The evolution of unconscious social cognition and communication

David Livingstone Smith



Contemporary evolutionary theory states that those genes that enhance their own reproductive success spread through populations. Amongst sexually reproducing taxa, genes proliferate by (a) building organisms that survive at least to reproductive age and (b) are sufficiently attractive to the opposite sex to have mating opportunities. Features or ‘characters’ of organisms that contribute to (a) and (b) are described as ‘fitness enhancing’ or ‘adaptive’.


unconscious cognition; social cognition; communication; deception; unconscious reading;

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