Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship

David M.G. Lewis, Laith Al-Shawaf, Eric M. Russell, David M. Buss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An evolutionary perspective yields fresh insights into the nature of human friendships and the emotions associated with these relationships. This approach sheds light on how specific types of friendship would have benefitted ancestral humans in the currency of natural selection—reproductive success—as well as in the currency of subjective well-being. This chapter outlines hypothesized ancestral functions of friendship, and discusses why immersion in friendships results in positive emotions such as happiness. We also review the empirical literature on different friendship types, drawing attention to the unique profiles of costs and benefits that characterize each type of friendship. In light of the various fitness-benefits and challenges that these relationships can pose, we propose evolutionarily inspired strategies for individuals to reap the benefits of friendships while simultaneously minimizing the costs they impose. In this way, we hope that an evolutionary approach not only augments our basic scientific understanding of these fundamental social relationships, but also contributes to the practical objective of enhancing friendships and maximizing their happiness yield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFriendship and Happiness
Subtitle of host publicationAcross The Life-Span and Cultures
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages37-57
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789401796033
ISBN (Print)9789401796026
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

Happiness
happiness
friendship
currency
Emotions
emotion
Immersion
costs
fitness
Cost-Benefit Analysis
well-being
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • Cross-sex friendship
  • Evolution
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Friendship
  • Happiness
  • Same-sex friendship
  • Social partner preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Lewis, D. M. G., Al-Shawaf, L., Russell, E. M., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship. In Friendship and Happiness: Across The Life-Span and Cultures (pp. 37-57). Springer Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9603-3_3

Friends and happiness : An evolutionary perspective on friendship. / Lewis, David M.G.; Al-Shawaf, Laith; Russell, Eric M.; Buss, David M.

Friendship and Happiness: Across The Life-Span and Cultures. Springer Netherlands, 2015. p. 37-57.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Lewis, DMG, Al-Shawaf, L, Russell, EM & Buss, DM 2015, Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship. in Friendship and Happiness: Across The Life-Span and Cultures. Springer Netherlands, pp. 37-57. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9603-3_3
Lewis DMG, Al-Shawaf L, Russell EM, Buss DM. Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship. In Friendship and Happiness: Across The Life-Span and Cultures. Springer Netherlands. 2015. p. 37-57 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9603-3_3
Lewis, David M.G. ; Al-Shawaf, Laith ; Russell, Eric M. ; Buss, David M. / Friends and happiness : An evolutionary perspective on friendship. Friendship and Happiness: Across The Life-Span and Cultures. Springer Netherlands, 2015. pp. 37-57
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