Evolutionary Psychologists

Evolutionary Psychologists

Evolutionary psychology (EP) is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations – that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Some evolutionary psychologists apply the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the mind has a modular structure similar to that of the body, with different modular adaptations serving different functions. Evolutionary psychologists argue that much of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments.

The adaptationist approach is steadily increasing as an influence in the general field of psychology.

Evolutionary psychologists suggest that EP 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 it 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. They report successful tests of theoretical predictions related to such topics as infanticide, intelligence, marriage patterns, promiscuity, perception of beauty, bride price, and parental investment.

The theories and findings of EP have applications in many fields, including economics, environment, health, law, management, psychiatry, politics, and literature.

Controversies concerning EP involve 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.

Read more about Evolutionary PsychologistsHistory, Theoretical Foundations, Evolved Psychological Mechanisms, Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness, Research Methods, Major Areas of Research

Other articles related to "evolutionary, evolutionary psychologists":

Criticism Of Evolutionary Psychology - Ethnocentrism
... One aspect of evolutionary psychology is finding traits that have been shown to be universal in humans ... that many traits considered universal at some stage or another by evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists often turn out to be dependent on cultural and particular ... Critics allege that evolutionary psychologists tend to assume that their own current cultural context represents a universal human nature for example, in a review of Steven Pinker's book ...
Evolutionary Psychologists - Reception - Evolutionary Psychology Defense
... Overall, evolutionary psychologists argue that many of the criticisms leveled against the field are straw men, are based on an incorrect nature vs ...
Criticism Of Evolutionary Psychology - Political and Ethical Issues - "Is" and "ought"
... See also Evolutionary ethics Part of the controversy has consisted in each side accusing the other of holding or supporting extreme political viewpoints evolutionary psychology has often been ... Many critics have alleged that evolutionary psychology and sociobiology are nothing more than political justifications for the "status quo." Evolutionary ... Evolutionary psychology critics have argued that researchers use their research to promote a right-wing agenda ...
Evolutionary Psychology
... Evolutionary psychology (EP) is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective ... about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology ... Some evolutionary psychologists apply the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the mind has a modular structure similar to that of the body, with different modular adaptations serving ...
Criticism Of Evolutionary Psychology - Alternative Explanations - Adaptive Explanations Vs. Other Evolutionary Mechanisms
... Critics point out that within evolutionary biology there are many other non-adaptive pathways along which evolution can move to produce the behaviors seen in humans today ... Natural selection is not the only evolutionary process that can change gene frequencies and produce novel traits ... Evolutionary by-products are traits that were not specially designed for an adaptive function, although they may also be species-typical and may also confer benefits on the organism ...

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