Not available in 2022/23
MG228      Half Unit
Managing the Stone-Age Brain

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Satoshi Kanazawa MAR.6.15


This course is available on the BSc in Management, International Exchange (1 Term) and International Exchange (Full Year). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course is not capped, any student that requests a place will be given one.

Course content

The course will introduce Management students to the new science of evolutionary psychology and explore the biological and evolutionary foundations of human behaviour. In the first few weeks, various critiques of and competing perspectives on evolutionary psychology, with regard especially to the relative importance of biological/evolutionary vs. social/cultural determinants of human behaviour and its sex differences will be discussed and debated. In later weeks, an evolutionary perspective will be applied to various topics in management such as organizational behaviour, occupational choice, productivity, and status hierarchy. The study of business and management is currently dominated by economic perspectives, supplemented by sociological and social psychological perspectives, in American business schools. The course will provide a necessary corrective to the dominance of economics perspectives in the study of business and management by providing biological and evolutionary perspectives and thereby throwing a new light on the old problems (and finding potential solutions for them) in organizations and organizational behaviour. The course will provide evolutionary and biological perspectives on management and organizational behaviour. It will introduce the students to the following topics: Principles of evolution; Principles of evolutionary psychology; Sex differences in preferences, values, cognition, emotions, and behaviour; Physical attractiveness; General intelligence; Evolutionary constraints on human behaviour and their relevance to organizational behaviour.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Teaching hours in the LT will be commensurate with a usual half unit undergraduate course.

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Each student will give a class presentation on the week’s readings and their presentation will be evaluated by the course instructor and the feedback will be given to the student within one week.

Indicative reading

Buller, David J. 2005. Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature. Cambridge: MIT Press. [The most comprehensive book-length critique of modern evolutionary psychology to date]

Saad, Gad. (Editor.) 2011. Evolutionary Psychology in the Business Sciences. New York: Springer.

Nicholson, Nigel. 2000. Managing the Human Animal. New York: Thompson Texere.

Miller, Geoffrey. 2009. Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. New York: Viking.

Miller, Alan S. and Satoshi Kanazawa. 2007. Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters. New York: Penguin.

Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2012. The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One. New York: Wiley.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills