Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction

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Evolutionary psychology

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About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Some criticisms of evolutionary psychology point at contradictions between different aspects of adaptive scenarios posited by evolutionary psychology. One example is the evolutionary psychology model of extended social groups selecting for modern human brains, a contradiction being that the synaptic function of modern human brains require high amounts of many specific essential nutrients so that such a transition to higher requirements of the same essential nutrients being shared by all individuals in a population would decrease the possibility of forming large groups due to bottleneck foods with rare essential nutrients capping group sizes.

It is mentioned that some insects have societies with different ranks for each individual and that monkeys remain socially functioning after removal of most of the brain as additional arguments against big brains promoting social networking. The model of males as both providers and protectors is criticized for the impossibility of being in two places at once, the male cannot both protect his family at home and be out hunting at the same time. In the case of the claim that a provider male could buy protection service for his family from other males by bartering food that he had hunted, critics point at the fact that the most valuable food the food that contained the rarest essential nutrients would be different in different ecologies and as such vegetable in some geographical areas and animal in others, making it impossible for hunting styles relying on physical strength or risk taking to be universally of similar value in bartered food and instead making it inevitable that in some parts of Africa, food gathered with no need for major physical strength would be the most valuable to barter for protection.

A contradiction between evolutionary psychology's claim of men needing to be more sexually visual than women for fast speed of assessing women's fertility than women needed to be able to assess the male's genes and its claim of male sexual jealousy guarding against infidelity is also pointed at, as it would be pointless for a male to be fast to assess female fertility if he needed to assess the risk of there being a jealous male mate and in that case his chances of defeating him before mating anyway pointlessness of assessing one necessary condition faster than another necessary condition can possibly be assessed.

Evolutionary psychology has been entangled in the larger philosophical and social science controversies related to the debate on nature versus nurture. Evolutionary psychologists typically contrast evolutionary psychology with what they call the standard social science model SSSM. They characterize the SSSM as the " blank slate ", " relativist ", " social constructionist ", and " cultural determinist " perspective that they say dominated the social sciences throughout the 20th century and assumed that the mind was shaped almost entirely by culture.

Critics have argued that evolutionary psychologists created a false dichotomy between their own view and the caricature of the SSSM. Some critics view evolutionary psychology as a form of genetic reductionism and genetic determinism , [] [] a common critique being that evolutionary psychology does not address the complexity of individual development and experience and fails to explain the influence of genes on behavior in individual cases. The field of behavioral genetics is focused on the study of the proximate influence of genes on behavior. A frequent critique of the discipline is that the hypotheses of evolutionary psychology are frequently arbitrary and difficult or impossible to adequately test, thus questioning its status as an actual scientific discipline, for example because many current traits probably evolved to serve different functions than they do now.

Some critics have argued that researchers know so little about the environment in which Homo sapiens evolved that explaining specific traits as an adaption to that environment becomes highly speculative. Hagen argues that few would deny that other organs evolved in the EEA for example, lungs evolving in an oxygen rich atmopshere yet critics question whether or not the brain's EEA is truly knowable, which he argues constitutes selective scepticism. Hagen also argues that most evolutionary psychology research is based on the fact that females can get pregnant and males cannot, which Hagen observes was also true in the EEA.

Alcock argues that present day evidence allows researchers to be reasonably confident about the conditions of the EEA and that the fact that so many human behaviours are adaptive in the current environment is evidence that the ancestral environment of humans had much in common with the present one, as these behaviours would have evolved in the ancestral environment. Thus Alcock concludes that researchers can make predictions on the adaptive value of traits.

Evolutionary psychologists generally presume that, like the body, the mind is made up of many evolved modular adaptations, [] although there is some disagreement within the discipline regarding the degree of general plasticity, or "generality," of some modules. In contrast, some academics argue that it is unnecessary to posit the existence of highly domain specific modules, and, suggest that the neural anatomy of the brain supports a model based on more domain general faculties and processes.

Among their rebuttals are that some criticisms are straw men , are based on an incorrect nature versus nurture dichotomy, are based on misunderstandings of the discipline, etc. Their confusion is deep and profound. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the academic journal, see Evolutionary Psychology journal. Application of evolutionary theory to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations. Basic types. Applied psychology. Darwin's finches by John Gould. Key topics. Introduction to evolution Evidence of evolution Common descent Evidence of common descent.

Processes and outcomes. Natural history. History of evolutionary theory. Fields and applications. Applications of evolution Biosocial criminology Ecological genetics Evolutionary aesthetics Evolutionary anthropology Evolutionary computation Evolutionary ecology Evolutionary economics Evolutionary epistemology Evolutionary ethics Evolutionary game theory Evolutionary linguistics Evolutionary medicine Evolutionary neuroscience Evolutionary physiology Evolutionary psychology Experimental evolution Phylogenetics Paleontology Selective breeding Speciation experiments Sociobiology Systematics Universal Darwinism.

Social implications. Evolution as fact and theory Social effects Creation—evolution controversy Objections to evolution Level of support. Main article: History of evolutionary psychology. The Origin of Species. Main article: Theoretical foundations of evolutionary psychology. Main article: Evolved psychological mechanisms. Main article: Cultural universal. Main article: Human evolution. See also: Consciousness and Animal consciousness.

See also: Sensation psychology and perception. Main article: Evolution of emotion.


See also: Evolutionary linguistics and Evolutionary psychology of language. Main article: Sex differences in psychology. Main article: Evolutionary psychology of parenting. See also: Human inclusive fitness and Kin selection. Main article: Strong reciprocity. Main article: Evolutionary psychology and culture. Main article: Evolutionary developmental psychology. Main article: Evolutionary psychology of religion. Main article: Criticism of evolutionary psychology.

Main article: Standard social science model. See also: Just-so story. Main article: Modularity of mind. Main article: Cecilia Heyes. Evolutionary biology portal. Center for Evolutionary Psychology. Retrieved 22 July Infanticide, intelligence, marriage patterns, promiscuity, perception of beauty, bride price, altruism, and the allocation of parental care have all been explored by testing predictions derived from the idea that conscious and unconscious behaviours have evolved to maximize inclusive fitness. The findings have been impressive.

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Richard Dawkins Evolutionary Psychology Part 1

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Evolutionary psychology: an introduction. Chapter Cann Evidence against a genetic-based revolution in language 50, years ago. Botha and C. Knight eds , The Cradle of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. While each of these hypotheses has its merits, each is still highly speculative and requires more evidence from different areas of research such as linguistics and anthropology.

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Evolutionary psychology : an introduction / Lance Workman, Will Reader. - Version details - Trove

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