Psych M.D. - Evolutionary Psychology


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Term: Evolutionary Psychology
Definition (Myers):the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection. Natural selection has favored genes that designed both behavioral tendencies and information-processing systems that solved adaptive problems faced by our ancestors, thus contributing to the survival and spread of their genes.1
Definition (alternative): attempts to explain psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, that is, as 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. Evolutionary psychology applies the same thinking to psychology.2
Contextual explanation: Evolutionary psychologists study adaptations and how they can affect behavior. For example, evolutionary psychologists may try to explain adaptations such as being able to tell others' emotions and learning to find healthier mates.
Related terms and concepts:

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Related websites:
Sources:
  1. Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, New York: Worth Publishers.
  2. Evolutionary psychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved December 10, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology
  3. "YouTube - Richard Dawkins lecture on natural selection and evolutionary psychology Part 1/2 ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzJUCG7L9I4 (accessed December 10, 2009).
Edited by: Sean
Date of last edit: 12/10/09



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