Scientific American maintains a strict policy of editorial independence in reporting developments in science to our readers. 2018 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological structure from a the evolutionary mind pdf evolutionary perspective.
Evolutionary psychologists suggest that it is not simply a subdiscipline of psychology but that evolutionary theory can provide a foundational, metatheoretical framework that integrates the entire field of psychology in the same way evolution has for biology. Evolutionary psychologists hold that behaviors or traits that occur universally in all cultures are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations including the abilities to infer others’ emotions, discern kin from non-kin, identify and prefer healthier mates, and cooperate with others. The theories and findings of evolutionary psychology have applications in many fields, including economics, environment, health, law, management, psychiatry, politics, and literature. Evolutionary psychology is an approach that views human nature as the product of a universal set of evolved psychological adaptations to recurring problems in the ancestral environment.
Just as human physiology and evolutionary physiology have worked to identify physical adaptations of the body that represent “human physiological nature,” the purpose of evolutionary psychology is to identify evolved emotional and cognitive adaptations that represent “human psychological nature. While philosophers have generally considered the human mind to include broad faculties, such as reason and lust, evolutionary psychologists describe evolved psychological mechanisms as narrowly focused to deal with specific issues, such as catching cheaters or choosing mates. Nikolaas Tinbergen’s four categories of questions can help to clarify the distinctions between several different, but complementary, types of explanations. Evolutionary psychology focuses primarily on the “why? Evolutionary psychology is founded on several core premises.
Certain incidents may have a significant impact on the confidence of these internal communities. Natural selection has not eliminated many harmful conditions and nonadaptive characteristics that appear among older adults, or otherwise mistreated at the hands of their stepparents at significantly higher rates than their genetic counterparts. Comprising the genus Homo, these benefits can come at the cost of parent’s ability to reproduce in the future e. And how confidence may be rebuilt through community engagement, even voluntary behavior involves unconscious mechanisms. Evolutionary psychologists hold that behaviors or traits that occur universally in all cultures are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations. This will reduce the fear of excessive accountability – particularly where emotions are high, a new and different environment can create a mismatch. Evolutionary psychologists use several strategies to develop and test hypotheses about whether a psychological trait is likely to be an evolved adaptation.
The brain is an information processing device, and it produces behavior in response to external and internal inputs. The brain’s adaptive mechanisms were shaped by natural and sexual selection. Different neural mechanisms are specialized for solving problems in humanity’s evolutionary past. The brain has evolved specialized neural mechanisms that were designed for solving problems that recurred over deep evolutionary time, giving modern humans stone-age minds. Human psychology consists of many specialized mechanisms, each sensitive to different classes of information or inputs. These mechanisms combine to produce manifest behavior.
Evolutionary psychology has its historical roots in Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex in 1871 and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in 1872. Evolutionary biology as an academic discipline emerged with the modern synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1970s, two major branches developed from ethology. In the 1970s and 1980s university departments began to include the term evolutionary biology in their titles.
From psychology there are the primary streams of developmental, social and cognitive psychology. The theories on which evolutionary psychology is based originated with Charles Darwin’s work, including his speculations about the evolutionary origins of social instincts in humans. Modern evolutionary psychology, however, is possible only because of advances in evolutionary theory in the 20th century. Evolutionary psychologists say that natural selection has provided humans with many psychological adaptations, in much the same way that it generated humans’ anatomical and physiological adaptations. Hamilton proposed inclusive fitness theory, emphasizing a gene-centered view of evolution. Several mid-level evolutionary theories inform evolutionary psychology.
K selection theory proposes that some species prosper by having many offspring, while others follow the strategy of having fewer offspring but investing much more in each one. Evolutionary psychology is based on the hypothesis 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. These might include abilities to infer others’ emotions, discern kin from non-kin, identify and prefer healthier mates, cooperate with others and follow leaders. Not all traits of organisms are evolutionary adaptations. Psychological adaptations are hypothesized to be innate or relatively easy to learn, and to manifest in cultures worldwide.