The Evolution of Mind: Fundamental Questions and Controversies

Guilford Publications
Free sample

In the past two decades, an explosion of research has generated many compelling insights--as well as hotly debated controversies--about the evolutionary bases of human nature. This important volume brings together leading proponents of different theoretical and methodological perspectives to provide a balanced look at 12 key questions at the core of the field today. In 43 concise, accessible chapters, followed by an integrative conclusion, the contributors present viewpoints informed by human behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, and gene-culture coevolutionary approaches. Topics include the strengths and limitations of different methodologies; metatheoretical issues; and debates concerning the evolution of the human brain, intellectual abilities, culture, and sexual behavior.
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About the author

Steven W. Gangestad, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. His research has covered a variety of topics in evolutionary behavioral science, including the determinants of sexual attraction, changes in women's sexual psychology across the ovarian cycle, the effects of genetic compatibility between mates on relationship qualities, individual variation in developmental precision and its manifestations in neuropsychology, and influences of men's testosterone levels.
 
Jeffry A. Simpson, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Doctoral Minor in Interpersonal Relationships at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include adult attachment processes, human mating, idealization in relationships, empathic accuracy in relationships, and dyadic social influence. Dr. Simpson is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. He serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Guilford Publications
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Published on
Jan 26, 2016
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781462527496
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Social Psychology
Social Science / Anthropology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A complete exploration of the real-world applications and implications of evolutionary psychology

The exciting and sometimes controversial science of evolutionary psychology is becoming increasingly relevant to more fields of study than ever before. The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Volume 2, Integrations provides students and researchers with new insight into how EP draws from, and is applied in, fields as diverse as economics, anthropology, neuroscience, genetics, and political science, among others. In this thorough revision and expansion of the groundbreaking handbook, luminaries in the field provide an in-depth exploration of the foundations of evolutionary psychology as they relate to public policy, consumer behavior, organizational leadership, and legal issues.

Evolutionary psychology seeks to explain the reasons behind friendship, leadership, warfare, morality, religion, and culture — in short, what it means to be human. This enlightening text provides a foundational knowledgebase in EP, along with expert insights and the most up-to-date coverage of recent theories and findings.

Explore the vast and expanding applications of evolutionary psychology Discover the psychology of human survival, mating parenting, cooperation and conflict, culture, and more Identify how evolutionary psychology is interwoven with other academic subjects and traditional psychological disciplines Discuss future applications of the conceptual tools of evolutionary psychology

As the established standard in the field, The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Volume 2 is the definitive guide for every psychologist and student to understand the latest and most exciting applications of evolutionary psychology.

The indispensable reference tool for the groundbreaking science of evolutionary psychology

Why is the mind designed the way it is? How does input from the environment interact with the mind to produce behavior? These are the big, unanswered questions that the field of evolutionary psychology seeks to explore. The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology is the seminal work in this vibrant, quickly-developing new discipline. In this thorough revision and expansion, luminaries in the field provide an in-depth exploration of the foundations of evolutionary psychology and explain the new empirical discoveries and theoretical developments that continue at a breathtaking pace.

Evolutionary psychologists posit that the mind has a specialized and complex structure, just as the body has a specialized and complex structure. From this important theoretical concept arises the vast array of possibilities that are at the core of the field, which seeks to examine such traits as perception, language, and memory from an evolutionary perspective. This examination is intended to determine the human psychological traits that are the products of sexual and natural selection and, as such, to chart and understand human nature.

Join the discussion of the big questions addressed by the burgeoning field of evolutionary psychology Explore the foundations of evolutionary psychology, from theory and methods to the thoughts of EP critics Discover the psychology of human survival, mating, parenting, cooperation and conflict, culture, and more Identify how evolutionary psychology is interwoven with other academic subjects and traditional psychological disciplines

The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology is the definitive guide for every psychologist and student interested in keeping abreast of new ideas in this quickly-developing field.

Capturing a scientific change in thinking about personality and individual differences that has been building over the past 15 years, this volume stands at an important moment in the development of psychology as a discipline. Rather than viewing individual differences as merely the raw material upon which selection operates, the contributing authors provide theories and empirical evidence which suggest that personality and individual differences are central to evolved psychological mechanisms and behavioral functioning. The book draws theoretical inspiration from life history theory, evolutionary genetics, molecular genetics, developmental psychology, personality psychology, and evolutionary psychology, while utilizing the theories of the "best and the brightest" international scientists working on this cutting edge paradigm shift. In the first of three sections, the authors analyze personality and the adaptive landscape; here, the authors offer a novel conceptual framework for examining "personality assessment adaptations." Because individuals in a social environment have momentous consequences for creating and solving adaptive problems, humans have evolved "difference-detecting mechanisms" designed to make crucial social decisions such as mate selection, friend selection, kin investment, coalition formation, and hierarchy negotiation. In the second section, the authors examine developmental and life-history theoretical perspectives to explore the origins and development of personality over the lifespan. The third section focuses on the relatively new field of evolutionary genetics and explores which of the major evolutionary forces--such as balancing selection, mutation, co-evolutionary arms races, and drift--are responsible for the origins of personality and individual differences. Existing as a seminal work in the newly emerging evolutionary psychology field, this book is a "must-read" for anyone invested in the development of psychology as a field.
What a pity it would have been if biologists had refused to accept Darwin's theory of natural selection, which has been essential in helping biologists understand a wide range of phenomena in many animal species. These days, to study any animal species while refusing to consider the evolved adaptive significance of their behavior would be considered pure folly--unless, of course, the species is homo sapiens. Graduate students training to study this particular primate species may never take a single course in evolutionary theory, although they may take two undergraduate and up to four graduate courses in statistics. These methodologically sophisticated students then embark on a career studying human aggression, cooperation, mating behavior, family relationships, or altruism with little or no understanding of the general evolutionary forces and principles that shaped the behaviors they are investigating. This book hopes to redress that wrong.

It is one of the first to apply evolutionary theories to mainstream problems in personality and social psychology that are relevant to a wide range of important social phenomena, many of which have been shaped and molded by natural selection during the course of human evolution. These phenomena include selective biases that people have concerning how and why a variety of activities occur. For example:
* information exchanged during social encounters is initially perceived and interpreted;
* people are romantically attracted to some potential mates but not others;
* people often guard, protect, and work hard at maintaining their closest relationships;
* people form shifting and highly complicated coalitions with kin and close friends; and
* people terminate close, long-standing relationships.

Evolutionary Social Psychology begins to disentangle the complex, interwoven patterns of interaction that define our social lives and relationships.
The field of forensic psychology explores the intersection of psychology and the law. The purpose of this book is to examine topics in the field using the powerful, multidisciplinary, conceptually integrated approach that the natural sciences have embraced for decades with great success. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is the meta-theoretical framework that unifies the field of biology. It unites research and understanding of the development, control, and organization of behavior. The study of humans, which includes all of the social sciences, is part of the field of biology. Darwin's theory provides a powerful meta-theoretical framework that can unify and energize forensic psychology, just as it has the biological sciences. Evolutionary processes undoubtedly shaped physiological characteristics to help solve problems of survival and reproduction. The lungs, for example, with their vast surface area and moist membranes are marvelous adaptions for extracting oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Natural selection is the only known process capable of shaping complex functional mechanisms. Just as it shaped physiological adaptations with specific problem-solving functions, it also shaped our thoughts and emotions to guide behaviors toward solving recurrent problems of survival and reproduction. With this logic, we can use knowledge of ancestral problems to guide our understanding of how the mind works. Evolutionary Forensic Psychology is a necessary step toward a unified and complete understanding of psychology and the law. It recognizes that crimes such as murder, non-lethal violence, rape, and theft are manifestations of evolutionarily recurrent selection when they gave individuals an advantage in competition for resources. Each of the chapters that comprise this volume has been selected to provide the first unified examination of important research contributions and future directions of Evolutionary Forensic Psychology.
Tying together almost four decades of neo-Piagetian research, Cognitive Development provides a unique critical analysis and a comparison of concepts across neo-Piagetian theories. Like Piaget, neo-Piagetian theorists take a constructivist approach to cognitive development, are broad in scope, and assume that cognitive development is divided into stages with qualitative differences. Unlike Piaget, however, they define the increasing complexity of the stages in accordance with the child’s information processing system, rather than in terms of logical properties. This volume illustrates these characteristics and evidences the exciting possibilities for neo-Piagetian research to build connections both with other theoretical approaches such as dynamic systems and with other fields such as brain science.

The opening chapter provides a historical orientation, including a critical distinction between the "logical" and the "dialectical" Piaget. In subsequent chapters the major theories and experimental findings are reviewed, including Pascual-Leone's Theory of Constructive Operators, Halford's structuralist theory, Fischer's dynamic systems approach to skills, Case's theory of Central Conceptual Structures, Siegler’s microgenetic approach, and the proposals of Mounoud and Karmiloff-Smith, as well as the work of others, including Demetriou and de Ribaupierre. The interrelation of emotional and cognitive development is discussed extensively, as is relevant non neo-Piagetian research on information processing. The application of neo-Piagetian research to a variety of topics including children's problem solving, psychometrics, and education is highlighted. The book concludes with the authors' views on possibilities for an integrated neo-Piagetian approach to cognitive development.

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