Where Anthropology Meets Psychology

At mid-century, anthropology textbooks painted a simple picture of the plight of our ancestors on the African savanna: them against the world. Lions menaced and starvation loomed. This hostile environment was considered the driving force behind human evolution. It put a premium on inventing tools and tricks for finding food and not becoming food. So large brains evolved.

During the 1960s and early '70s, three biologists--William Hamilton, George Williams and Robert Trivers--ushered in a new view of evolution that would complicate this story line. Among its messages: for a highly social species, it isn't just a jungle out there; it's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!