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Positive Evolutionary PsychologyDarwin's Guide to Living a Richer Life$
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Glenn Geher and Nicole Wedberg

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190647124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190647124.001.0001

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Happiness, Gratitude, and Love

Happiness, Gratitude, and Love

Chapter:
(p.64) 6 Happiness, Gratitude, and Love
Source:
Positive Evolutionary Psychology
Author(s):

Glenn Geher

Nicole Wedberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190647124.003.0006

This chapter focuses on three of the core topics that are studied by positive psychologists: happiness, gratitude, and love. Each of these concepts has been the target of extensive research conducted by evolutionary psychologists. As such, we can now understand the ultimate factors that underlie these topics quite well. Happiness can be understood as an emotion that evolved largely to motivate people to move toward stimuli that facilitate survival or reproductive success. Gratitude evolved in connection with our strong tendencies toward reciprocal altruism, helping people keep positively connected to others in small social groups. And love evolved largely because human infants are quite helpless and thus benefit strongly from biparental care. The evolutionary analyses in this chapter are detailed and help shed light on the inner workings of each of these concepts.

Keywords:   happiness, emotion, gratitude, reciprocal altruism, love, biparental care

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