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The Social Leap: The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy
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HarperCollins 2018
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In the compelling popular science tradition of Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel, a groundbreaking and eye-opening exploration that applies evolutionary science to provide a new perspective on human psychology, revealing how major challenges from our past have shaped some of the most fundamental aspects of our being.

The most fundamental aspects of our lives—from leadership and innovation to aggression and happiness—were permanently altered by the "social leap" our ancestors made from the rainforest to the savannah. Their struggle to survive on the open grasslands required a shift from individualism to a new form of collectivism, which forever altered the way our mind works. It changed the way we fight and our proclivity to make peace, it changed the way we lead and the way we follow, it made us innovative but not inventive, it created a new kind of social intelligence, and it led to new sources of life satisfaction.

In The Social Leap, Bill von Hippel lays out this revolutionary hypothesis, tracing human development through three critical evolutionary inflection points to explain how events in our distant past shape our lives today. From the mundane, such as why we exaggerate, to the surprising, such as why we believe our own lies and why fame and fortune are as likely to bring misery as happiness, the implications are far reaching and extraordinary.

Blending anthropology, biology, history, and psychology with evolutionary science, The Social Leap is a fresh and provocative look at our species that provides new clues about who we are, what makes us happy, and how to use this knowledge to improve our lives.

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Street Date:
11/13/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062740410
ASIN:
B076ZDHQ33
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APA Citation (style guide)

William von Hippel. (2018). The Social Leap: The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

William von Hippel. 2018. The Social Leap: The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

William von Hippel, The Social Leap: The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy. HarperCollins, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

William von Hippel. The Social Leap: The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy. HarperCollins, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Nov 20, 2018 14:41:59
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        William von Hippel grew up in Alaska, got his B.A. at Yale and his PhD at the University of Michigan, and then taught for a dozen years at Ohio State University before finding his way to Australia, where he is a professor of psychology at the University of Queensland. He has published more than a hundred articles, chapters, and edited books, and his research has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Economist, the BBC, Le Monde, El Mundo, Der Spiegel, and The Australian. He lives with his wife and two children in Brisbane, Australia.

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In the compelling popular science tradition of Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel, a groundbreaking and eye-opening exploration that applies evolutionary science to provide a new perspective on human psychology, revealing how major challenges from our past have shaped some of the most fundamental aspects of our being.

The most fundamental aspects of our lives—from leadership and innovation to aggression and happiness—were permanently altered by the "social leap" our ancestors made from the rainforest to the savannah. Their struggle to survive on the open grasslands required a shift from individualism to a new form of collectivism, which forever altered the way our mind works. It changed the way we fight and our proclivity to make peace, it changed the way we lead and the way we follow, it made us innovative but not inventive, it created a new kind of social intelligence, and it led to new sources of life satisfaction.

In The Social Leap, Bill von Hippel...

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title
The Social Leap
fullDescription

In the compelling popular science tradition of Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel, a groundbreaking and eye-opening exploration that applies evolutionary science to provide a new perspective on human psychology, revealing how major challenges from our past have shaped some of the most fundamental aspects of our being.

The most fundamental aspects of our lives—from leadership and innovation to aggression and happiness—were permanently altered by the "social leap" our ancestors made from the rainforest to the savannah. Their struggle to survive on the open grasslands required a shift from individualism to a new form of collectivism, which forever altered the way our mind works. It changed the way we fight and our proclivity to make peace, it changed the way we lead and the way we follow, it made us innovative but not inventive, it created a new kind of social intelligence, and it led to new sources of life satisfaction.

In The Social Leap, Bill von Hippel lays out this revolutionary hypothesis, tracing human development through three critical evolutionary inflection points to explain how events in our distant past shape our lives today. From the mundane, such as why we exaggerate, to the surprising, such as why we believe our own lies and why fame and fortune are as likely to bring misery as happiness, the implications are far reaching and extraordinary.

Blending anthropology, biology, history, and psychology with evolutionary science, The Social Leap is a fresh and provocative look at our species that provides new clues about who we are, what makes us happy, and how to use this knowledge to improve our lives.

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      • premium: False
      • source: Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink and Irresistible
      • content: "The Social Leap is a rollicking tour through humanity's evolutionary past, and William von Hippel is the consummate tour guide. With equal parts wisdom, humor, authority, and charm, von Hippel shows how our past explains the present and why our well-being rests on an understanding of how our minds evolved."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Forget gold toilets and private jets. The key to happiness may just lie in a cheeseburger—or a sandbox. Full of insight into human character, von Hippel's book provides a stimulating program for measuring success without material yardsticks."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sonja Lyubomirsky, New York Times bestselling author of The How of Happiness
      • content: "The Social Leap is one of the best books I have read in years. Its examination of the evolutionary roots of modern human behavior is both profound and revelatory. Seamlessly weaving captivating stories, rich science, and beautiful prose, von Hippel offers an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of our ancestors and, thereby, into our selves."
      • premium: False
      • source: Roy Baumeister, New York Times bestselling author of Willpower
      • content: "The Social Leap is a rollicking tour through humanity's evolutionary past, and William von Hippel is the consummate tour guide. With equal parts wisdom, humor, authority, and charm, von Hippel shows how our past explains the present and why our well-being rests on an understanding of how our minds evolved."
      • premium: False
      • source: Mahzarin R. Banaji, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Department of Psychology, Harvard University
      • content: "This book is for everybody. Everybody, that is, who has a shred of curiosity about how we came to become human. von Hippel's panoramic view prompts us to ask ourselves: what do we wish to do with the miracle that we are now here?"
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        September 10, 2018
        Von Hippel, a University of Queensland psychology professor, explains the basics of evolutionary psychology over the course of an accessible, enjoyable, but less than revelatory primer. The titular social leap occurred when early humans moved from the rainforest to the savannah, largely due to climate change, and faced severe evolutionary pressure to find new survival methods in an unfamiliar habitat. The solution, von Hippel explains, centered on the species becoming more intelligent and more social, as “cooperation and division of labor expanded our capabilities, transitioning us from prey to top predator.” He struggles between ensuring readers understand that genes are not all powerful (“evolutionary psychology is a story about how evolution shaped our genes, which in turn sculpt our minds, but it is not a genetically deterministic story at all”) and driving home just how much control they can exert (“Young men feel millions of years of evolutionary pressure, emanating from their testicles, pushing them toward risk and competition”). Although he does a credible job of discussing many of the field’s standards—the nature of sexual selection, possible origins of theory of mind—he largely covers topics well explored elsewhere without providing new insights. Agent: Lauren Sharp, Aevitas Creative.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2018
        Forget gold toilets and private jets. The key to happiness may just lie in a cheeseburger--or a sandbox.Want to be happy? Hang out with your friends. Do something good for the people around you. Learn something new. By von Hippel's (Psychology/Univ. of Queensland) account, such things all speak to the evolutionary leap our kind made when the African rainforest gave way to savanna and required us to descend from the trees and make our mark on the world upright. Genes "sculpt our minds," notes the author, but they are not strictly deterministic; in the nature/nurture argument, the answer is yes. A combined nature/nurture part of that leap, he adds, were the complex social skills that we developed in order to live successfully in the shadow of the big predators that we've since been busy eradicating. We learned other skills, as well, including the control of fire in order to cook food, which eventually saw a transformation "from our large-jawed, small-brained ancestors to our small-jawed, large-brained selves." One of the consequences of thinking more was to measure ourselves against others, leading to relativistic notions of success and well-being. "It doesn't really matter how smart and attractive I am," writes the author about various criteria in the mating game, "so long as I'm smarter and more attractive than the other available men." Self-confidence helps, too. The evolutionary science stuff seems a little undercooked at times, but the uses von Hippel makes of its resultant human nature yield an engaging book. In that regard, and in the pursuit of happiness, the author urges a program of engagement with community and others that reinforces social bonds, noting that "food, friends, and sexual relationships" are the three sine qua non of quotidian happiness; money isn't a detriment, but neither is it the be-all and end-all that so many self-help gurus hold it to be.Full of insight into human character, von Hippel's book provides a stimulating program for measuring success without material yardsticks.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy
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publisher
HarperCollins
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