Which Of The Following Statements Is True About Evolutionary Developmental Psychology?
- Sabrina Sarro
Which of the following statements is true of evolutionary developmental psychology? Many evolved psychological mechanisms apply only to a specific aspect of a person’s psychological makeup.
- 0.1 What is the evolutionary theory of developmental psychology?
- 1 What is the difference between evolutionary psychology and developmental psychology?
- 2 What is the evolutionary theory of child development?
- 3 What is an example of evolutionary theory in psychology?
- 4 What are the four basic principles of evolutionary psychology?
- 5 What is the basic assumption of evolutionary psychology?
- 6 What are the main differences between evolutionary psychology and sociobiology?
What is the evolutionary theory of developmental psychology?
Abstract – Evolutionary developmental psychology is the study of the genetic and ecological mechanisms that govern the development of social and cognitive competencies common to all human beings and the epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions.
What is evolutionary developmental psychology quizlet?
Evolutionary psychology holds that adaptation, reproduction, and ‘survival of the fittest’ are important in shaping behavior. Evolutionary developmental psychology emphasizes that humans need an extended ‘juvenile’ period to develop a large brain and learn the complexity of social communities.
What is the difference between evolutionary psychology and developmental psychology?
Evo Devo Psych Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development, Edited by Bruce J. Ellis and David F. Bjorklund. xviii + 540 pp. Guilford Press, 2005. $65. Fifteen years ago, the application of principles of evolutionary biology to psychology was still new and unfamiliar to most psychologists.
That changed with the publication in 1992 of The Adapted Mind (edited by Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby), which established evolutionary psychology as a progressive research program. Evolutionary psychologists take the view that “human nature” is a collection of specialized psychological mechanisms that proved beneficial in our ancestral environment.
Today, evolutionary developmental psychology is as new and unfamiliar as evolutionary psychology was 15 years ago. Bruce J. Ellis and David F. Bjorklund, the editors of a new book on the subject, Origins of the Social Mind, see this new subfield not simply as an expansion of evolutionary psychology into the developmental realm, but as an integration of developmental and evolutionary thinking.
They came to this intersection from different directions: Ellis trained with David Buss, a noted evolutionary social psychologist, and then turned to consider developmental questions, whereas Bjorklund started out as a developmental psychologist, became a well-known expert in cognitive development and then incorporated an evolutionary perspective in his work.
Unlike most other subfields of psychology, which typically focus on particular phenomena (cognitive psychologists study cognition, social psychologists study social processes, and so on), developmental psychology and evolutionary psychology do not have separate domains.
- Rather, they represent different approaches to the study of all psychological phenomena.
- Cognitive processes, for example, can be investigated from a developmental perspective (as in the work of Jean Piaget) or from an evolutionary one (as in the work of Cosmides and Tooby).
- Integrating the two viewpoints is easier said than done.
Developmental psychologists, who study how behavior and cognition change with age, focus on ontogeny, the development of the individual. In contrast, evolutionary psychologists focus on phylogeny, the development of the species. Furthermore, developmental psychologists concentrate on proximate causes—how biological and environmental factors interact to influence behavior over the life of the individual.
In contrast, evolutionary psychologists focus on ultimate causes—the reasons that certain behaviors were selected for over the history of the species—and explain behavior with reference to its function in the distant past. Evolutionary developmental psychologists need to consider both proximate and ultimate causes.
With few exceptions (such as John Bowlby’s hypothesis that specialized psychological mechanisms have evolved for forming strong emotional attachments between caregivers and infants, and Jay Belsky’s argument that a child’s early family environment provides cues as to which reproductive strategy will be most adaptive in adolescence and adulthood), mainstream developmental psychology has not been very informed by evolutionary theory.
- And evolutionary psychologists have often limited themselves to the study of adults, thus missing out on developmental psychology.
- A major step toward a rapprochement was the publication in 2002 of The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology, by Bjorklund and Anthony D.
Origins of the Social Mind takes another step in that direction, assembling a critical mass of authors who have both developmental and evolutionary interests. The book consists of 19 contributed chapters, organized into three sections—on general theoretical issues, personality and social development, and cognitive development.
- The text is long (more than 500 pages) and written in a technical style with lots of citations.
- Definitely pitched for an academic audience, this is not a book that people outside psychology are likely to pick up and read cover-to-cover for fun.
- For an accessible introduction to evolutionary developmental psychology, The Origins of Human Nature is a better bet.
The editors try to tie Origins of the Social Mind together by providing a nice introductory chapter, an index and some references within chapters to other chapters. However, the chapters really vary in content and approach, reflecting the fact that evolutionary developmental psychology is still coalescing as a research program.
- Some of them are rather rambling reviews of developmental research in a particular area, with evolutionary speculations sprinkled on top.
- These chapters, in which existing developmental data are reinterpreted in the light of evolutionary theory, may provide useful references for people already interested in those areas of research, but they don’t always make fascinating reading.
The more successful chapters are organized around an argument rather than an area of study, venturing a provocative hypothesis and presenting new research designed to test it. In one such chapter, Jay Belsky describes his “differential susceptibility hypothesis”—that is, the idea that children vary in their responsiveness to early environmental influences such as parenting.
Belsky offers an evolutionary argument for why such variation would be adaptive, and he provides some empirical evidence in support, including some new analyses of the data set of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care. In another interesting chapter, Jesse M.
Bering argues that religious beliefs may be prevalent because they are adaptive, in that they promote prosocial behavior—that is, they provide a motivation to behave well even when no other person is looking: because God or some other supernatural agent may be watching.
- Bering suggests that evolved psychological mechanisms account for people’s tendency to attribute coincidences to supernatural agency, and he presents new developmental data consistent with this hypothesis.
- In a chapter on empathizing, Simon Baron-Cohen summarizes evidence in favor of his “extreme male brain” theory of autism (a “male brain” being one in which systemizing is more developed than empathizing).
The evolutionary argument for sexual variation in brain types is only sketched here; it is discussed at greater length in his 2003 book The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Brain. Among the weaker contributions, a chapter by Glenn E.
- Weisfeld and Heather C.
- Janisse illustrates the sort of Panglossian thinking (assuming that every characteristic is adaptive) for which evolutionary psychology is sometimes criticized.
- Weisfeld and Janisse even suggest that male nipples—the classic example of a biological spandrel, or evolutionary by-product (in this case, of female nipples)—”may function to attract or reassure infants” (no evidence for this claim is provided).
They also make a number of other dubious claims, such as this one: “Before puberty, the sexes are quite similar.” It’s hard to believe that anyone who has spent time around children would say such a thing, and it is directly contradicted by data discussed in other chapters.
- However, Weisfeld and Janisse don’t have a monopoly on dubious claims.
- In his chapter, Brian MacWhinney suggests that “individuals with high levels of imitative skill are likely to attract mates by entrancing their attention” (again, no evidence is provided).
- Imitating a prospective mate is sexy? Maybe, but I’m not going to try it on my next date.
One of the most interesting questions for evolutionary developmental psychology is whether childhood itself is an adaptation: Is the extended period of psychological immaturity in humans just an inevitable by-product of the fact that it takes us a long time to reach adulthood, or is it actually more beneficial than a faster rate of development would be? This issue is addressed in several chapters, especially one by Mark V.
Flinn and Carol V. Ward and another by Bjorklund and Justin S. Rosenberg. These authors acknowledge that there are some biological constraints on the system (for example, fetal brain size versus female hip width) but argue that an extended childhood is actually adaptive, because it allows time to develop the social-cognitive skills necessary to master the specifics of children’s social environments.
However, their argument assumes that ancestral social environments were varied enough for a “tuning” period to be beneficial and that a slower rate of social-cognitive development was selected over faster alternatives. It might just be that children develop as fast as is biologically possible.
Such questions should keep evolutionary developmental psychologists busy for a while. So has an evolutionary perspective taken over developmental psychology? Certainly not yet. A look at the indexes for the programs from the last three biennial meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development (the leading professional organization for developmental psychologists) turns up only a couple of items pertaining to evolution.
Will the evolutionary perspective become dominant within developmental psychology eventually? I wouldn’t bet against it, for the same reason I wouldn’t bet against evolutionary psychology in general—a lack of alternatives. Evolutionary psychology has a lot of problems—claims that run ahead of the evidence, misunderstandings and oversimplifications of evolutionary biology, and the perception that the approach provides scientific cover for stereotypical attitudes toward the sexes.
Nevertheless, it continues to attract adherents and is arguably the most progressive paradigm in psychology today. (It just goes to show that, in science, relative promise can be more important than current evidence.) Evolutionary psychology has the potential to unify our understanding of psychological phenomena under one theoretical umbrella and faces little competition for that role.
The only contender of similar scope is developmental systems theory, which argues that adult structure is not encoded in the genes but rather emerges through the interaction of each organism with its environment. Developmental systems theorists criticize evolutionary psychology’s model of development—that genes determine the range of options from which environment selects (the “jukebox” metaphor)—as overly deterministic.
- However, developmental systems theory can be criticized as not deterministic enough.
- By emphasizing the unique complexity of every individual, the theory risks reducing psychology to biography.
- Some generalization and simplification are necessary for a theory to gain predictive purchase.
- In any event, Bjorklund argues that answers to the developmental systems theorists’ critiques can be incorporated into the framework of evolutionary psychology.
Evolutionary developmental biology, or “evo devo,” is currently a hot topic in biology. Fifteen years from now, we may look back on the publication of Origins of the Social Mind as the point when evo devo became a hot topic in psychology. : Evo Devo Psych
What is the evolutionary theory of child development?
An evolutionary developmental perspective posits that an extended childhood is necessary to acquire the skills needed for the complexities of the human social world.
What is an example of evolutionary theory in psychology?
For example, as the ability to recognize poisonous snakes was passed down through generations, evolutionary psychology theory says that our brains adapted to include instinctual fear and caution around snakes.
What is one idea proposed by evolutionary developmental psychologists?
Evolutionary developmental psychology posits that this is because individuals inherit a species-typical environment, as well as a species-typical genome. Development follows a species-typical pattern given that individuals within the species grow up in environments that are similar to those of their ancestors.
What is the characteristic of evolutionary psychology?
Language – According to Steven Pinker, who builds on the work by Noam Chomsky, the universal human ability to learn to talk between the ages of 1 – 4, basically without training, suggests that language acquisition is a distinctly human psychological adaptation (see, in particular, Pinker’s The Language Instinct ).
- Pinker and Bloom (1990) argue that language as a mental faculty shares many likenesses with the complex organs of the body which suggests that, like these organs, language has evolved as an adaptation, since this is the only known mechanism by which such complex organs can develop.
- Pinker follows Chomsky in arguing that the fact that children can learn any human language with no explicit instruction suggests that language, including most of grammar, is basically innate and that it only needs to be activated by interaction.
Chomsky himself does not believe language to have evolved as an adaptation, but suggests that it likely evolved as a byproduct of some other adaptation, a so-called spandrel, But Pinker and Bloom argue that the organic nature of language strongly suggests that it has an adaptational origin.
- Evolutionary psychologists hold that the FOXP2 gene may well be associated with the evolution of human language.
- In the 1980s, psycholinguist Myrna Gopnik identified a dominant gene that causes language impairment in the KE family of Britain.
- This gene turned out to be a mutation of the FOXP2 gene.
- Humans have a unique allele of this gene, which has otherwise been closely conserved through most of mammalian evolutionary history.
This unique allele seems to have first appeared between 100 and 200 thousand years ago, and it is now all but universal in humans. However, the once-popular idea that FOXP2 is a ‘grammar gene’ or that it triggered the emergence of language in Homo sapiens is now widely discredited.
- Currently, several competing theories about the evolutionary origin of language coexist, none of them having achieved a general consensus.
- Researchers of language acquisition in primates and humans such as Michael Tomasello and Talmy Givón, argue that the innatist framework has understated the role of imitation in learning and that it is not at all necessary to posit the existence of an innate grammar module to explain human language acquisition.
Tomasello argues that studies of how children and primates actually acquire communicative skills suggest that humans learn complex behavior through experience, so that instead of a module specifically dedicated to language acquisition, language is acquired by the same cognitive mechanisms that are used to acquire all other kinds of socially transmitted behavior.
- On the issue of whether language is best seen as having evolved as an adaptation or as a spandrel, evolutionary biologist W.
- Tecumseh Fitch, following Stephen J.
- Gould, argues that it is unwarranted to assume that every aspect of language is an adaptation, or that language as a whole is an adaptation.
He criticizes some strands of evolutionary psychology for suggesting a pan-adaptionist view of evolution, and dismisses Pinker and Bloom’s question of whether “Language has evolved as an adaptation” as being misleading. He argues instead that from a biological viewpoint the evolutionary origins of language is best conceptualized as being the probable result of a convergence of many separate adaptations into a complex system.
A similar argument is made by Terrence Deacon who in The Symbolic Species argues that the different features of language have co-evolved with the evolution of the mind and that the ability to use symbolic communication is integrated in all other cognitive processes. If the theory that language could have evolved as a single adaptation is accepted, the question becomes which of its many functions has been the basis of adaptation.
Several evolutionary hypotheses have been posited: that language evolved for the purpose of social grooming, that it evolved as a way to show mating potential or that it evolved to form social contracts. Evolutionary psychologists recognize that these theories are all speculative and that much more evidence is required to understand how language might have been selectively adapted.
What are the four basic principles of evolutionary psychology?
There are four principles at work in evolution— variation, inheritance, selection and time.
What is evolutionary psychology psychology today?
Evolutionary Psychology Sociobiology The human body evolved over eons, slowly calibrating to the African savanna on which 98 percent of humankind lived and died. So, too, did the human brain. Evolutionary psychology is the study of the ways in which the mind was shaped by pressures to survive and reproduce. Natural selection has a lot to do with human behavior. In fact, our behavior is naturally selected just as our physical traits are naturally selected. We are much taller and live longer than our ancestors. Through centuries of generations, evolution has helped us pass along adaptive behaviors that promote our reproduction.
Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers proposed a number of, including why we engage in reciprocal, the nature of sex differences, and parent-offspring investment. Altruism among strangers, for example, can naturally develop because people cooperate with the expectation of receiving similar treatment from others.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors passed down behavioral traits that are, for the most part, advantageous to us. For example, we are of danger in dark alleyways. This caution is innate and within our behavioral make-up. And our predetermined response to gravitate to that 800-calorie Cinnabon can wreak havoc, but our,
Juggling our ancestral tendencies with the demands of can be a struggle. This phenomenon is known as evolutionary mismatch—when we find ourselves in an environment inconsistent with our ancestral conditioning. A good example of such mismatch is the : Ten thousand years ago, people battled starvation. They had to pile on the necessary calories just to survive certain lean times; high-fat meats and high-sugar foods were a luxury.
Today, however, fatty foods and processed sugars are readily available at low cost. article continues after advertisement Many of the behaviors people exhibit have been tools for self-preservation: Homo sapiens jealously guard their romantic partners because for mates has always been harsh. Everyone cherishes their closest kin because it’s in one’s best interest to preserve one’s,
- Humans also crave social interaction to encourage, further increasing the chances for survival.
- Many of these behaviors are innate: How people react and interact with one another is spelled out in DNA.
- Fight or flight refers to the human body’s built-in response to a perceived threat: It prepares the body to either face danger or quickly run from it.
During, the brain releases stress, pushing the body into high alert. The heart rate rises, muscles tense, and thoughts race. While the modern-day human does not face the same threats as our ancestors did, the fight-or-flight response system remains intact.
- Any fearful situation can trigger it, whether it is physical danger or a event, like running late for a meeting.
- In people with, the fight-or-flight response is more readily triggered, the brain sees certain situations as threatening, even when there’s no actual present danger.
- In fact, there is a tendency for this response to move into overdrive in individuals.
is the theory that our calculations about genetic relatedness to others (conscious or ) are powerful drivers of behavior. Most people favor, and will make sacrifices for, immediate kin as opposed to distant relatives, and blood relatives over strangers.
- This ensures the survival of genes through the survival of the people who are closely related to us.
- In evolutionary parlance, reproductive success is called reproductive fitness, a measure of how well an organism or a person is adapted to their environment.
- Men committing foolish or heroic acts that increase status or are acting in ways that increase the odds of reproduction, and attempting to maximize reproductive fitness.
also measures how well an organism is adapted to its environment. The differences in —the energy and resources invested in an offspring—lead the sex that invests more (females, in most species) to focus on mate quality and the sex that invests less (males) to seek quantity. Our emotional complexity differentiates us from other members of the animal kingdom. Evolutionary psychology seeks to explain how our emotions and other aspects of being human served as advantages to our ancestors. Like other social primates, we experience emotions beyond primal and anger.
- Through evolving as a group, we have and altruism, which allow us to commiserate with each other’s circumstances and act in ways that are not self-serving.
- What is better for the group as a whole, is better for a person as an individual.
- We have also developed emotions to help —for example, motivates us to atone for past transgressions, while pride pushes us to remain in the high regard of our peers.
And as our social structures developed, so did our value systems and what we define as “right” and “wrong.” Trivers also suggested that, detecting cheating, and the false accusation of cheating (itself a form of cheating) pushed the development of and helped increase the size of the human brain. People reject evolutionary psychology for ideological reasons. With behavior, for example, there is the notion that the field justifies people’s behaviors and actions. Our present-day traits and characteristics had for our ancestors, and these traits survived because the genes they are linked to were selected and now remain part of our genetic makeup.
Shouting evolution made me do it seems so convenient. This refers to common but faulty logic wherein people assume that because something is “natural” it is therefore “good” or just. Violence and aggression are found in all human societies, but that does not make this acceptable behavior. No endorsement is implied in a discovery of what is natural.
The general public commits the naturalistic fallacy in thinking that evolutionary psychologists endorse certain findings (such as violence or rape), when in fact evolutionary psychologists are simply outlining reasons that these behaviors may occur. The is the false belief that the world operates as we wish it would, that what ought to be is in fact the truth, or that because we wish something were not true, it cannot be true.
- People sometimes reject evolutionary theorists’ findings about human nature because they do not want to believe that said findings are true.
- Both sides of the political aisle accuse evolutionary psychology of numerous ills.
- Among many arguments, for example, conservatives on the right fear that this field of study, while liberals on the left fear that accepting inherited differences hinders the goal of social equality.
Feminists are not keen on the idea that women are inherently different from men. Such differences, they think, would force women back in time, losing ground in and equal pay, for example. They also feel that people can use evolutionary psychology to explain away misogyny, poverty, sexual misbehavior, among many areas.
- More and more studies show that is genetic.
- However, being gay doesn’t fit so neatly into the theory of natural selection.
- Why would if reproductive success is a moot point? But there are valid reasons according to evolutionary biologists.
- For example, gay aunts and uncles can invest more time and resources in rearing the offspring of close relatives with whom they share part of their genetic makeup.
Maybe homosexuality emerged because it benefits entire groups. Want to reduce racism and other social prejudices? One way may be by teaching evolutionary theory as a scientific fact. Are animals foreseeing the future? Instincts can go a long way. It is essential that we acknowledge the craziness of much of what we encounter today, and that we have ways of understanding that craziness that can guide us going forward.
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Although human observers are generally able to identify emotional behaviors in children, dogs, and monkeys, they are particularly insensitive in anticipating canine aggression. No other species wages large-scale war the way we do. Why do we kill our kind so frequently, and how does our species yet survive? Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. : Evolutionary Psychology
What is an example of evolutionary development?
Development – Understanding Evolution Development is the process through which a fertilized egg, the earliest stage of an embryo, becomes an adult organism. Throughout development, an organism’s is expressed as a, exposing genes and the genetic elements that control their expression to the action of natural selection.
Genetic variation in genes affecting development seems to have played an important role in evolution. Explaining major evolutionary change Changes in the genes controlling development can have major effects on the of the adult organism. Because these effects are so significant, scientists suspect that changes in the expression of developmental genes have helped bring about large-scale evolutionary transformations.
Developmental changes, as well as new genes, may help explain, for example, how some hoofed mammals evolved into ocean-dwellers, how water plants invaded the land, and how small, armored invertebrates evolved wings. Mutations in the genes that control fruit fly development can cause major morphology changes, such as two pairs of wings instead of one. Another developmental gene mutation can cause fruit flies to have legs where the antennae normally are, as shown in the fly on the right. Fruit fly images courtesy of Jean-Michel Muratet, Syndicat National des Ophtalmologistes de France, Developmental processes may also constrain the sorts of phenotypes that genetic variation can lead to, and so might prevent certain characters from evolving in certain lineages.
- For example, development may help explain why there are no truly six-fingered among living species.
- Learning about evolutionary history In addition, an organism’s development may contain clues about its history that biologists can use to help build evolutionary trees.
- For example, the relationship between sand dollars and an unusual group of sea urchins called cassiduloids was once a conundrum.
The two groups strongly resemble each other and so seemed closely related; however, sand dollars have a complicated jaw structure (called the lantern) that cassiduloids lack. Could they really be close relatives with such a big difference? The answer, it turns out, was yes.
Scientists discovered that developing cassiduloid embryos pass through a stage where they have a lantern; it was merely lost in the adult stage through evolution. Sand dollars and cassiduloids have more in common than one might think from their adult forms alone, and they do occupy the same branch of the sea urchin family tree after all.
All photos courtesy of Camilla Souto, PhD. : Development – Understanding Evolution
What are the 5 components of evolutionary theory?
In fact, it is so simple that it can be broken down into five basic steps, abbreviated here as VISTA: Variation, Inheritance, Selection, Time and Adaptation.
How does the evolutionary theory of development explain human Behaviour?
Evolutionary psychology uses evolutionary theory to explain similarities in psychological characteristics. According to evolutionary psychologists, patterns of behavior have evolved through natural selection, in the same way that physical characteristics have evolved.
What is the basic assumption of evolutionary psychology?
Evolutionary Psychology Approach – Proponents of this psychological approach posit that as our ancestors confronted problems and developed ways of solving them, some had certain innate instincts and intelligence that gave them the ability to figure out and apply the most successful solutions.
- In doing so, they gained advantages, such as better health or a longer lifespan, allowing them to produce more offspring through the process of natural selection.
- According to evolutionary psychology, our ancestors who had psychological advantages passed down these behavioral traits to future generations, resulting in a population of offspring that then had these adaptive behaviors.
Psychological abilities, such as reading others’ intentions, making friends, and gaining trust, are known to help a person throughout life. Evolutionary psychologists believe that these skills are rooted in deeply complex neural circuits in the brain and that they are inherited.
What are 3 examples of evolutionary evidence?
Evidence for evolution: anatomy, molecular biology, biogeography, fossils, & direct observation.
What is the difference between developmental and evolutionary?
Abstract – Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection states that evolution occurs through the natural selection of heritable variation. Development plays the key physiological role connecting the heritable genotypes, passed from one generation to the next, to the phenotypes that are made available for selection.
While at times the developmental variations underlying a selected trait may be neutral with respect to selection, it is through its effects on heritable variation that developmental tinkering affects evolution. We can gain a deeper understanding of the evolutionary process by considering the role of development in structuring variation and, through its effects on variation, structuring evolution.
Both evolutionary theory and empirical studies show that features that interact in development tend to be inherited together and, hence, to evolve together. Gene mapping studies show that this modular inheritance pattern is due to modular pleiotropic gene effects, individual genes affecting a single modular unit, and that there is heritable variation in the range of features encompassed by these modules.
What is the difference between evolutionary and developmental change?
Explanation: – Development in an organisms happens through a short span of time. Evolution is a time taking process(It could take even million of years. Development of an organism is experienced after each generation. Evolution of an organism is experienced by all species. Development occurs when information is inherited through DNA. Evolution occurs due to Natural Selection.
What are the main differences between evolutionary psychology and sociobiology?
Sociobiology is, as the term suggests, the biology of animal and human society. Sociobiology preceded and developed into evolutionary psychology, which features mental dispositions more than genes as the evolutionary determinants. The relationship of the two disciplines is both congenial and contested.
What is the key difference between evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetic psychology?
|Topics:||Evolution Genetic Modification|
Cite This Essay Download This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students’ samples. Much debated topic among psychologist are always, whether our personality and behaviour are governed by nature or nurture.
- Evidence from various psychologists’ study have very much agreed that both also can influence and shape who we are.
- But to what extent, or which is more important is still an ongoing debate.
- The following contents of this essay will describe about two psychology branches: Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioural Genetics, to dwell on their root’s origin, ideology approach and methodology used of studying human behaviour and personality.
In brief, Evolutionary Psychologist is to study how our behaviour and cognitive change according to evolutionary biology. Behavioural Genetics, on the other hand is a field of study how heredity, environment and evolution work together to shape our behaviour.
Behavioural Genetics Psychology basically focus into what extend that nature or nurture shape our behaviour as cited in (Robert Plomin, 1998) (Douglas T. Kenrick, 2014). Historically to trace back who is the researcher who popularised Behavioural Genetics Psychology (E.M. EAST, T.H. MORGAN, J. ARTHUR HARRIS, GEORGE H.
SHULL, 1923), we owned thanks to Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884) and Francis Galton (1822-1911); thanking how both contributed to genetics and biology; Mendel’s botanical study inheritance of colour of pea flower and Galton’s study about how hereditary can influence human intelligence.
Mendel’s put forward that complex traits influence by various genes and environmental influence. Mendel experimented about the parental (purple pea flower -RR and white pea flower -rr) self-pollinated to have genes of Rr, also had insect to spread the pollen to produce other genes as cited in (P M Dunn, 2003) (Robert Plomin, 1998).
According to (Biography.com Editors, 2014), Mendel spent easily 8 years experiments on plants which eventually come out with 2 important concepts: 1) the Law of Segregation, which indicate offspring inherit parent’s dominant and recessive traits.2) the Law of independent Assortment, which suggest genes from parents are sorted out independently to their offspring.
Mendel initially emphasized that this theory is applicable to all living things. Unfortunately received much controversy and eventually only landed as general application for foundation principles of biology. Thus, Mendel is hailed as “Father of Modern Genetics”, due to his work and theories serve as a fundamental understanding about genetic study.
(Biography.com Editors, 2014) (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998)cited Francis Galton, on the other hand contributed much to study eugenics and human intelligence, Galton drew concept from his cousin of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, directing on how human select their mate will influence intelligence.
He was much labelled as eugenics due to his belief in selecting partner which has good quality of traits to reproduce better quality offspring to improve human species. Galton’s publication “Hereditary Genius (1869)”, argued that intelligence and physical features are inherited. Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) was an English naturalist, known for his evolution theory and natural selection had become the foundation for Evolutionary Psychology which emerge more than a century later.
In late 19th and early 20th century, William James and William McDougall respectively also cited concepts from Darwin’s evolution theory. James’s “The Principles of Psychology (1890)” used Darwin’s Evolutionary idea to explain that human’s behaviours reflect the operation of instincts; Example of instinct action like sneezing is to cause rapid blast of air to clear away irritancies in nasal passageway.
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Place Order Strictly speaking, even though Behavioural Genetics researchers first made experiment on human in 1920s, nature as well as nurture are important factors that influence human behaviour was not widely acknowledged until 1970s. Behavioural Genetics researcher used both animals and human in their quantitative genetic methods experiments, studies using animals yield more accurate data mainly because researchers can control and manipulate both genes and environment in lab.
On the other hand, researcher used quasi-experimental methods to study human twins (identical and fraternal), family and adoption. The adoption method is a quasi-experimental design which enable researcher to have better insight learning into the extent of nature and nurture influence. (Robert Plomin, 1998) Evolutionary Psychology started in the late 1980s, exactly more than one century after naturalist Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection.
Evolutionary Psychology is generally a fusion ideology from different field: ethology, cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and social psychology. Therefore, Evolutionary Psychology researchers use variety of techniques which include lab experiments, field experiments, mathematical and agent-based simulations, surveys, neuroimaging and many more, as cited in (Robert Kurzban, 2007).
Seemingly Evolutionary Psychology received many criticisms for their hypothesis questions; (Ketelaar, T., & Ellis, B., 2000) mentioned are the methods and strategies use to test hypothesis scientifically defensible and unfalsifiable. These criticisms also found to be backfired by a few journals which manage to justified Evolutionary psychologists’ stand and clarified the issues of testability and falsifiability, and also concludes with the discussion of limitations as cited in (Confer JC1, Easton JA, Fleischman DS, Goetz CD, Lewis DM, Perilloux C, Buss DM, 2010) (About evolutionary psychology? – The Evolution Institute, 2016) (Trafimow, D., & Gambacorta, D., 2012).
My discussion about Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioural Genetics has come to the end. Evolutionary Psychology relatively still a young field which emerged later than Behavioural Genetic Psychology, despite the origins of the ideology existed a century back ago.
Both Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioural Genetic contained Darwin’s evolution and adaptation idea (biology) but focused on different area to study. Behavioural Genetic focussed on human genes and how nature and nurture play a role into shaping human behaviour. Evolutionary Psychology, on the other hand focussed on human’s adaptation and evolution from past ancestors until modern days and its role to shape why we behave as today in social and cultural point of view.
But I have found a few articles which trying to combine both Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioural Genetics which become “Evolutionary Behavioural Genetics” or suggested to be unified perspective on Personality Research. (NANCY L. SEGAL and KEVIN B. MACDONALD, 1998) (Zietsch, B.P., de Candia, T.R., & Keller, M.