Humans as Animals

Evolutionary Psychology
Center for Evolutionary Psychology   (PsyW)   

Animal Behavior

Animals (PsyW)    
Several links from this page are given, below.  Others have been moved to more appropriate specific sections. 

Scholarly articles for Animal Cognition & Learning


MIT 9.20 Animal Behavior   

Foundations of Ethology: Lorenz 

This man  was a giant in his field, but he viewed behavior from the outside.  I want to see it from the inside.  In particular, from the viewpoint of the nervous and endocrine systems. 

Sociobiology: E.O. Wilson

Although Wilson, like Lorenz, views behavior from the outside, Wilson gives specific attention to the phenomena of 'dominance' and 'dominance hierarchies', which Lorenz doesn't mention.  I have written a paper on the problems presented to society by boys who try to grow up without a father, and the paper includes an endocrine explanation for dominance hierarchies.   
    See:   Boys without Fathers  .   

MIT 9.52-B Human Ethology   

Hat Tip: This was the source for the CogPrints link in my Internet Resources section. 

MIT Book List

This is a list of the books about humans as animals which I thought were at least somewhat helpful which were assigned for MIT courses which did not have any useful slides, PDFs, audio files or links and which I, therefore, eliminated.

The Evolution of Communication,  Hauser: MIT 9.250

Although the book doesn't consider
the amphioxus, lampreys or salamanders, it does discuss frogs in considerable detail.  This probably reflects the fact that the amphioxus, lampreys and salamanders are silent while frogs are exuberantly vocal.  

Frog vocalization seems to be limited to males who are trying to attract a mate.  While not mentioned in this book, I've read elsewhere that there are also some male fish who vocalize to attract a mate.  It's only farther up the evolutionary scale that vocalization is used for alarm calls and other, more complex, communications.  

The book, of course, considers animals higher up the evolutionary tree than frogs, but it was the frogs that interested me. 

Evolutionary Genetics,  Smith : MIT 9.250

This book is teaching me a lot about genetics, but none of it is relevant to psychology.  So I won't discuss it any further except to say that it's a pretty good book if you want to know more about genetics. 

9.201 Advanced Animal Behavior - Online Courses - StartClass

Animal Behavior, Drickamer: 
MIT 9.201  

I rather liked this book, and it's certainly worth $2 (+ $4 shipping).  It's not exactly what I was looking for, but then, if I were able to find exactly the book I'm looking for, I wouldn't need to write one.  Although discussing more than just our direct ancestors, it's much more focused that the Cockburn book, below.  More importantly, it briefly discusses both the nervous and endocrine systems and their influence on behavior.  Unfortunately, the latest edition was published in 1992, and we've learned a lot since then.  Still, if you're interested in humans as animals and you don't know a whole lot about animals, this might be a good place to start. 

Introduction to Evolutionary Ecology: Cockburn  MIT 9.201  

This book has an extremely wide focus, considering the evolutionary ecology of all animal life throughout the Earth's history.  Although interesting, it has very little to say about the direct ancestors of we humans and will do very little to help you understand our behavior. 

Animal Behavior, an Evolutionary Approach, Alcock: MIT 9.201  

If you like animals and want to know more about them, you'll enjoy this book, and it's certainly reasonably priced.  However, like the Cockburn book, above, it's very broadly focused and won't do much to help you understand human psychology.