2 Evolutionary Psychology
Published Online: 26 SEP 2012
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition
How to Cite
Durrant, R. and Ellis, B. J. 2012. Evolutionary Psychology. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 3:2.
- Published Online: 26 SEP 2012
Evolutionary psychology is the application of the principles and knowledge of evolutionary biology to psychological theory and research. Evolutionary psychologists typically assume that the human brain is comprised of a large number of specialized mechanisms that were shaped by natural selection over vast periods of time to solve the recurrent information-processing problems faced by our ancestors. In order to address specific research questions, evolutionary psychologists employ multiple levels of explanation ranging from broad metatheoretical assumptions, to more specific middle-level theories, to actual hypotheses and predictions that are tested in research. To illustrate this approach, research on human mate selection derived from good genes sexual selection theory is reviewed. This research demonstrates how specific male traits may have been selected for because of their role in advertising genetic quality to prospective mates. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the future of evolutionary psychology with a focus on key contributions, limitations, and directions for future research.
- evolutionary psychology;
- good genes sexual selection