E-S-P may provide a welcome direction for social psychology which, as pointed out in the chapter on kinship, has been predominantly interested in the interactions of college sophomores. Simpson & Kendrick give us 13 chapters, some of which map new territories to explore for the next several decades.
There's an obligatory introduction to evolutionary psych, one that follows the Santa Barbara model closely and is perhaps for the social psychologists who are open to something new. There are several chapters on deception as a function of pair-bonding, friends, and coalitions. There is remixing of information on mating attraction and on bonding in 5 chapters, a wonderful chapter on kinship and social relations, and two chapters that resurrect the notion of group selection.
Chapters I really liked:
Zeifman & Hazan ("Attachment: the Bond in Pair-Bonds") appear to accept the possibility that imprinting and pair bonding may be the same mechanism and do a convincing job of fitting Bowlby's extensive work into a sociobiology/evolutionary psychology framework. They even cite material that use K/r-selection to describe child rearing strategies. K-selection describes the maintenance of a stable environment, high investment in children, stable pair relationships, and relatively fewer children. The other pole, r-selection, applies to individuals with more partnerships, less attention to each child, and possibly production of more children.
Both Zeifman & Hazan as well as Miller & Fishkin (On the Dynamics of Human Bonding and Reproductive Success; Seeking Windows on the Adapted-for Human-Environmental Interface) posit low variability in human mechanisms for mating and rearing children except when such have been "damaged" by parental neglect. There is an assumption that children have intact tools for managing mom; aberrant moms produce aberrant children. This assumption may not always be valid as shown by clinical research that identifies "difficult children," those who do not cling, hug, eat, or sleep in a reasonable manner and who, apparently because of they do not reinforce their mothers, then elicit maternal depression and withdrawal. (This sensitive issue is covered well by Janet Mann, "Nurturance or Negligence: Maternal Psychology and Behavioral Preference Among Preterm Twins" (In Barkow, et al., Adapted Mind, 1992, NY: Oxford, pp. 367-390.) The unexplored, ignored possibility is that "dysfunctional people" have children who are more likely to be dysfunctional regardless of parental techniques. Certainly, bipolar children often advertise themselves early; manic adults are quite likely to display r-selection traits both in child care and most other aspects of their lives.
Daly, Salmon, & Wilson ("Kinship: The Conceptual Hole in Psychological Studies of Social Cognition and Close Relationships," pp. 265-296) identify a major flaw in social psych, that of ignoring kin interactions until very recently. They have the multiple gift to outline a major field of important, neglected research within an established discipline and then use a newer set of concepts from SB/EP to give it some structure and make some predictions. This is equivalent to catching the ball on their own 3 yard line and running 97 yards, unopposed for a touchdown in the superbowl playoffs. This chapter could have fit well in the "Adapted Mind."
Erlbaum has another text recently available, Crawford C & Krebs D (Eds) Evolution and human behavior: Ideas, issues, & applications.