Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Universal human traits: The holy grail of evolutionary psychology

Christopher Ryan a1 and Cacilda Jethá a2
a1 Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Barcelona, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
a2 Serveis de Salut Mental, San Joan de Déu Hospital, 08830 Barcelona, Spain


Although the search for universal human traits is necessarily the principle focus of researchers in evolutionary psychology, the habitual reliance on undergraduate students introduces profound doubts concerning resulting data. Furthermore, the absence of relevant data from foraging societies undermines claims of cross-cultural universality in this paper and in many others.