Evolutionary Psychology


Evolutionary psychology is not a specialty but an evolutionary way of thinking about all areas of psychology (perception, emotion, cognition, sociality, and the rest). In his book On the Origin Species (1859), Charles Darwin anticipated the emergence of psychology as an evolutionary science when he wrote that in the future, it would be based on a new, evolutionary foundation. The central claim of evolutionary psychology is that the process of natural selection over vast periods of time has shaped our brain and mind to solve recurrent problems, such as avoiding dangers, recognizing friends and foes, finding mates, choosing nutritious food, and so on. This course deals with various subjects, such as the differences between sexes, infanticide, origin and function of emotions, sociality among primates, evolution of brain, intelligence, and culture.

The literature includes selected articles on Psyweb, and textbooks which are in many copies available in the library.

For example:
Cartwright, John (2008), Evolution and Human Behaviour: Darwinian Perspectives on Human Nature, New York: Palgrave: MacMillan.
Gaulin, Steven J.C. en Donald H. McBurney (2001), Psychology: An Evolutionary Approach, Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Barrett, Louise, Robin Dunbar en John Lycett (2002), Human Evolutionary Psychology, New York: Palgrave.  

The written test is in the form of open questions