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EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY

Evolutionary Psychology (EP) is a growing field within psychology that looks at the human mind and behavior through the lens of evolution. It tells us that our thoughts and behaviors evolved because they served a purpose in the environment in which we evolved - an environment far different from that which we live in today.

The mismatch between the environment to which our minds and behaviors are adapted and the modern civilized and/or industrialized environment leads to what is known as "maladaptation". This maladaptation, according to EP, lies at the root of much of the neurosis, and perhaps even some of the psychosis, that is so common in our modern way of life.

But, while most modern fields of psychology attempt to help the individual "adjust" to this maladaptive environment (known as autoplastic adjustment), many in EP believe that this is not possible or advisable. Rather, our environment must be adapted to better suit us (known as alloplastic adjustment). Although those of us living today have lived in this modern environment for all of our lives, this does not change the fact that it is highly unnatural for our species - as unnatural as a cage in a zoo is to a tiger, even one born within that zoo and living within it for its whole life. Indeed, Desmond Morris, a famous zoologist, has called modern society The Human Zoo and recommends that, while we can probably never go back to our original environment, we could at least transform the zoo into a more human-friendly wildlife preserve.

Because it offers a completely unique way of viewing mind and behavior, a way grounded in a harder science such as evolutionary biology, I think EP is one of the most important fields to understand. It sheds light on subjects as varied as mental illness, mating, child abuse and murder. Darwin always predicted that his theories would one day be applied to the mind, just as they had been applied to the development of the body, and today that prediction is coming true.

PAPERS BY CLINICAL EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGIST DR. DALE GLAEBACH

Below are several documents regarding Evolutionary Psychology written by my friend Dr. Dale Glaebach, a clinical evolutionary psychologist, on various areas of EP. Dr. Glaebach is an extremely passionate proponent of the field.

OTHER EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY RESOURCES

LEARN MORE ABOUT EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY!



Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind by David Buss
Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind by David Buss - A perfect intro college textbook on the subject that makes a great read for anyone interested in the basics of the field.

Good Natured: Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals by Frans De Waal
Good Natured: Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals by Frans De Waal - A book that traces the roots of moral behavior back to our animal ancestors.

Introducing Evolutionary Psychology
by Dylan Evans, Oscar Zarate, Richard Appignanesi
Introducing Evolutionary Psychology by Dylan Evans, Oscar Zarate, Richard Appignanesi - A simple-to-read, short, illustrated introduction to the field.

Exiles from Eden: Psychotherapy from an Evolutionary Perspective by Kalman Glantz & John K. Pearce
Exiles from Eden: Psychotherapy from an Evolutionary Perspective by Kalman Glantz & John K. Pearce - Details the growing application of evolutionary psychological principles in the clinical setting.

The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature by Geoffrey Miller
The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature by Geoffrey Miller - A fascinating book that shows how sexual selection, not only natural selection, may be responsible for the development of language, arts, and other skills possessed by humans far beyond levels necessary for survival or reproduction.

Evolutionary Psychiatry: A New Beginning
by Anthony Stevens, John Price
Evolutionary Psychiatry: A New Beginning by Anthony Stevens, John Price - Describes the emergence of Darwinian thought in the field of psychiatry, putting disorders ranging from depression to OCD to Borderline Personality Disorder to schizophrenia in an evolutionary context.

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