Which Of The Following Is A Criticism Of Evolutionary Psychology?

Which Of The Following Is A Criticism Of Evolutionary Psychology
Which of the following is a criticism of evolutionary psychology? It ignores non-genetic factors in determining human behavior. An example that exemplifies the empirical method?

What are the criticisms of evolutionary psychology?

Criticism – Critics assert that evolutionary psychology fails to produce experiments that disentangle potential adaptive bases of behavior from other evolutionary influences. One premise of evolutionary psychology that distinguishes it from other theories of human behavior is that some mental traits are thought to be adaptive.

Critics point out that within evolutionary biology there are many other non-adaptive pathways along which evolution can move to produce the behaviors seen in humans today. Natural selection is not the only evolutionary process that can change gene frequencies and produce novel traits. Genetic drift refers to random effects resulting from chance variation in the genes, environment, or development.

Evolutionary by-products are traits that were not specially designed for an adaptive function, although they may also be species-typical and may also confer benefits on the organism. A “spandrel” is a term coined by Gould and Lewontin (1979a) for traits which confer no adaptive advantage to an organism, but are ‘carried along’ by an adaptive trait.

  1. Gould advocates the hypothesis that cognition in humans came about as a spandrel: “Natural selection made the human brain big, but most of our mental properties and potentials may be spandrels – that is, nonadaptive side consequences of building a device with such structural complexity”,
  2. Once a trait acquired by some other mechanism confers an adaptive advantage, as evolutionary psychologists claim that many of our “mental properties and potentials” do, it may be open to further selection as an “exaptation”.

Critics allege that the adaptive (and exaptive) significance of mental traits studied by evolutionary psychologists has not been shown, and that selection has not necessarily guided the appearance of such traits.

What are the 3 criticisms of evolutionary psychology?

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  1. Main article: Evolutionary psychology From its beginning, evolutionary psychology (EP) has generated substantial controversy and criticism.
  2. Criticisms include 1) disputes about the testability of evolutionary hypotheses, 2) alternatives to some of the cognitive assumptions (such as massive modularity) frequently employed in evolutionary psychology, 3) claimed vagueness stemming from evolutionary assumptions (e.g.

uncertainty about the environment of evolutionary adaptation, EEA), 4) differing stress on the importance of non-genetic and non-adaptive explanations, as well as 5) political and ethical issues. Evolutionary psychologists respond by arguing that many of these criticisms are straw men, ideologically rather than scientifically motivated, are based on an incorrect nature vs.

Which of the following is a common criticism of evolutionary psychologists quizlet?

All human behavior is viewed as a reflection of evolutionary adaptations and biological imperative. Evolutionary psychology is often criticized for putting too much emphasis on genetic factors in determining human behavior, minimizing the influence of upbringing, social learning, and wider society.

What are some criticisms of the evolutionary perspective quizlet?

-Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists (1) start with an effect and work backward to an explanation, (2) do not recognize social and cultural influences, and (3) absolve people from taking responsibility for their sexual behavior.

What is one weakness of evolutionary psychology?

Why do we act the way that we do, so typically human? Without applying evolutionary theory there is no scientific way to say whether a behavior is adaptive (serves a purpose) or not (see Intentional Design,) Ordinary psychology is to evolutionary psychology as geography is to geology.

  1. Geography describes the shape of the land, while geology is concerned with the processes that shaped the land—how it got the way that it is.
  2. Evolutionary psychology attempts to explain human motivations and behavior as being the consequence of evolution.
  3. Behaviors and capacities are assumed to be adaptive : to enhance survival and reproductive success.

Evolutionary psychology is a large and rapidly growing field, and we won’t attempt to summarize it here. See Evolutionary psychology and books such as The Happiness Hypothesis and The Tangled Wing that apply the perspective of evolutionary psychology to understanding the human condition.

What we will try to do is provide some high level context for understanding evolutionary psychology, especially concerning criticisms from outside the field, controversies within the field, and the scientific reasons for the apparent preoccupation with sensitive issues such as sex differences in behavior or unpleasant behaviors such as selfishness and deception.

Some sort of evolutionary psychology is required to understand the subjective human experience, but we believe that aspects of the evolutionary psychology first proposed in the 1990’s (see History of evolutionary psychology ) are incomplete or have misplaced emphasis:

The assumption that human evolution effectively stopped 10,000 or more years ago, and the associated idea of mismatch, that puzzling and non-adaptive current behaviors may have once been adaptive in that ancient environment. The emergence of genetic/cultural coevolution theory, in combination with genetic evidence and the surprising effectiveness of animal breeding experiments strongly suggest some degree of recent human evolution. At the same time, coevolution theories have found that some behaviors make a great deal more sense when people are viewed in their context as cultural animals, A general neglect of culture and the importance of Cultural Evolution, resulting in a strong tendency toward genetic determinism. Evolutionary psychology does propose that our psychological commonalities are a consequence of our genetic heritage. There is no blank slate, but this doesn’t create as tight a “leash” on human behavior as some evolutionary psychologists suppose. This strong position on the Nature Versus Nurture debate has burdened evolutionary psychology with heartfelt opposition.

Evolutionary psychology has also been hampered by an interpretive gap. Some proponents (such as Richard Dawkins ) have undermined acceptance by coming across as arrogant iconoclasts (see Smarty-Pants Critique,) The sort of mechanistic evolutionary explanations offered by evolutionary psychology seem to demean and deny the Reality of fundamental human motivations and feelings.

We believe that a more nuanced story can help by explaining the relationship between Mind and the brain through concepts such as Emergence (see Level Map ). Why are evolutionary psychologists so obsessed with sex? Isn’t that rather juvenile? And why have they put forward those politically awkward arguments about the innateness of behavior differences between men and women? The answer is that evolutionary theory tells us that if there is anywhere that we would expect to find a strong selective influence on behavior it will be in behavior related to reproduction itself, and sex is a crucial part of human reproductive behavior.

Humans have quite a few peculiarities in their reproductive strategies which evolutionary psychologists have connected to differences in male and female behavior (see Sex Differences ). To many it seems nonsensical to propose that having lots of grandchildren is the intention underlying all human behavior because:

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Especially in the modern world, most of our daily activities don’t advance our supposed reproductive goal in any obvious way (reading People magazine), and in many cases clearly reduce the prospects for our continued survival (binge drinking, running for president.) When you ask people what their intention is they will hardly ever mention reproductive success. If you press someone for the ultimate top-level goal it will usually be either emotional (because I love her), moral (it was the right thing to do) or spiritual (it gives meaning to my life.)

Evolutionary psychologists reply that:

Many apparently unproductive activities either do advance our reproductive success (in ways that are either subtle or politically incorrect), or were adaptive up until recently, or can be regarded as an incidental side-effect of important adaptive behaviors, and That we behave as though reproductive success were our intention even though this is not an intention that we are conscious of (see Intentional Opacity ). Evolutionary psychologists are particularly interested in explaining why we have the emotions and motivations that we do.

Another objection to evolutionary psychology is that it paints such a bleak picture of the human condition. Why are evolutionary psychologists so interested in unpleasant behaviors such as competitiveness, selfishness, deception, self-promotion, cheating and violence? Most people are kind, decent, peaceful and law-abiding, yet evolutionary psychologists explain self-serving and violent behavior as just another strategy for reproductive success.

Furthermore, evolutionary psychology has had big problems with altruism, and at time seems to say that everything we do either has some hidden selfish motive (such as favoring relatives) or is basically a mistake. The convergence of evolutionary psychology with anthropology and social psychology has resulted a tentative solution to the “problem of altruism”, but only by pushing the violence and competition up a level, so that it is now between social groups.

Paradoxically, one of the clearest examples of altruistic behavior is risking death in battle to defend the community. Furthermore, evolutionary social psychology argues that humans are not only innately selfish, but also innately groupish, tending to favor whatever group we find ourselves part of.

  • This is unpleasantly like racism and other forms of prejudice.
  • The question of morality and whether humans are basically good or evil is big enough that it must be discussed elsewhere (see Good Or Evil? ).
  • Here we ask why evolutionary psychology is so obsessed with the unsavory side of human behavior.

Some degree of selfishness is necessary to sustain human life; with no selfishness there is no life, and the moral discussion is cut short. Given selfish motivation, there is no need to suppose that lying, cheating and stealing are innate—the advantages are so obvious that they could be rediscovered by each generation.

  1. The truly interesting question is why beneficial cooperation is the norm and selfish abusive behavior is so rare ; this is a major question that evolutionary psychology seeks to answer.
  2. If people are basically good, then that demands an evolutionary explanation.
  3. The most fundamental weakness of evolutionary psychology is that it often relies on speculations about what might have happened in the distant past.

It is at risk of incorrect explanations of the status quo, and these can be misinterpreted as justifications for the status quo (see Just-So Stories ). Even within evolutionary psychology there is considerable dispute about whether behaviors such as music and religion are adaptive or not, and to what degree they are hard-wired.

This distinction is in fact somewhat ill-founded, because as Daniel Dennett points out in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, all adaptation is exaptation, This means every feature or behavior of an organism must have its origin in a feature that was purely accidental, or served a different purpose. While it is clearly true that many of an organism’s structures and behaviors serve purposes, there are also many traits with no clear purpose.

It may serve no purpose at all, or might have multiple minor benefits.

What are 2 weaknesses to the evolutionary theory?

Comments on Darwinism The theme of Dr. Kuhn’s paper is that Darwin’s theory of evolution to explain the origin of species is inadequate, and that the 2010 decision by the Texas State Board of Education to require textbooks to present the weaknesses, as well as the strengths, of Darwin’s theory was appropriate. The three limitations of Darwin’s theory concern the origin of DNA, the irreducible complexity of the cell, and the paucity of transitional species. Because of these limitations, the author predicts a paradigm shift away from evolution to an alternative explanation. The intellectual problem, in my opinion, is not that evolution has “fatal defects,” but rather that it remains a suspect theory for most Americans >150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species (1859). While the Texas State Board of Education may have debated the issue for 3 full days in 2010, its recommendation in the end will probably be ignored by scientists who write textbooks. I suppose the Texas decision represents progress. Tennessee’s Butler Act made it unlawful to teach evolution, giving rise to the Scopes trial in 1925, in which John T. Scopes, a high school teacher, was accused of violating that law. After an 8-day trial, a guilty verdict was reached. To embrace the idea that all forms of life, great and small, plant and animal, primate and nonprimate, were derived from a common primordial cell or organism requires a scientific perspective. The various religions, current and extinct, typically elevate humans above other forms of life. Most Homo sapiens believe that the different species on planet earth were created independently by a God, in sequential batches, placed in certain locales, with the Homo sapiens inherently superior, made in the image of the creator—thus, the resistance to the concept of evolution. With respect to the origin of DNA as a weakness of Darwinism, our knowledge of DNA, from my reading, has added to, not subtracted from, the evidence of evolution. In the 2006 preface to the 30th anniversary edition of The Selfish Gene (first published by Oxford University Press in 1976), author Richard Dawkins wrote: The correct word of the title to stress is “gene” and let me explain why. A central debate within Darwinism concerns the unit that is actually selected: what kind of entity is it that survives, or does not survive, as a consequence of natural selection. That unit will become, more or less by definition, “selfish.” Let me repeat and expand the rationale for the word “selfish” in the title. The critical question is which level in the hierarchy of life will turn out to be the inevitably “selfish” level, at which natural selection acts? The Selfish Species? The Selfish Group? The Selfish Organism? The Selfish Ecosystem? Most of these could be argued, and most have been uncritically assumed by one or another author, but all of them are wrong. Given that the Darwinian message is going to be pithily encapsulated as The Selfish Something, that something turns out to be the gene, for cogent reasons which this book argues. The notion of “irreducible complexity” in a cell, as an argument against evolution, is beyond my present understanding. Knowing that life has existed on planet earth for billions of years, however, I suspect that there has been time enough for evolution, no matter how complex, with reducibility. With respect to transitional species, a brief glance through recent issues of National Geographic shows no paucity of data from paleontologists. Human lineage can be traced back >6 million years, with fossils discovered in East Africa from all three major phases of hominid evolution— Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and Homo —with a divergence from living ape species (chimpanzee and bonobos) roughly 8 to 6 million years ago. Transitional species have been identified in numerous other groups. The whale, for example, accomplished an enormous transformation, with fossil evidence. Fifty million years ago it was semi-terrestrial; now it is fully aquatic. Seven billion Homo sapiens now inhabit planet earth. World population in ad 1 (the time of Christ) was about 200 million. In the struggle for survival in the next century and beyond, the hand of natural selection will be at work, I believe, and evidence of evolution, to explain the origin, modification, and behavior of species, will continue to increase. Editor’s note: Gregory Dimijian, MD, is also preparing a full-length article on Darwinism, which Proceedings will publish in an upcoming issue. : Comments on Darwinism

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What is the weird problem in evolutionary psychology?

Evolutionary psychology is the study of universal human nature, so the WEIRD problem (the observation that almost all of our empirical data come from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic societies and that individuals from such societies are often extreme outliers in their behavioral tendencies) is

What is the criticism of evolutionary theory in sociology?

The theory of social evolution is also criticized for its bias toward Western social development. The concept of social progress assumes a dichotomy of traditional and modern societies with the conclusion that modern societies are more developed than traditional ones.

What is one of the biggest challenges for evolutionary psychologists?

The Challenge of the Challenges – Debate and discussion are, of course, all to the good. Conflict helps distill truth, as champions make their cases for their favored proposition, allowing their views to be judged by observers. The challenge faced by evolutionary psychology, however, is that the critics do not participate in this dialectic. Interlocutors engaging with evolutionary psychologists frequently don’t engage with evolutionary psychology, preferring instead to fabricate evolutionary psychologists’ views, and then attack the imagined positions (see Kurzban, 2002 ). Why is this the case? At this point it is unclear. A recent survey potentially illustrates one aspect of the problem. Park (2007) investigated 10 social psychology texts’ presentation of Hamilton’s (1964) theory of kin selection. This is a good test case because kin selection is central to modern evolutionary biology and directly relevant to human social behavior (family and altruism), and, at least in its broad strokes, is not particularly difficult to master, deriving from one inequality with three terms (C? ^ This paper gave me an unusual opportunity to interact personally and directly with critics because one of the authors (DW) is at my institution, the University of Pennsylvania, and because both authors presented the paper at a colloquium series at Penn’s Law School. In February of 2007, well before publication, I pointed out various errors in the manuscript, including this misrepresentation. The authors chose not to make corrections.

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What are the criticism of evolutionary theory of social change?

The theory of social evolution is also criticized for its bias toward Western social development. The concept of social progress assumes a dichotomy of traditional and modern societies with the conclusion that modern societies are more developed than traditional ones.

What is one of the main criticisms of trait theory?

Criticisms of Trait Theory – Most theorists and psychologists agree that people can be described based on their personality traits. Yet, theorists continue to debate the number of basic traits that make up human personality. While trait theory has an objectivity that some personality theories lack (such as Freud’s psychoanalytic theory), it also has weaknesses.

What is the biggest criticism of evolution?

Improbability. A common objection to evolution is that it is simply too unlikely for life, in its complexity and apparent ‘design’, to have arisen ‘by chance’.

What are three criticisms of evolutionary psychology module 15?

Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists (1) start with an effect and work backward to an explanation, (2) do not recognize social and cultural influences, and (3) absolve people from taking responsibility for their sexual behavior.

Which is one of the major criticisms of the evolutionary perspective in psychology quizlet?

A. Explanation: Many critics of the evolutionary psychology perspective point out that it is easy to produce ‘just so’ stories that explain behaviors according to an adaptive framework, but much harder to test these theories or find evidence for them (see pages 145-146 for more).

What are 4 criticisms of evolutionary psychology?

Evolutionary psychology seeks to identify and understand human psychological traits that have evolved in much the same way as biological traits, through adaptation to environmental cues. Furthermore, it tends toward viewing the vast majority of psychological traits, certainly the most important ones, as the result of past adaptions, which has generated significant controversy and criticism from competing fields.

These criticisms include disputes about the testability of evolutionary hypotheses, cognitive assumptions such as massive modularity, vagueness stemming from assumptions about the environment that leads to evolutionary adaptation, the importance of non-genetic and non-adaptive explanations, as well as political and ethical issues in the field itself.

Evolutionary psychologists contend the criticisms against it are straw men, based on an incorrect nature versus nurture dichotomy, and/or based on misunderstandings of the discipline.

What is criticism theory in psychology?

Psychological Criticism is

a research method, a type of textual research, that literary critics use to interpret texts a genre of discourse employed by literary critics used to share the results of their interpretive efforts.

Psychological criticism, or psychoanalytic criticism, took off in popularity in the early decades of the twentieth century. Sigmund Freud, who based some of his theories on analyses of literature, particularly Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, is the figure primarily associated with psychological criticism, though Jacques Lacan and Carl Jung have played key roles as well.

Psychological criticism frequently addresses human behavior—at the conscious and/or unconscious level—as well as the development of characters through their actions. For example, according to Freud in The Ego and the Id, a work of literature is an external expression of the author’s unconscious mind.

Key Terms: Dialectic ; Hermeneutics ; Semiotics ; Text & Intertextuality ; Tone

What are two criticisms of the psychoanalytic approach in psychology?

Conclusion – Sigmund Freud was heavily criticized for his theories and focus on sex and aggression. Several critics stated that Freud was too simplistic and repetitive in his ways and was focused on what could not be seen. He was also regarded as not being empathetic and projecting his feelings into the theories he conceptualized.

What is the weakness of evolutionary?

Two weaknesses are the difficulty of confirming facts because of how slow evolution can occur in some cases, as well as not necessarily explaining the mechanisms of organisms as much as alternative theories, because evolutionary theories often focus instead on larger issues instead of the precise mechanisms.

What is the most controversial aspect of evolutionary psychology?

What might be the most controversial aspect of the evolutionary psychology position? Evolutionary psychologists minimize the role of environmental and social forces.

What is the weird problem in evolutionary psychology?

Evolutionary psychology is the study of universal human nature, so the WEIRD problem (the observation that almost all of our empirical data come from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic societies and that individuals from such societies are often extreme outliers in their behavioral tendencies) is

What are three criticisms of evolutionary psychology module 15?

Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists (1) start with an effect and work backward to an explanation, (2) do not recognize social and cultural influences, and (3) absolve people from taking responsibility for their sexual behavior.

What is a common critique of evolutionary psychology is that it focuses too much?

A common critique of evolutionary psychology is that it focuses too much on instinctual behavioral patterns. Which of the following explanations is NOT used as evidence for this critique?