Mark Devon, the author:
I began thinking about emotions while studying evolutionary theory at Harvard University.
Learning that adaptations do not evolve unless they help survival, I reasoned that each emotion must have a purpose that helped survival. If I could identify an emotion’s trigger, I could also identify its purpose.
Applying that thought to each emotion, I wrote The Origin of Emotions. [Available as a free PDF download. Or you can purchase a hardcopy for ease of reading.]
The following are excerpts from the book:
‘Maternal love stops when a child is 33 months old. Mothers maximize their reproduction by focusing on the next child when the current child can feed itself. By 33 months, children can feed themselves if food is available. They can walk and their first set of teeth have completed eruption.’
‘Men only love a woman for 42 months, which covers 9 months of gestation and 33 months of post-natal care. Both sexes maximize reproduction by starting a new reproductive cycle with a new partner when a child can feed itself.’
‘Revenge encourages victims of rule breaking to always retaliate, whether it helps them or not. The more victims retaliate, the fewer rule breakers there are. The fewer rule breakers there are, the more efficient a group is.’
‘Pride is triggered by higher rank, not high rank. Rookies feel pride, but veteran all-stars do not. Recent nursing graduates feel pride, but doctors nearing retirement do not.’
‘Humiliation is triggered by lower rank, not low rank. The only criminals who feel humiliation are first-time offenders. Every CEO feels humiliation when they retire.’
‘You feel affection when you see or hear features that separate humans from other primates, such as the sight of white eyes or the sound of talking.’
‘When you maximize your happiness, you do what is best for the species.’