feminist media studies/cultural studies and the field of Evolutionary Psychology (EP). EP scholars increasingly conduct research
Why and How Did Narrative Fictions Evolve? Fictions as Entertainment Technologies
Narrative fictions have surely become the single most widespread source of entertainment in the world. In their free time, humans read novels and comics, watch movies and TV series, and play video
More than Social–Cultural Influences: A Research Agenda for Evolutionary Perspectives on Prosocial Media Effects
  • Y. Ng
  • Psychology, Biology
  • 2016
TLDR
Using various evolutionary perspectives on altruism, reciprocity, and cooperation, this article synthesizes 4 types of prossocial media effects: selective, indirect, conditional, and transactional, suggesting that the dramatic prosocial media learning process should be considered from a comprehensive nature-nurture interactive view.
...
1
2
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 119 REFERENCES
Cultural Evolution: How Darwinian Theory Can Explain Human Culture and Synthesize the Social Sciences
TLDR
This cross-disciplinary volume focuses on the ways cultural phenomena can be studied scientifically and shows how apparently disparate methods can complement one another to the mutual benefit of the various social science disciplines.
On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction
A century and a half after the publication of "Origin of Species", evolutionary thinking has expanded beyond the field of biology to include virtually all human-related subjects - anthropology,
Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society
TLDR
David Sloan Wilson's "Darwin's Cathedral" takes the radical step of joining the two, in the process proposing an evolutionary theory of religion that shakes both evolutionary biology and social theory at their foundations.
The (sexual) politics of evolution: popular controversy in the late 20th-century United Kingdom.
TLDR
The major threads of controversy around the emerging subject of evolutionary psychology in the U.K. mass media during the 1990s are outlined to illustrate the argument that in theorizing about evolution and humans, "human nature" and "human origins" both provide a flexible resource for making arguments about how people do and should relate to one another.
Coevolution: Genes, Culture, and Human Diversity
TLDR
The author suggests that a process of cultural selection, or preservation by preference, driven chiefly by choice or imposition depending on the circumstances, has been the main but not exclusive force of cultural change, and shows that this process gives rise to five major patterns or modes in which cultural change is at odds with genetic change.
Adaptationism – how to carry out an exaptationist program
TLDR
The standards of evidence that could be used to identify adaptations and when and how they may be appropriately used are discussed and building an empirical case that certain features of a trait are best explained by exaptation, spandrel, or constraint requires demonstrating that the trait's features cannot be better accounted for by adaptationist hypotheses.
Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion
Recent work in biology, cognitive psychology, and archaeology has renewed evolutionary perspectives on the role of natural selection in the emergence and recurrent forms of religious thought and
Darwin's Conjecture: The Search for General Principles of Social and Economic Evolution
Of paramount importance to the natural sciences, the principles of Darwinism, which involve variation, inheritance, and selection, are increasingly of interest to social scientists as well. But no
The Cultural Politics of the Sociobiology Debate
The sociobiology debate, in the final quarterof the twentieth century, featured many of thesame issues disputed in the culture war in thehumanities during this same time period. This isevident from a
What's in a Name: Is “Evolutionary Psychology” Eclipsing “Sociobiology” in the Scientific Literature?
TLDR
Growth curve analyses revealed that the rate of growth for evolutionary psychology was significantly greater than that for sociobiology, which was decelerating, and the implications for understanding the histories of sociology and evolutionary psychology are discussed.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...