Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature
Human nature is one of those things that everybody talks about but no one can define precisely. Every time we fall in love, fight with our spouse, get upset about the influx of immigrants into our country, or go to church, we are, in part, behaving as a human animal with our own unique evolved nature—human nature.
This means two things. First, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are produced not only by our individual experiences and environment in our own lifetime but also by what happened to our ancestors millions of years ago. Second, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are shared, to a large extent, by all men or women, despite seemingly large cultural differences.
Human behavior is a product both of our innate human nature and of our individual experience and environment. In this article, however, we emphasize biological influences on human behavior, because most social scientists explain human behavior as if evolution stops at the neck and as if our behavior is a product almost entirely of environment and socialization.
In contrast, evolutionary psychologists see human nature as a collection of psychological adaptations that often operate beneath conscious thinking to solve problems of survival and reproduction by predisposing us to think or feel in certain ways.
Our preference for sweets and fats is an evolved psychological mechanism. We do not consciously choose to like sweets and fats; they just taste good to us.