Evolutionary psychology

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in psychology that examines cognition and behavior from a modern evolutionary perspective.[1][2] It seeks to identify human psychological adaptations with regards to the ancestral problems they evolved to solve. In this framework, psychological traits and mechanisms are either functional products of natural and sexual selection or non-adaptive by-products of other adaptive traits.[3][4]

Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and the liver, is common in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary psychologists apply the same thinking in psychology, arguing that just as the heart evolved to pump blood, and the liver evolved to detoxify poisons, there is modularity of mind in that different psychological mechanisms evolved to solve different adaptive problems.[5] These evolutionary psychologists argue that much of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments.[6]

Some evolutionary psychologists argue that evolutionary theory can provide a foundational, metatheoretical framework that integrates the entire field of psychology in the same way evolutionary biology has for biology.[5][7][8]

Evolutionary psychologists hold that behaviors or traits that occur universally in all cultures are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations,[9] including the abilities to infer others' emotions, discern kin from non-kin, identify and prefer healthier mates, and cooperate with others. Findings have been made regarding human social behaviour related to infanticide, intelligence, marriage patterns, promiscuity, perception of beauty, bride price, and parental investment. The theories and findings of evolutionary psychology have applications in many fields, including economics, environment, health, law, management, psychiatry, politics, and literature.[10][11]

Criticism of evolutionary psychology involves questions of testability, cognitive and evolutionary assumptions (such as modular functioning of the brain, and large uncertainty about the ancestral environment), importance of non-genetic and non-adaptive explanations, as well as political and ethical issues due to interpretations of research results. Evolutionary psychologists frequently engage with and respond to such criticisms.[12][13][14]

  1. ^ Schacter, Daniel L.; Gilbert, Daniel T.; Wegner, Daniel M. (2010). Psychology. Macmillan. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-4292-3719-2.
  2. ^ Longe, Jacqueline L. (11 May 2016). The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology (3rd ed.). Gale Research Incorporated. pp. 386–388. ISBN 978-1-4144-1204-7. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  3. ^ Buss, David M. (2019). Evolutionary psychology : the new science of the mind (6th ed.). New York: Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-138-08818-4. OCLC 1084632387.
  4. ^ Tooby, John; Cosmides, Leda (1 July 1990). "The past explains the present: Emotional adaptations and the structure of ancestral environments". Ethology and Sociobiology. 11 (4): 375–424. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(90)90017-Z. ISSN 0162-3095. S2CID 16405663.
  5. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Cosmides was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Confer et al. 2010; Buss, 2005; Durrant & Ellis, 2003; Pinker, 2002; Tooby & Cosmides, 2005
  7. ^ Duntley and Buss 2008
  8. ^ Carmen, R.A., et al. (2013). Evolution Integrated Across All Islands of the Human Behavioral Archipelago: All Psychology as Evolutionary Psychology. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 5, pp. 108–26. ISSN 1944-1932 PDF
  9. ^ Schacter et al. 2007, pp. 26–27
  10. ^ The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Edited by Robin Dunbar and Louise Barret, Oxford University Press, 2007
  11. ^ The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, edited by David M. Buss, John Wiley & Sons, 2005
  12. ^ "Evolutionary Psychology: Predictively Powerful or Riddled with Just-So Stories?". Areo. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  13. ^ ""Yes, but…" Answers to Ten Common Criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology - This View Of Life". 13 April 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  14. ^ "Center for Evolutionary Psychology - The Critical Eye". www.cep.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 23 December 2022.

Powered by 654 easy search