Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Evolutionary Developmental Psychology
Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford & David F. Bjorklund
Evolutionary psychology is the study of how and why humans and nonhumans behave the way they do, with special attention to the particular ancestral environments that contributed to the production of the physical and behavioral aspects of an organism. Evolutionary psychology is built on on the fact of evolution by natural selection (Darwin, 1859) and asserts that the behaviors that we see today are a result of the mind or brain being shaped by millions of years of evolution (for reviews, see Buss, 1999; Tooby & Cosmides, 1992). Three components are necessary for natural selection to operate. There must be variation in a particular characteristic; this variation must be inherited from parent to offspring; and the characteristics that contribute to successful genetic replication must be retained or selected . Although scientific work inspired by evolutionary theory had been conducted prior to Darwin's presentation of natural selection, Darwin's writings filled a ...