How Many Friends Does One Person Need? by Prof. Robin Dunbar
Dunbar's Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks

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Why do men talk and women gossip, and which is better for you? Why is monogamy a drain on the brain? And why should you be suspicious of someone who has more than 150 friends on Facebook? We are the product of our evolutionary history, and this history colors our everyday lives—from why we joke to the depth of our religious beliefs. In How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Robin Dunbar uses groundbreaking experiments that have forever changed the way evolutionary biologists explain how the distant past underpins our current ­behavior. We know so much more now than Darwin ever did, but the core of modern evolutionary theory lies firmly in Darwin’s elegantly simple idea: organisms behave in ways that enhance the frequency with which genes are passed on to future generations. This idea is at the heart of Dunbar’s book, which seeks to explain why humans behave as they do. Stimulating, provocative, and immensely enjoyable, his book invites you to explore the number of friends you have, whether you have your father’s brain or your mother’s, whether morning sickness might actually be good for you, why Barack Obama’s 2008 victory was a foregone conclusion, what Gaelic has to do with frankincense, and why we laugh. In the process, Dunbar examines the role of religion in human evolution, the fact that most of us have unexpectedly famous ancestors, and why men and women never seem able to see eye to eye on color.

About Prof. Robin Dunbar

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Robin Dunbar is Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool .
Published March 15, 2011 by Faber and Faber. 312 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Science & Math, Self Help, Professional & Technical, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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In an entertaining and informative new work, evolutionary psychologist and Director of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford, Dunbar (Evolutionary Psychology) investigates the ways in which evolution is still at work in homo sapiens, and the brain functions and abilit...

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of How Many Friends Does One Per...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

(He identifies six levels of intentionality in Shakespeare's work, one level more than most of us employ.) Far from being a catalogue of gloom and doom, this book leaves the reader marvelling at how far homo sapiens has come, and how far we might yet ascend.

Mar 03 2011 | Read Full Review of How Many Friends Does One Per...

IF YOU want the definitive answer as to why Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election – why commentators keep asking, more than a year on, is another question – look at his face.

Feb 26 2010 | Read Full Review of How Many Friends Does One Per...

Portland Book Review

The catchy and clever title of his book refers to Dunbar’s Number, 150, which is understood to be the number of people any one person is able to interact with in their lives.

Aug 14 2011 | Read Full Review of How Many Friends Does One Per...

Book Geeks

than to The Selfish Gene, a fact attested by the author’s acknowledgment that the book grew out of a series of articles he published in the New Scientist and The Scotsman, but this is certainly not a criticism.

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of How Many Friends Does One Per...

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