Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Absence of Events to Distinguish True Friends

  • Hillary Ler Lee Lim
  • Amy J. LimEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1581-1



The evolutionary perspective argues that we have evolved to monitor events that would help identify true friends. These events are usually harsh or unfavorable, which are absent in our safer and more stable modern environments.


Friendship confers many adaptive benefits that aid survival and reproduction (Buss 1989; Lewis et al. 2011; Tooby and DeVore 1987), especially in successfully distinguishing between true friends and fair-weather ones. However, with modern environments and tools, it is challenging to discern the different types of friends. This current entry reviews the benefits of friendship and outlines how modern context influences our evolved psychology in identifying true friends.

Benefits of Friendships

Ancestrally, friendships provided humans with benefits that aided survival (Cosmides and Tooby 1992; Lewis et al. 2011; Tooby and DeVore 1987). Being in groups allowed hunters to work...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Murdoch UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Section editors and affiliations

  • Vibeke Ottesen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bioscience, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES)University of OsloOsloNorway