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Life Sciences - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology | The Parasite-Stress Theory of Values and Sociality - Infectious Disease, History and Human Values

The Parasite-Stress Theory of Values and Sociality

Infectious Disease, History and Human Values Worldwide

Thornhill, Randy, Fincher, Corey L.

2014, XIX, 449 p. 12 illus.

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  • Builds the revolutionary theory that human evolution is subject to parasite and disease stress that shapes human qualities as personality, political tendencies and propensity toward religiosity
  • Comprehensive coverage of the topic and its underpinnings and wide scope including value systems, mate choice, political preferences, personality, religiosity and economics
  • The summation of years of field-defining work by Thornhill and Fincher

Why do some people pray more than others? Why do some people prefer to be with healthier-looking people? Why are some people more conservative than others? Why does the prevalence of violence vary across the world? Why are some countries poor while others are increasingly wealthy? Why are some countries mired in corruption? Randy Thornhill and Corey L. Fincher argue that the answers to these questions, and many more about the human condition, come down to understanding how infectious diseases have shaped human behavior and psychology. Paramount to this view is that other human beings are often the harbinger of infectious diseases, which has profound implications for the evolution of human sociality. In The Parasite-Stress Theory of Values and Sociality: Infectious Disease, History and Human Values Worldwide, the authors bring a wealth of evidence from across many scholarly fields, much of which has been produced in the last decade, to support this claim. Read this book to learn how infectious diseases have shaped human emotions, morality, political and cultural values, personality, family ties, mate preferences and sexuality, religiosity, intergroup psychology, governmental systems, trade, war, economic development, intelligence and innovation, and biodiversity, and more.

Randy Thornhill serves as Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico. Corey L. Fincher is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Warwick.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Biodiversity - Collectivism - Human Values - Religiosity - Social Psychology - disease ecology

Related subjects » Behavioral Sciences - Ecology - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - Neuropsychology - Personality & Social Psychology

Table of contents 

​1. Background and Overview of the Book.- 2. Evolutionary Aesthetics, Values and Methodology.- 3. The Parasite-stress Theory of Values.- 4. Human Values Research Prior ro the Parasite-stress Theory.- 5.Collectivism–Individualism, Family Ties and Philopatry.- 6. Mating Systems, Mate Choice, Marriage, Sexual Behavior and Inbreeding.- 7. Personality.- 8. Interpersonal Violence.- 9. Religiosity.- 10. Democracy and Other Governmental Systems.- 11. Economics, Values and Cognitive Ability.- 12. Wars, Revolutions and Coups, and the Absence of Peace across the World.- 13. Biodiversity and the Parasite-driven Wedge.- 14. Reflections, Criticisms, and Future Research. 

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