Evolutionary Psychology: An Introduction
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Written for undergraduate psychology students, and assuming little knowledge of evolutionary science, the third edition of this classic textbook provides an essential introduction to evolutionary psychology. Fully updated with the latest research and new learning features, it provides a thought-provoking overview of evolution and illuminates the evolutionary foundation of many of the broader topics taught in psychology departments. The text retains its balanced and critical evaluation of hypotheses and full coverage of the fundamental topics required for undergraduates. This new edition includes more material on the social and reproductive behaviour of non-human primates, morality, cognition, development and culture as well as new photos, illustrations, text boxes and thought questions to support student learning. Some 280 online multiple choice questions complete the student questioning package. This new material complements the classic features of this text, which include suggestions for further reading, chapter summaries, a glossary, and two-colour figures throughout.
contrast to intelligence, most studies of personality traits suggest that about 40 per cent of the variation is due to genes, thus leaving around 60 per cent due to environmental differences between individuals (Plomin, DeFries, McClearn and Rutter, 1997; Alcock, 2001; see box 2.5; see also chapter 6). Box 2.5 Individual difference – why do people vary? If natural selection promotes certain genes over others then we might see it as a force for conservatism – a force that reduces genetic
to the study of human behaviour and makes the claim that our minds evolved to solve specific problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors in a period known as the EEA (Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation or Adaptedness). This approach can lead to a strikingly different style of explanation. To see how this might work, the following is a sample of some familiar questions in psychology. r Why do people discriminate against those who are perceived as different from them? (chapter 8) r Why do
explore both kin altruism and reciprocal altruism when we turn our attention to social behaviour in chapters 7 and 8. The selfish gene The reasoning that Williams, Hamilton and Trivers put forward to explain cooperation and altruism led some evolutionists to reassess the level at which selection operated. If evolution has endowed and even promoted behavioural responses which might benefit others because they share copies of our genes then perhaps we shouldn’t be focusing on the individual as the
differences have innate bases, learning seems to play a role as well. In contrast to many developmentalists (including those applying life history theory to development) Harris (1995; 1997) argues that the parental environment is of little consequence in its effects on children’s development. Her theory, group socialisation theory, suggests that the principal source of environmental influence is from the peer group. Group socialisation theory is controversial; many agree that peer groups are
understanding trigonometry in order to construct their webs! Richard Dawkins makes much the same point in his withering attack on ‘The use and abuse of biology’ in the second edition of his book The Selfish Gene (Dawkins, 1989). Whilst Sahlins’ first criticism may be dismissed quite easily as a misunderstanding of what evolutionists are arguing, his second must be taken more seriously. In Oceania around 30 per cent of children are adopted. If such adoptions really do occur arbitrarily then this