Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Human Nature and Biocultural Evolution

  • Bruna da S. NascimentoEmail author
  • Anthony C. Little
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2895-1



Human nature refers to psychological aspects and behavioral traits that are common to most people. Biocultural evolution is the process by which biological and cultural aspects interact to shape human nature throughout human evolutionary history.


One of the most intriguing topics of scientific investigation is human nature, why humans behave the way they do, having been the object of study of a wide variety of disciplines, including psychology. Despite the volume of research, human nature has not been completely unveiled. This is partly due to the controversy over the extent to which human behaviors are a product of their environment or of their genetics, resulting in the “nature versus nurture” debate that has been the focus of scientific discussion since classical times (Thorpe 1974). Philosophers such as Locke and Rousseau, for example, adopted the nurture side of this debate,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BathBathUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Guilherme S. Lopes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA