Part I introduces readers to those aspects of evolutionary theorizing that have been particularly important during the last decade, and are believed to continue to be important for some time.
Part II deals with some of the central issues in the application of the Theory of Evolution to the study of human behavior.
The chapters in Part III illustrate how a variety of researchers and scholars are currently using evolutionary thinking to explain psychological phenomena.
About the contributors
Part I: Ideas
Abstract: Describes the basic modern theory of the special mechanisms promoting the evolution of cooperation, especially cooperation involving altruistic helping behavior. After a review of the basic theory, the chapter traces the deep interconnections among the mechanisms (and their various versions) and uses this knowledge to resolve some of the confusions that still haunt discussions and applications of specific theories of cooperation. It also focuses on possible novel ways that the selective mechanisms favoring cooperation have operated (and may still operate) in the context of human social life. Finally, it briefly describes some recent refinements of the evolutionary theory of cooperation that may illuminate ill-understood facets of human social behavior.
Miller, Geoffrey F. How mate choice shaped human nature: A review of sexual selection and human evolution. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 87-129. Pub type: Review; Literature Review.
Abstract: Reviews the current state of sexual-selection theory, and outlines some applications to understanding human behavior. One goal of this chapter is to dispel some myths regarding sexual-selection theory, and to bring evolutionary psychology up to date with respect to the biological literature on sexual selection. It reviews the history and basic theory on sexual selection; contextualizes human mate choice by covering sexual selection in primates and hominids; surveys some possible roles of mate choice in shaping the human body, the human mind, and human culture; and concludes with some academic and existential implications of applying sexual-selection theory to understand human nature.
Janicki, Maria G. and Dennis L. Krebs. Evolutionary approaches to culture. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 163-207.
Abstract: Reviews several models of the relations between biology and culture advanced by evolutionary theorists, and then compares and contrasts them. In addition to the relation between biological and cultural evolution, this chapter investigates the psychological mechanisms and processes that mediate the selection and transmission of culture and the relation between genetic and cultural influences on human behavior. Other issues addressed include: culture as a product of inclusive fitness maximization; Darwinian anthropology; evolved minds generating and reacting to culture: evolutionary psychology; C. J. Lumsden and E. O. Wilson's epigenetic approach; W. H. Durham's coevolutionary model; duel-inheritance theory; and J. Barkow's coevolutionary model.
Bailey, J. Michael. Can behavior genetics contribute to evolutionary behavioral science? Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 211-233.
Abstract: This chapter has 3 main purposes: to review the methods and findings of contemporary human behavior genetics; to survey factors that maintain genetic variation, including the controversial idea of "adaptive genetic variation"; and to address genetic and evolutionary approaches to behavioral differences between ethnic groups. Specific issues addressed include: an overview of contemporary behavior genetics; the paradox of genetic variation; and the evolution of group differences.
Wells, Andrew. Evolutionary psychology and theories of cognitive architecture. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 235-264.
Abstract: Examines the integration of biological and computational thinking with respect to theories of cognitive architecture. Following an introduction to cognitive structure architecture, this chapter discusses digital computer architectures, which provide a possible model for human cognitive architecture. The 2 primary constraints on theories of cognitive architecture, the evolutionary constraint and the universality constraint, are introduced. Central features of evolutionary psychology are then outlined. Next, the chapter outlines one of the principle ways in which cognitive scientists have deployed computational ideas in forming theories of cognitive architecture. This is the idea that minds are physical symbol systems. The conclusion is drawn that an adaptationist theory of cognitive architecture is needed, one which is compatible with both constraints but requires new understandings of the nature of mental representation and of the relationship between computation and thinking.
Crawford, Charles. Environments and adaptations: Then and now. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 275-302.
Abstract: In recent years, a dispute has developed between 2 groups of evolutionary scientists--Darwinian anthropologists and Evolutionary psychologists--over the appropriate methodology to use in studying the evolutionary significance of human behavior. One important difference between the approaches is that Evolutionary psychologists place much more emphasis on the differences between ancestral and current environments than do Darwinian anthropologists; the former also argues that differences in reproductive fitness have little value in the evolutionary analysis of human behavior. In discussion of this issue, this chapter addresses: arguments for difference between ancestral and current environments; adaptations and environments; a classification of ancestral and current behaviors; an argument that current and ancestral environments did not differ as the most plausible hypothesis; and determining if ancestral and current environments differ.
Holcomb, Harmon R. III. Testing evolutionary hypotheses. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 303-334.
Abstract: The philosophy of hypothesis testing advocated here identifies some hidden units of scientific thought and patterns of scientific reasoning involved in deciding what conclusion(s) to draw from the test results. The principal theses clarify the nature of the argument leading to a conclusion as to which hypothesis should be chosen in the light of the test results. The chapter begins by briefly outlining the main general points of this argument. The body of the chapter exhibits their relevance to evolutionary psychology by using them to evaluate 3 influential studies on the topic. Specific issues addressed include: presuppositions in hypothesis testing; reasoning in hypothesis testing; alternative hypothesis; and implications for scientific progress.
Krebs, Dennis L. The evolution of moral behaviors. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 337-368.
Abstract: Illustrates how evolutionary theory can help explain moral behaviors. There are 3 main models of morality in psychology: psychoanalytic, social learning, and cognitive-developmental. The author argues that each of these models neglects important aspects of morality and emphasizes particular aspects at the expense of others. He posits that evolutionary theory is equipped to integrate psychological approaches to morality, resolve many of their differences, and steer the study of morality in new, more productive directions. Specific topics addressed include: evolution of respect for authority; evolution of justice; evolution of care; evolution of altruism; can moral behaviors evolve through group selection; interaction among mechanisms of selection; evolution of cheating; and the psychological models of morality revisited.
Surbey, Michele K. Developmental psychology and modern Darwinism. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 369-403.
Abstract: Supplied selected coverage of the growing interface between developmental and Darwinian psychology, hopefully capturing some of the flavor and richness that results when traditional developmental studies are complemented by an adaptionist approach. Specific issues addressed include: historical alliances between evolutionary theory and developmental psychology; neo-Darwinian perspectives on development; confluence and conflicts of interest in the prenatal mother-offspring relationship in humans and animals; the competent infant; adaptations of childhood existence; adolescence and phylogeny; adulthood and the making of future generations; and senescence and bequeathment.
Buss, David M. The psychology of human mate selection: Exploring the complexity of the strategic repertoire. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 405-429.
Abstract: In the course of discussing the psychology of human mate selection, this chapter specifically addresses: sexual selection; empirical science of human mating; evolutionary psychology of sexual strategies; why men and women differ; long- and short-term mating: core components of the human strategic repertoire; costs and contexts of mating strategies; and empirical findings about mate preferences.
Daly, Martin and Margo Wilson. The evolutionary social psychology of family violence. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 431-456.
Abstract: In the course of discussing the evolutionary social psychology of family violence, this chapter specifically addresses: self-interest, conflict, and violence; nepotistic restraint; homicide as a conflict assay; homicide risk and relatedness; substitute parenthood and violence; discriminative parental solicitude and filicide risk; and factors affecting spousal violence and homicide.
Badcock, Christopher R. PsychoDarwinsim: The new synthesis of Darwin and Freud. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 457-483.
Abstract: In the course of discussing the compatibility of the sociobiological theories of C. Darwin and the psychoanalytic theories of Freud, this chapter specifically addresses: repression and self-deception; the libido and the selfish gene; altruism and identification; infantile sexuality and parent-offspring conflict; sexual selection in infancy; and the question of incest.
Kenrick, Douglas T, Edward K. Sadalla, and Richard C. Keefe. Evolutionary cognitive psychology: The missing heart of modern cognitive science. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 485-514.
Abstract: Just as cognitive psychologists have tended to benefit little from developments in evolutionary theory, evolutionary psychologists have benefited little from developments in cognitive science. The independence of these two interdisciplines is unfortunate because they are both concerned with similar questions about the structure and function of the human mind. In an attempt to bridge these disciplines, this chapter specifically addresses: basic assumptions of evolutionary cognitive psychology; how an evolutionary approach differs from traditional cognitive psychology; and some preliminary studies of evolution-based gender differences in cognition.
Malamuth, Neil M. and Mario F. Heilmann. Evolutionary psychology and sexual aggression. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 515-542.
Abstract: Presents an overview of general evolutionary theory directly relevant to the topic of sexual aggression beginning with brief discussions of evolutionary psychology's approach to studying individual and gender differences. Next, this chapter considers the literature regarding forced copulation in other species. Finally, it proposes an evolutionarily based model of the characteristics of human sexual aggressors and examines recent data pertaining to this model. Additional topics discussed include: the confluence model of sexual aggression; empirical testing of the model; and replication and extending of the confluence model.
Thornhill, Randy. Darwinian aesthetics. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 543-572.
Abstract: Addresses the many psychological adaptations that underlie the diversity of aesthetic experiences of interest to aestheticians. First, the chapter briefly lists the experiential domain of interest academic aestheticians. It then discusses the adaptionist program and how it applies to these experiences in a general way. Next, it resolves some dilemmas in traditional aesthetics using the adaptionist perspective. Finally, it gives a taxonomy of the psychological adaptations underlying the diverse experiences of interest to aestheticians.
Silverman, Irwin and Krista Phillips. The evolutionary psychology of spatial sex differences. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 595-612.
Abstract: Presents an evolutionary psychology perspective on the miscellany of qualitative and quantitative human sex differences in the realm of spatial behavior. Specific issues addressed include: evidence for genetic factors; evolutionary-based theories; and contributions of the evolutionary approach to the study of human behavior.
Bickerton, Derek. The creation and re-creation of language. Crawford & Krebs (1998), pp. 613-634.
Abstract: Discusses arguments for and against evolutionary and environmental explanations for the development of language ability in humans. These two lines of argument converge on a single solution. The emergence and function of language faculty, even under the most adverse conditions, indicates that it represents no mere aptitude to learn language, but rather a specific blueprint for the re-creation of language in its entirety, regardless of the quality of input to the child. Sociality, rather than linguistic input, appears to be the crucial variable in triggering the execution of this blueprint.
ideas | issues | applications | EP Bibliography
Maintained by Francis F. Steen, Communication Studies, University of California Los Angeles