The Evolution of Behavior Essay

The Evolution of Behavior Essay

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1. Introduction
How do we explain, predict and control human behavior? This question remains a central underlying theme within psychology as a whole. Few specific branches of psychology have attempted to integrate multiple perspectives within their fields of research. Evolutionary psychology appears to be unique in this endeavor, and as the following researchers point out, “Evolutionary psychology is the long-forestalled scientific attempt to assemble out of the disjointed, fragmentary, and mutually contradictory human disciplines a single, logically integrated research framework for the psychological, social, and behavioural sciences—a framework that not only incorporates the evolutionary sciences on a full and equal basis, but that systematically works out all of the revisions in existing belief and research practice that such a synthesis requires” (Tooby & Cosmides, 2005)
A unification of this type is unquestionably an enormous undertaking, but as the following review ventures, it is likely to be a worthwhile contribution to a number of existing disciplines.
2. Goals and Theoretical Framework
In order to reach any type of conclusion with regard to how much of human behaviour can be explained by an evolutionary psychology framework, it is necessary to understand what the goals of such a subject area are: “The goal of evolutionary psychology is to study human behaviour as the product of evolved psychological mechanisms that depend on internal and environmental input for their development, activation, and expression in manifest behaviour.” (Buss, et al., 2010)
Like physiology, anatomy and biology, evolutionary psychology examines human behaviour from a Darwinian perspective. That is, like physical traits, psychological ...


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...at seem to contradict Darwinian Theory and either significantly reduce or eliminate an organism’s fitness. However, that is not to say such an explanation within evolutionary psychology cannot exist, it merely means a sufficient one does not currently exist.
Undoubtedly, the claim that all human behaviour can be explained by evolutionary psychology in some way is an ambitious one, but that is perhaps because evolutionary psychology attempts an ambitious goal: to unify not only psychological disciplines, but also the anthropological, sociological and biological. With this in mind, it is easier to see how the foregoing conclusion might be possible, probable even. At the very least, it is undeniable that evolutionary psychology provides a foundation with which to explore and interpret human behaviour even in spite of those subjects with which it says little about.

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