- The Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society
- About the Editor
- About the Contributors
- Introduction: Evolution, Biology, and Society
- Divergence and Possible Consilience Between Evolutionary Biology and Sociology
- Sociology’s Contentious Courtship with Biology: A Ballad
- Edward Westermarck: The First Sociobiologist
- Discovering Human Nature Through Cross-Species Analysis
- The Neurology of Religion: An Explanation from Evolutionary Sociology
- Reward Allowances and Contrast Effects in Social Evolution: A Challenge to Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Modernity
- Sex Differences in the Human Brain
- The Savanna Theory of Happiness
- How Evolutionary Psychology Can Contribute to Group Process Research
- The Genetics of Human Behavior: A Hopeless Opus?
- DNA Is Not Destiny
- On the Genetic and Genomic Basis of Aggression, Violence, and Antisocial Behavior
- Genetics and Politics: A Review for the Social Scientist
- Genes and Status Achievement
- Peer Networks, Psychobiology of Stress Response, and Adolescent Development
- Stress and Stress Hormones
- Social Epigenetics of Human Behavior
- Physiology of Face-to-Face Competition
- Evolutionary Behavioral Science: Core Principles, Common Misconceptions, and a Troubling Tendency
- Evolutionary Family Sociology
- Evolution and Human Reproduction
- Evolution, Societal Sexism, and Universal Average Sex Differences in Cognition and Behavior
- Evolutionary Theory and Criminology
- The Biosocial Study of Ethnicity
- Human Sociosexual Dominance Theory
- From Paganism to World Transcendence: Religious Attachment Theory and the Evolution of the World Religions
- The Evolutionary Approach to History: Sociocultural Phylogenetics
- Why Sociology Should Incorporate Biology
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter describes the savanna theory of happiness, which posits that it may not be only the consequences of a given situation in the current environment that affect individuals’ happiness but also what its consequences would have been in the ancestral environment. The theory further suggests that the effect of such ancestral consequences on happiness is stronger among less intelligent individuals than among more intelligent individuals. Consistent with the theory, being an ethnic minority, living in urban areas, and socializing with friends less frequently all reduce happiness, but the effects of these conditions are significantly stronger among less intelligent individuals than among more intelligent individuals. The theory can further explain why some individuals suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and why women’s level of happiness has steadily declined in the United States in the past half-century.
Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist and intelligence researcher; Reader in Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science; and Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London. He is Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and serves as Associate Editor of the American Psychological Association journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. He has written over 120 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters in all of the social sciences (psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and anthropology), as well as in biology, medicine, epidemiology, gerontology, demography, and criminology. His article “Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent,” published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly, was widely reported in the media throughout the world, with the combined viewership of 400 million people worldwide (estimated by Meltware News). He is the author of The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn’t Always the Smart One (Wiley, 2012) and coauthor (with Alan S. Miller) of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters (Penguin, 2007). His LSE home page is http://personal.lse.ac.uk/Kanazawa.
Norman P. Li, MBA, PhD is Lee Kong Chian Fellow and Associate Professor of Psychology at Singapore Management University, and Associate Editor at the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. He adopts a multidisciplinary approach to the study of human behavior, integrating economic concepts and tools, evolutionary theory, and social psychological experimental methodology. His research focuses on human mating as well as problems at the individual, organizational, and societal levels caused by the mismatch between people’s evolved psychological mechanisms and modern environments.
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