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Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated ev-psych or EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that explains many mental traits as adaptations in the sense of evolutionary biology, as a product of natural or sexual selection. This is to bring the functional way of thinking about biological mechanisms, such as the heart or the immune system, into the psychological field, and to approach psychological mechanisms, such as perception or language acquisition, in the same way. Psychology (Gk: psyche, soul or mind + logos, speech) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. ... Image File history File links Human_brain_NIH.jpg NIH image of human brain Source: http://lbc. ... The history of psychology consists of a prescientific and a scientific epoch. ... The basic premise of applied psychology is the use of psychological principles and theories to overcome practical problems in other fields, such as business management, product design, ergonomics, nutrition or clinical medicine. ... Biological psychology is the scientific study of the biological bases of behavior and mental states. ... Clinical psychology is the application of psychology to problematic mental distress in a health and social care context. ... Cognitive psychology is the psychological science that studies cognition, the mental processes that underlie behavior, including thinking, reasoning, decision making, and to some extent motivation and emotion. ... Hans Baldung Grien: The Ages And Death, c. ... Experimental psychology is an approach to psychology that treats it as one of the natural sciences, and therefore assumes that it is susceptible to the experimental method. ... Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. ... Social psychology is often conceived to be the study of how individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others. ... This is a list of important publications in psychology, organized by field. ... link title Headline text --Cknuth7 16:35, 3 April 2006 (UTC) This page aims to list articles related to psychology. ... The eye is an adaptation. ... Evolutionary biology is a subfield of population biology concerned with the origin and descent of species, as well as their change over time, i. ... Natural selection is the process by which individual organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce. ... Illustration from The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin showing the Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus, female on left, ornamented male on right. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Functionalism (philosophy of mind). ... A psychological adaptation, also called an evolved psychological mechanism or EPM, is an aspect of a human or other animals psychology that serves a specific purpose, and was created and selected by evolutionary pressures. ...


Though applicable to any organism with a nervous system, most research in Evolutionary Psychology focuses on humans. Specifically, Evolutionary Psychology most strongly supports the Massive Modularity hypothesis, which proposes that the human brain comprises many functional mechanisms, called psychological adaptations or evolved psychological mechanisms (EPMs), that evolved by natural selection. Uncontroversial examples of EPMs include vision, hearing, memory, and motor control. More controversial examples include language acquisition modules, incest avoidance mechanisms, cheater detection mechanisms, and sex-specific mating preferences, mating strategies, and spatial cognition. Most evolutionary psychologists argue that EPMs are universal in a species, excepting those specific to sex or age. In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a living complex adaptive system of organs that influence each other in such a way that they function as a more or less stable whole. ... The nervous system of an animal coordinates the activity of the muscles, monitors the organs, constructs and also stops input from the senses, and initiates actions. ... A typical phrenology chart depicts the modules of the human mind as compartmentalised physical locations in the brain. ... Comparative brain sizes In animals, the brain, or encephalon (Greek for in the head), is the control center of the central nervous system. ... A psychological adaptation, also called an evolved psychological mechanism or EPM, is an aspect of a human or other animals psychology that serves a specific purpose, and was created and selected by evolutionary pressures. ... Visual perception is one of the senses, consisting of the ability to detect light and interpret (see) it as the perception known as sight or naked eye vision. ... Hearing is one, the auditory, of the traditional five senses, and refers to the ability to detect sound. ... Memory is the ability of the brain to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. ... In vertebrates, motoneurons (also called motor neurons) are efferent neurons that originate in the spinal cord and synapse with muscle fibers to facilitate muscle contraction and with muscle spindles to modify proprioceptive sensitivity. ... Language acquisition is the process by which language develops in humans. ... This article is about the psychological term. ... Named in honour of Peter Cathcart Wason, who first described the task, the Wason selection task is a logical puzzle which is formally equivalent to the following question: You are shown a set of four cards placed on a table each of which has a number on one side and... Look up Sex in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... Look up Sex in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Evolutionary psychology has roots in cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology. It also draws heavily on behavioral ecology, artificial intelligence, genetics, ethology, anthropology, archeology, biology, and zoology. Evolutionary psychology is closely linked to sociobiology, but there are key differences between them including the emphasis on domain-specific rather than domain-general mechanisms, the relevance of measures of current fitness, the importance of mismatch theory, and psychology rather than behaviour. Many evolutionary psychologists, however, argue that the mind consists of both domain-specific and domain-general mechanisms, especially evolutionary developmental psychologists. Most sociobiological research is now conducted in the field of behavioral ecology. Cognitive psychology is the psychological science that studies cognition, the mental processes that underlie behavior, including thinking, reasoning, decision making, and to some extent motivation and emotion. ... Evolutionary biology is a subfield of population biology concerned with the origin and descent of species, as well as their change over time, i. ... Behavioral ecology is the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior, and the roles of behavior in enabling an animal to adapt to its environment (both intrinsic and extrinsic). ... Hondas intelligent humanoid robot AI redirects here. ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior considered as a branch of zoology. ... Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος, human or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ... Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... Biology is the branch of science dealing with the study of life. ... Zoology is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... Sociobiology is a synthesis of scientific disciplines that attempts to explain behaviour in all species by considering the evolutionary advantages of social behaviours. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... Evolutionary developmental psychology, (or EDP), is the application of the basic principles of Darwinian evolution, particularly natural selection, to explain contemporary human development. ... Behavioral ecology is the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior, and the roles of behavior in enabling an animal to adapt to its environment (both intrinsic and extrinsic). ...


The term evolutionary psychology was probably coined by Ghiselin in his 1973 article in Science. Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby popularized the term in their highly influential 1992 book The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and The Generation of Culture. Evolutionary psychology has been applied to the study of many fields, including economics, aggression, law, psychiatry, politics, literature, and sex. Jerome H. Barkow is a Canadian anthropologist at Dalhousie University who has made important contributions to the field of evolutionary psychology. ... Leda Cosmides Leda Cosmides, (born May 7, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American psychologist, who, together with anthropologist husband John Tooby, helped pioneer the field of evolutionary psychology. ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Buyers bargain for good prices while sellers put forth their best front in Chichicastenango Market, Guatemala. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards and make it easier to understand, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The stela of King Hammurabi depicts the god Shamash revealing a code of laws to the king. ... Psychiatry refers to the practice of medicine relating to the mind and behaviour, coming from Greek words meaning healer of the mind. It is a subspecialty of medical practice and is practiced in the United States by people holding the M.D. or D.O. degrees. ... Politics is a process by which decisions are made within groups. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... For other uses, see Reproduction (disambiguation) Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. ...

Contents


General evolutionary theory

Main article: Evolution

The idea that organisms are composed of a number of parts that serve different functions (i.e., living things are, in some sense, machines) goes back at least to Aristotle. This idea is the foundation of modern medicine and biology. William Paley, drawing upon the work of many others, argued that organisms are machines designed to function in particular environments. Paley believed that this evidence of 'design' was evidence for a designer—God. Darwin appears to have been impressed with Paley's argument that organisms are designed for particular environments. The theory of natural selection, created by Darwin and Wallace, provided a scientific account of the origins of functional design in the natural world that did not invoke a supernatural designer. A hypothetical phylogenetic tree of all extant organisms, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence data, showing the evolutionary history of the three domains of life, bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. ... Media:Example. ... William Paley William Paley (July, 1743 - May 25, 1805), English divine, Christian apologist and philosopher, was born at Peterborough, Northamptonshire. ... In his lifetime, Charles Darwin gained international fame as an influential scientist examining controversial topics. ... Natural selection is the process by which individual organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce. ... Alfred Russel Wallace for the Cornish painter see Alfred Wallis Alfred Russel Wallace, OM , FRS (January 8, 1823 – November 7, 1913) was a British naturalist, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. ...


Evolutionary psychology is ultimately rooted in the basic theoretical principles of evolutionary theory. It is sometimes seen not simply as a sub-discipline of psychology but as a way in which evolutionary theory can be used as a meta-theoretical framework within which to examine the entire field of psychology.[citation needed]


Evolutionary theory involves three main ingredients:

  • Variation refers to a state in which there exists a variety of traits within a population.
  • Heritability refers to those traits that can be inherited via reproduction.
  • Selection refers to those heritable traits that remain in, and spread through, a population because those traits increased the reproduction of the organism.

Many traits that are selected for can actually hinder survival of the organism at the same time as they are increasing its reproduction. Consider the classic example of the peacock's tail. It is metabolically costly, cumbersome, and essentially a "predator magnet." What the peacock's tail does do is attract mates. Thus, the type of selective process that is involved here is what Darwin called sexual selection. Sexual selection can be divided into two types: In biology, mutations are changes to the genetic material (usually DNA or RNA). ... Heritability, as used professionally in genetics, has a very precise definition. ... Selection is hierachically classified into natural and artificial selection. ... Illustration from The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin showing the Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus, female on left, ornamented male on right. ...

  • Intersexual selection, which refers to the traits that one sex generally prefers in the other sex, (e.g. the peacock's tail).
  • Intrasexual competition, which refers to the competition among members of the same sex for mating access to the opposite sex, (e.g. two stags locking antlers).

Ultimately, no matter how much an organism reproduces, that organism dies, and it is genetic information that gets passed on from one generation to the next. Since it is genetic information that matters, there can also be selection pressures that favor an organism aiding in the reproduction of its genetic relatives, since they carry some of the organism's genes. Such pressures are called kin selection. Illustration from The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin showing the Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus, female on left, ornamented male on right. ... Illustration from The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin showing the Tufted Coquette Lophornis ornatus, female on left, ornamented male on right. ... Kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals. ...


Inclusive fitness

Inclusive fitness theory, which was proposed by William D. Hamilton in 1964 as a revision to evolutionary theory, is basically a combination of natural selection, sexual selection, and kin selection. It refers to the sum of an individual's own reproductive success plus the effects the individual's actions have on the reproductive success of their genetic relatives. General evolutionary theory, in its modern form, is essentially inclusive fitness theory. Inclusive fitness encompasses conventional Darwinian fitness with the addition of behaviors that contribute to an organism’s individual fitness through altruism. ... This article is about the British biologist Bill Hamilton. ...


Inclusive fitness theory resolved the issue of how "altruism" evolved. The dominant, pre-Hamiltonian view was that altruism evolved via group selection: the notion that altruism evolved for the benefit of the group. The problem with this was that if one organism in a group incurred any fitness costs on itself for the benefit of others in the group, (i.e. acted "altruistically"), then that organism would reduce its own ability to survive and/or reproduce, therefore reducing its chances of passing on its altruistic traits. Furthermore, the organism that benefitted from that altruistic act and only acted on behalf of its own fitness would increase its own chance of survival and/or reproduction, thus increasing its chances of passing on its "selfish" traits. Inclusive fitness resolved "the problem of altruism" by demonstrating that altruism can evolve via kin selection as expressed in Hamilton's rule: In evolutionary biology, group selection refers to the idea that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups, regardless of the fitness of individuals within that group. ... Kin Selection is the phrase used to refer to changes in gene frequency driven by natural selection that can only be understood by looking at how biological relatives influence the fitness of each other. ...

cost < relatedness × benefit

In other words, altruism can evolve as long as the fitness cost of the altruistic act on the part of the actor is less than the degree of genetic relatedness of the recipient times the fitness benefit to that recipient. This perspective reflects what is referred to as the gene-centered view of evolution and demonstrates that group selection is a very weak selective force. However, in recent years group selection has been making a comeback, (albeit a controversial one), as multilevel selection, which posits that evolution can act on many levels of functional organization, (including the "group" level), and not just the "gene" level. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In evolutionary biology, group selection refers to the idea that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups, regardless of the fitness of individuals within that group. ...


Middle-level evolutionary theories

Middle-level evolutionary theories are theories that encompass broad domains of functioning. They are compatible with general evolutionary theory but not derived from it. Furthermore, they are applicable across species. During the early 1970's, three very important middle-level evolutionary theories were contributed by then Harvard graduate student, Robert Trivers: Robert L. Trivers, (born 19 February 1943) is an American evolutionary biologist and sociobiologist, most noted for proposing the theories of reciprocal altruism (1971), parental investment (1972), and parent-offspring conflict (1974). ...

  • The theory of reciprocal altruism demonstrates that altruism can arise amongst non-kin, as long as the recipient of the altruistic act reciprocates at a later date.
  • Parental investment theory refers to the different levels of investment in offspring on the part of each sex. For example, females in any species are defined as the sex with the larger gamete. In humans, females produce approximately one large, metabolically costly egg per month, as opposed to the millions of relatively tiny and metabolically cheap sperm that are produced each day by males. Females are fertile for only a few days each month, while males are fertile every day of the month. Females also have a nine month gestation period, followed by a few years of lactation. Males' obligatory biological investment can be achieved with one copulatory act. Consequently, females in our species have a significantly higher obligatory investment in offspring than males do. (In some species, the opposite is true.) Because of this difference in parental investment between males and females, the sexes face different adaptive problems in the domains of mating and parenting. Therefore, it is predicted that the higher investing sex will be more selective in mating, and the lesser investing sex will be more competitive for access to mates. Thus, differences in behaviour between sexes is predicted to exist not because of maleness or femaleness per se, but because of different levels of parental investment.
  • The theory of parent-offspring conflict rests on the fact that even though a parent and his/her offspring are 50% genetically related, they are also 50% genetically different. All things being equal, a parent would want to allocate their resources equally amongst their offspring, while each offspring may want a little more for themselves. Furthermore, an offspring may want a little more resources from the parent than the parent is willing to give. In essence, parent-offspring conflict refers to a conflict of adaptive interests between parent and offspring.

However, if all things are not equal, a parent may engage in discriminative investment towards one sex or the other, depending on the parent's condition. Recall that females are the heavier parental investors in our species. Because of that, females have a better chance of reproducing at least once in comparison to males. Thus, according to the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, parents in good condition are predicted to favor investment in sons, and parents in poor condition are predicted to favor investment in daughters. In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... Robert Trivers theory of parental investment predicts that the sex making the largest investment in lactation, nurturing and protecting offspring will be more discriminating in mating and that the sex that invests less in offspring will compete for access to the higher investing sex. ... Robert Trivers theory of parent-offspring conflict (1974) predicts that because the genetic interests of parents and offspring are not identical, offspring will be selected to manipulate their parents in order to ensure higher investment, and that, conversely, parents will be selected to manipulate their offspring. ... In evolutionary biology, the Trivers-Willard hypothesis proposes that parents should invest more in the sex that gives them the greatest reproductive payoff (grandchildren) with increasing or marginal investment. ...


Products of the evolutionary process

There are three products of the evolutionary process:

  • Adaptations are heritable, species-typical traits that, (in terms of fitness costs), are "cost efficient" and function to solve problems related to one's inclusive fitness. An example would be the umbilical cord.
  • A by-product is a trait that has no adaptive value but is carried along by an adaptive trait. An example would be a belly button.
  • Noise refers to random effects resulting from chance variation in the genes, environment, or development. An example would be the shape of a belly button.

The eye is an adaptation. ... A spandrel is originally a term from Architecture, but has more recently been given an analogous meaning in Evolutionary biology. ...

Adaptive problems

Evolutionary psychologists attempt to identify the adaptive problems that humans face... that is, those problems that correlate with humans' survival and reproduction, (i.e., humans' inclusive fitness). These problems can be broadly categorized as problems of survival, (i.e., growth, development, differentiation, and maintenance), mating, parenting, kin, non-kin, and group-living. Adaptive problems also include those dealing with cooperation, competition, and conflict. Adaptive problems that have occurred consistently over evolutionary history are recurrent adaptive problems, while those that have not are novel adaptive problems.


Evolved psychological mechanisms: the core of evolutionary psychology

Main article: Evolved psychological mechanisms

Evolutionary psychology is based on the belief that, just like hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys, and immune systems, cognition has functional structure that has a genetic basis, and therefore has evolved by natural selection. Like other organs and tissues, this functional structure should be universally shared amongst a species, and should solve important problems of survival and reproduction. Evolutionary psychologists seek to understand psychological mechanisms by understanding the survival and reproductive functions they might have served over the course of evolutionary history. A psychological adaptation, also called an evolved psychological mechanism or EPM, is an aspect of a human or other animals psychology that serves a specific purpose, and was created and selected by evolutionary pressures. ... For other uses, see Reproduction (disambiguation) Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. ... A psychological adaptation, also called an evolved psychological mechanism or EPM, is an aspect of a human or other animals psychology that serves a specific purpose, and was created and selected by evolutionary pressures. ...


Evolutionary psychologists subdivide the concept of psychological mechanisms into two general categories:

  • Domain-specific mechanisms, which deal with recurrent adaptive problems over the course of human evolutionary history
  • Domain-general mechanisms, which deal with evolutionary novelty

The Environment of evolutionary adaptedness

The term environment of evolutionary adaptedness, often abbreviated EEA, was coined by John Bowlby within attachment theory. It refers to the environment in which an organism or mechanism evolved, adapting to interact with its surroundings. In the environment in which ducks evolved, the first moving being that a duckling was likely to see was its mother. A psychological mechanism that evolved to form an attachment to the first moving being would therefore properly function to form an attachment to the mother. In novel environments, however, the mechanism can malfunction by forming an attachment to a dog or human instead. John Bowlby (1907 - 1990) was a British developmental psychologist in the psychoanalytic tradition, notable for his pioneering work in attachment theory. ... Attachment theory is a theory (or group of theories) about the psychological concept of attachment: the tendency to seek closeness to another person and feel secure when that person is present. ...


For modern man, this environment is the Pleistocene, in where a significant part of human evolution was spent in hunter–gatherer societies. Evolutionary psychology predicts that human psychology is adapted to the Pleistocene EEA, and therefore will exhibit “mismatches” similar to the attachment patterns of ducks. One example is the fact that although cars kill over 40,000 people in US annually, whereas spiders and snakes kill only a handful, people nonetheless much more readily learn fear of spiders and snakes than they do fear of cars, guns, electric outlets, and other novel dangers. An explanation is that spiders and snakes were a threat to human ancestors, whereas cars were not. There is thus a mismatch between our evolved fear learning psychology and the modern environment. In contrast, an explanation that does not appeal to EEA is that encounters between humans and snakes result in harm to humans much more often than do encounters between humans and cars. The Pleistocene epoch (pronounced like ply-stow-seen) is part of the geologic timescale. ... Human evolution is the part of the theory of evolution by which human beings emerged as a distinct species. ... A hunter-gatherer society is in anthropological terms one whose predominant method of subsistence involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild, using foraging and hunting, without significant recourse to the domestication of either. ...


Evolutionary psychology argues that in order to understand an evolved psychological mechanism, one must similarly understand the properties of the environment in which the psychological mechanism evolved. For another example, the fact that women got pregnant and men did not is an essential aspect of the EEA of human mating preferences.


Controversies

Animal behavior studies have long recognized the role of evolution; the application of evolutionary theory to human psychology, however, is controversial. There are many families of criticism of the idea. Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviour (particularly of social animals such as primates and canids), and is a branch of zoology. ...


How knowable is the early environment (EEA)?

Some critics of evolutionary psychology claim that because little is known about the Pleistocene, the evolutionary context in which humans developed (including population size, structure, lifestyle, eating habits, habitat, and more), there is little basis on which evolutionary psychology may operate. Most EP research is thus confined to certainties about the past, such as pregnancies only occurring in women, and that humans lived in groups. The Pleistocene epoch (pronounced like ply-stow-seen) is part of the geologic timescale. ... Habitat (from the Latin for it inhabits) is the place where a particular species lives and grows. ...


Many evolutionary psychologists argue that this criticism is based on a misunderstanding. Evolutionary psychologists argue that they use knowledge of the environment of evolutionary adaptedness to generate hypotheses regarding possible psychological adaptations, and subsequently, these hypotheses can be tested and evaluated against the empirical evidence in just the same way that any other hypothesis generated from any other theoretical perspective can be assessed. A hypothesis (= assumption in ancient Greek) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. ...


Furthermore, evolutionary psychologists posit that there are many environmental features that we can be sure played a part in our species' evolutionary history. They argue that our hunter-gatherer ancestors most certainly dealt with predators and prey, food acquisition and sharing, mate choice, child rearing, interpersonal aggression, interpersonal assistance, diseases and a host of other fairly predictable challenges that constituted significant selection pressures.[1] In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... Foraging just means looking for food (or, metaphorically, anything else). ...


There also exists debate within evolutionary psychology about the nature of the EEA. Many evolutionary psychologists contend that many aspects of the EEA were not as consistent as other evolutionary psychologists would argue. This argument is used to support the notion that the mind consists of not only domain-specific psychological mechanisms but of domain-general ones as well, that deal with environmental novelty.


Too many alternative hypotheses

Critics claim that many valid hypotheses, including contradictory ones, can be drawn from the same evolutionary principles. Evolutionary psychology can predict many, or even all, behaviours for a given situation, including contradictory ones. Therefore many human behaviours will always fit some hypotheses. The central paradigm of evolutionary psychology is impossible to prove, and the predicting power of evolutionary psychology is doubtful. For example, kin selection predicts that humans will be altruistic toward relatives in proportion to their relatedness, while reciprocal altruism predicts that we will be altruistic toward people from whom we can expect altruism in the future (not strangers). However, altruism towards a complete stranger fits the handicap principle. Thus altruism toward every class of person fits some well-known hypothesis. This doesn't seem to give us any way to predict how a human will act in a given situation. Kin selection refers to changes in gene frequency across generations that are driven at least in part by interactions between related individuals. ... In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... The handicap principle is an idea proposed by the Israeli biologist Amotz Zahavi. ...


Evolutionary psychologists respond that their discipline is not primarily concerned with explaining the behavior of specific individuals, but rather broad categories of human behaviors across societies and cultures. It is the search for species-wide trends in behavior that distinguishes evolutionary psychology from cultural or social explanations. Thus hypotheses will attempt to explain contradictory human behavior because human behavior is often contradictory.


Falsifiability

Critics claim that many of the propositions of evolutionary psychology are not falsifiable. It is not possible to conduct definitive experiments on humans on an evolutionary timescale. In science and the philosophy of science, falsifiability, contingency, and defeasibility are roughly equivalent terms referring to the property of empirical statements that they must admit of logical counterexamples. ...


The methods that evolutionary psychologists actually use for testing include comparing different species, comparing males and females, comparing individuals within a species and comparing the same individuals in different contexts. Their sources of data for testing evolutionary hypotheses include archeological records, data from hunter-gatherer societies, observations, self-reports, life-history data and public records, and human products. Source: Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind by David Buss. David Buss is a professor of psychology at University of Texas, Austin. ...


Biology versus environment

Some studies have been criticized for their tendency to attribute to evolutionary processes elements of human cognition that may be attributable to social processes (e.g. preference for particular physical features in mates).


Evolutionary psychologists respond that many traits have been shown to be universal in humans and that social processes are related to evolutionary processes. They argue that statements such as "biology vs. environment" and "genes vs. culture" amount to false dichotomies. Evolutionary psychologists justify this claim by arguing that behavior results from an organism interacting with its environment. Psychological mechanisms, they argue, are created by genes, (which, in turn, were selected for by the evolutionary process), and those mechanisms help the organism negotiate its environment. Furthermore, they assert that many aspects of the environment, (e.g. culture and social institutions), are rested upon those mechanisms. In short, evolutionary psychologists argue that there is a bidirectional influence between things like "biology and environment" and "cognition and social processes." The logical fallacy of false dilemma, also known as fallacy of the excluded middle, false dichotomy, either/or dilemma or bifurcation, is to set up two alternative points of view as if they were the only options, when they are not. ...


Reductionism

Some opponents of evolutionary psychology maintain that elements of human behavior are irreducible to their component parts. On the other hand, it is quite possible that a study of the component parts can lead to new insights about how they function as part of an integrated whole. Irreducibility, in philosophy, has the sense that a complete account of an entity will not be possible at lower levels of explanation. ...


Ethical justification

Some people worry that evolutionary psychology will be used to justify harmful behavior, and have at times tried to suppress its study [citation needed]. For example, people may be more likely to cheat on their spouse if they believe their mind evolved to be that way.


Evolutionary psychologists respond by saying that they only state what is, not what ought to be. Knowing how something works, they argue, is the first step to fixing it if it's broken, or changing how it works (if we should or not is an argument commonly left to philosophers). They further suggest that if people understand the system that "makes" them promiscuous--not for their happiness, not because it is right or moral, but because of the blind causal process of natural selection--they can become better consumers of their own consciousness, and other people may be able to use this understanding to intervene and change their behaviour. A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. ...


See: naturalistic fallacy George Edward Moore The naturalistic fallacy is an alleged logical fallacy, delineated by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his seminal Principia Ethica (1903). ...


Empirical evidence

Some commentators, like philosopher David Buller, agree with the general argument that the human mind has evolved over time but disagree with the specific claims evolutionary psychologists make. Buller has argued, among other things, that the so-called Cinderella Effect, the argument that there are gender differences with respect to sexual jealousy and the contention that the mind consists of thousands of modules, are unsupported by the available empirical evidence. [1] This page may meet Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ...


An alternative to the "mental module" view of how human minds evolved is offered by cognitive psychologist Merlin Donald. He argues that over evolutionary time the mind has gained adaptive advantage from a general problem solver. Donald articulates this view in his book "A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness" [2].


Another criticism regarding empirical evidence is low number of multi-cultural proofs. Many empirical studies come from a single culture. It is unknown if discoveries hold across all cultures. --evo 05:15, 7 July 2006 (UTC)


Lack of genetic evidence

There is no direct evidence of genetic basis of human behaviors like altruism, maternal care, mate selection etc.. There are no genes identified, no mutants, no inheritance patterns, no gene polymorphism matching behavioral differences. This cannot be attributed to difficulty in studying, as genetic base of many extremely rare diseases was found. If the supposed behaviors are polygenic, this raises doubt on how they could be effectively subject to directional selection. Genetic basis is the cornerstone to propose evolutionary origin of human behavior. This stylistic schematic diagram shows a gene in relation to the double helix structure of DNA and to a chromosome (right). ... This article is concerns biological mutants; for fictional aspects see Mutant (fictional) A mutant is an individual, organism, or new genetic character arising or resulting from an instance of mutation, which is a sudden structural change within the DNA of a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Image gallery

References

  • Barkow, Jerome; Cosmides, Leda; Tooby, John (1992) The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and The Generation of Culture ISBN 0-19-510107-3.
  • Buss, David, ed. (2005) The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. ISBN 0471264032.
  • Buss, D.M. (2004). Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
  • Ghiselin, Michael T. (1973). Darwin and Evolutionary Psychology. Science 179: 964-968.
  • Wright, Robert (1995). The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology. ISBN 0679763996.
  • Feinberg DR , Jones BC , Law Smith MJ, Moore FR, DeBruine LM, Cornwell RE, Hillier SG, Perrett DI . (2006) Menstrual cycle, trait estrogen level, and masculinity preferences in the human voice. Hormones and Behavior.49, 215-222.
  • Feinberg DR, Jones BC, DeBruine LM, Moore FR, Law Smith MJ, Cornwell RE, Tiddeman BP, Perrett DI. (2005) The voice and face of woman: one ornament that signals quality? Evolution and Human Behavior. 26, 5, 398-408.
  • Feinberg DR, Jones BC , Little AC, Burt DM & Perrett DI. (2005) Manipulations of fundamental and formant frequencies influence the attractiveness of human male voices. Animal Behaviour 69, 561-568.

See also

Behavioural genetics is the field of biology that studies the role of genetics in animal behaviour. ... Dual inheritance theory, (or DIT), in sharp contrast to the notion that culture overrides biology, posits that humans are products of the interaction between biological evolution and cultural evolution. ... Evolutionary developmental psychology, (or EDP), is the application of the basic principles of Darwinian evolution, particularly natural selection, to explain contemporary human development. ... Evolutionary educational psychology is the study of the relation between inherent folk knowledge and abilities and accompanying inferential and attributional biases as these influence academic learning in evolutionarily novel cultural contexts, such as schools and the industrial workplace. ... Philosophy of psychology typically refers to a set of issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. ... Human behavioral ecology (HBE) or human evolutionary ecology applies the principles of evolutionary theory and optimization to the study of human behavioral and cultural diversity. ... Psychoanalytic theory is a general term for approaches to psychoanalysis which attempt to provide a conceptual framework more-or-less independent of clinical practice rather than based on empirical analysis of clinical cases. ... The following is a list of evolutionary psychologists or prominent contributors to the field of evolutionary psychology. ... . ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...

External links

Introductory Reading:

Evolutionary Psychology Societies and Centres:

Evolutionary Psychology Journals:

Papers and reasearch concerning Evolutionary Psychology: Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a process of subjecting an authors scholarly work or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the field. ...

Evolutionary Psychology challenged: Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954, in Montreal, Canada) is a prominent American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging defence of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... Jennifer Mundale Ph. ... William Bechtel is a professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and the Science Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego. ... David Buss is a professor of psychology at University of Texas, Austin. ... Leda Cosmides Leda Cosmides, (born May 7, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American psychologist, who, together with anthropologist husband John Tooby, helped pioneer the field of evolutionary psychology. ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Martin Daly is a Professor of Psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and author of several papers on evolutionary psychology. ... Margo Wilson is Professor of Psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. ... David C. Geary received his Ph. ...

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