David M. Buss
is a professor of psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...
at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...
, known for his evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...
research on human sex differences
A sex difference is a distinction of biological and/or physiological characteristics associated with either males or females of a species. These can be of several types, including direct and indirect. Direct being the direct result of differences prescribed by the Y-chromosome, and indirect being...
in mate selection.
Buss earned his Ph.D. in psychology at University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...
in 1981. Before becoming a professor at The University of Texas, he was assistant professor for four years at Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...
, and he was a professor at the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...
for eleven years.
The primary topics of his research include mating strategies, conflict between the sexes, status
In sociology or anthropology, social status is the honor or prestige attached to one's position in society . It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, for example son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc....
, social reputation, prestige, the emotion of jealousy
Jealousy is a second emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions...
Homicide refers to the act of a human killing another human. Murder, for example, is a type of homicide. It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English...
, anti-homicide defenses, and most recently stalking
Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted and obsessive attention by an individual or group to another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person and/or monitoring them via the internet...
. All of these are approached from an evolutionary perspective. Buss is the author of more than 200 scientific articles and has won many awards. Some of these awards include American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...
(APA) Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology
in 1988 and APA G. Stanley Hall Lectureship
Buss is the author of a number of publications and books, including The Evolution of Desire
, The Dangerous Passion
, and The Murderer Next Door
, which introduces a new theory of homicide from an evolutionary perspective. He is also the author of Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind
which is currently in its third edition and was released in 2007. In 2005, Buss edited a definitive reference volume, The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
. His latest book is entitled Why Women Have Sex
, coauthored with Cindy Meston.
Buss is involved with extensive cross-cultural research collaborations and lectures within the U.S.
Act Frequency Approach
In science, it has proven to be very difficult, if not impossible, to find exact definitions for concepts of layman psychology, by either stating the conditions that constitute a certain personality trait
In psychology, Trait theory is a major approach to the study of human personality. Trait theorists are primarily interested in the measurement of traits, which can be defined as habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion. According to this perspective, traits are relatively stable over...
, or by exhaustively listing all
the acts that identify a bearer of that trait. What exactly
defines an individual as "creative", "humorous", or "ambitious"? Equally difficult is the measurement of how strongly a trait is pronounced in an individual. As a solution, Buss and K. H. Craik (1980) proposed to introduce prototype theory
Prototype theory is a mode of graded categorization in cognitive science, where some members of a category are more central than others. For example, when asked to give an example of the concept furniture, chair is more frequently...
into personality psychology
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. Its areas of focus include:* Constructing a coherent picture of the individual and his or her major psychological processes...
First, a group of people is asked to list acts that a person bearing the trait in question would show. Next, a different group of people is asked to name from that list those acts that are most typical for the trait. Then the measurement is conducted by counting the number of times (within a given period of time), a proband
Proband, or propositus, is a term used most often in medical genetics and other medical fields to denote a particular subject being studied or reported on. On pedigrees, the proband is noted with an arrow and the box or circle shaded accordingly...
performs the typical acts.
- Buss, D.M., "The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies Of Human Mating". Basic Books, 1995. - ISBN 978-0465021437
- Buss, D.M., "Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is As Necessary As Love and Sex". Diane Pub Co, 2000. -ISBN 978-0756765484
- Buss, D.M., "The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology". Wiley, 2005. -ISBN 978-0471264033
- Buss, D.M., "The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind Is Designed to Kill". Penguin, 2006. -ISBN 978-0143037057
- Meston, C.M. and Buss, D.M., "Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations from Adventure to Revenge". Times Books, 2009. -ISBN-10 0805088342
- Buss, D.M., "The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy is Necessary in Love and Sex". Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2001. -ISBN 978-0747553601
- Buss, D.M. and Malamuth, N., "Sex, Power, Conflict: Evolutionary and Feminist Perspectives". Oxford University Press, USA, 1996. -ISBN 978-0195103571