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Savanna Principle is a term coined by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa in 2004 for the principle that human behavior remaining to some extent adapted to the ancestral environment of early Homo in the savanna may lead to problems in a modern (Industrial or post-Industrial) environment. Kanazawa uses this disparity to explain "a host of societal difficulties". For example, ancestors who craved sugary and fatty foods lived longer and were healthier than those who didn't, in a time that such things were relatively scarce. Today, the abundance of such temptations leads to obesity and heart disease. Similar scenarios are illustrated with television, sex, and jealousy.
Kanazawa presented this argument in 2004 in the form of a short journal article called "The Savanna principle" and expounded upon it in a 2007 book aimed at a general audience, Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters.
In 2006, Kanazawa used the "Savanna principle" to explain the correlation of health and IQ vs. health and wealth. He argued that IQ is a better predictor for health than wealth or inequality in most regions of the world, except in Sub-Saharan Africa, where health is more strongly correlated to wealth than to IQ, because Sub-Saharan Africa represents an "evolutionary familiar" environment with lesser selection pressure on IQ than elsewhere.
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- Satoshi Kanazawa. "WHY THE LESS INTELLIGENT MAY ENJOY TELEVISION MORE THAN THE MORE ..." (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- Managerial and decision economics 25 (1), 2004, pp. 41–54
- Kanazawa, Satoshi Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters (2007) All, ISBN 978-0-399-53365-5.
- Kanazawa, Satoshi (11 November 2006). "Mind the gap... in intelligence: Re-examining the relationship between inequality and health" (PDF reprint). British Journal of Health Psychology. 11 (4): 623–642. PMID 17032488. doi:10.1348/135910705X69842.