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. The adaptationist approach is steadily increasing as an influence in the general field of psychology. The theories and findings of EP have applications in many fields, including economics, environment, health, law, management, psychiatry, politics, and literature. Scope Principles
Mathematical and theoretical biologyMathematical and theoretical biology is an interdisciplinary scientific research field with a range of applications in biology, biotechnology, and medicine. The field may be referred to as mathematical biology or biomathematics to stress the mathematical side, or as theoretical biology to stress the biological side. It includes at least four major subfields: biological mathematical modeling, relational biology/complex systems biology (CSB), bioinformatics and computational biomodeling/biocomputing. Mathematical biology aims at the mathematical representation, treatment and modeling of biological processes, using a variety of applied mathematical techniques and tools. It has both theoretical and practical applications in biological, biomedical and biotechnology research. For example, in cell biology, protein interactions are often represented as "cartoon" models, which, although easy to visualize, do not accurately describe the systems studied. Importance
Evolutionary PsychologyPygmalion effectA corollary of the Pygmalion effect is the golem effect, in which low expectations lead to a decrease in performance. The Pygmalion effect and the golem effect are forms of self-fulfilling prophecy. People will take the belief they have of themselves (negative in this case) and attribute traits of the belief with themselves and their work. This will lead them to perform closer to these expectations that they set for themselves. Studies of the Pygmalion effect are difficult to conduct. Rosenthal–Jacobson study The purpose of the experiment was to support the hypothesis that reality can be influenced by the expectations of others. All students in a single California elementary school were given a disguised IQ test at the beginning of the study. In this experiment, Rosenthal predicted that elementary school teachers may subconsciously behave in ways that facilitate and encourage the students' success. A major limitation of this experiment was its inability to be replicated well.
John ToobyJohn Tooby is an American anthropologist, who, together with psychologist wife Leda Cosmides, helped pioneer the field of evolutionary psychology. Tooby received his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University in 1989 and is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1992, together with Leda Cosmides and Jerome Barkow, Tooby edited The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Tooby is currently working on a book on the evolution of sexual reproduction and genetic systems. Selected publications Books Barkow, J., Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J., (Eds.) (1992). Papers Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (1981). See also References External links Websites Articles and media
SociobiologySociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain and examine social behavior within that context. Often considered a branch of biology and sociology, it also draws from ethology, anthropology, evolution, zoology, archaeology, population genetics, and other disciplines. Within the study of human societies, sociobiology is very closely allied to the fields of Darwinian anthropology, human behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology. Sociobiology investigates social behaviors, such as mating patterns, territorial fights, pack hunting, and the hive society of social insects. While the term "sociobiology" can be traced to the 1940s, the concept didn't gain major recognition until 1975 with the publication of Edward O. Definition E.O Wilson defines sociobiology as: “The extension of population biology and evolutionary theory to social organization” Introductory example E.
Evolutionary biologyEvolutionary biology is a sub-field of biology concerned with the study of the evolutionary processes that produced the diversity of life on Earth. Someone who studies evolutionary biology is known as an evolutionary biologist. Evolutionary biologists study the descent of species, and the origin of new species. Subfields The study of evolution is the unifying concept in evolutionary biology. History Evolutionary biology, as an academic discipline in its own right, emerged during the period of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s. Microbiology has recently developed into an evolutionary discipline. Important evolutionary biologists Many biologists have contributed to our current understanding of evolution. Journals Current research topics Current research in evolutionary biology covers diverse topics, as should be expected given the centrality of evolution to understanding biology. References See also
Center for Evolutionary PsychologyFaking insanity: Forensic psychologists detect signs of malingeringIllustration by Mark Alan Stamaty. When someone commits a horrific, inexplicable crime, we naturally wonder whether he’s mentally ill: Who but a crazy person could do such a thing? But when a killer acts crazy after his arrest, we also might wonder whether he’s preparing for his trial. That’s the speculation around Colorado shooter James Holmes, whose psychiatric treatment and bizarre behavior in court and prison make people wonder whether he’s truly insane or building a case for an insanity defense. It leads to the question: Can a criminal get away with faking insanity? Experts have been debating that question since the creation of the insanity defense in the mid-19th century. Today, less than 1 percent of felony defendants raise an insanity defense, and a tiny fraction of those succeed. The first step is to do a thorough review of the suspect’s history. At some point the examiner leads the discussion to the crime, which sets another trip-wire for deceivers.
Leda CosmidesLeda Cosmides, (born May 9, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American psychologist, who, together with anthropologist husband John Tooby, helped develop the field of evolutionary psychology. Cosmides originally studied biology at Radcliffe College/Harvard University, receiving her A.B. in 1979. While an undergraduate she was influenced by the renowned evolutionary biologist Robert L. Trivers who was her advisor. In 1992, together with John Tooby and Jerome Barkow, Cosmides edited The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Cosmides was awarded the 1988 American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research, the 1993 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2005 National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award. Selected publications Books Papers See also References External links Media
Human behavioral ecologyEvolutionary theory Human behavioral ecology rests upon a foundation of evolutionary theory. This includes aspects of both general evolutionary theory and established middle-level evolutionary theories, as well. Aspects of general evolutionary theory include: Middle-level evolutionary theories used in HBE include: Basic principles of HBE Ecological selectionism Ecological selectionism refers to the assumption that humans are highly flexible in their behaviors. The piecemeal approach The piecemeal approach refers to taking a reductionist approach as opposed to a holistic approach in studying human socioecological behavior. Conditional strategies Human behavioral ecologists assume that what might be the most adaptive strategy in one environment might not be the most adaptive strategy in another environment. In environmental context X, engage in adaptive strategy A.In environmental context Y, engage in adaptive strategy B. The phenotypic gambit Modeling