Evolutionary Psychology Essay

Submitted By bswhitti
Words: 575
Pages: 3

Evolutionary psychology is an approach to psychology which seeks to explain psychological aspects of human behavior as a function of evolution. It attempts to identify psychological processes, such as sexual selection and kinship relations, among many other things, as evolved adaptations. Critics of evolutionary psychology cite the uncertain testability of hypotheses and the general lack of experimentation within the subfield (Hankins, 2013). Evolutionary psychology should be supported because humans and human intelligence have evolved on this planet from natural selection and thus have many adaptations, including mental ones, to help them survive as an individual and as a species. It can be noted that issues involving evolutionary psychology are hard to test and/or prove, but the approach itself does contain validity (Roberts et al., 2012). Evolutionary psychology makes sense in several different aspects. First of all, humans are not exempt from evolution. We evolved through natural selection just as any other species did. As such, we have certain adaptations that help us survive and reproduce. Most obvious are physical adaptations, such as a bipedal gait or opposable thumbs. However, mental adaptations have evolved as well; evolved behaviors reflect evolved morphology (Another Lame Attack, 2013). Even though critics of evolutionary psychology are correct in pointing out that hypotheses within this field are difficult or even impossible to test, that does not erase the fact that the human mind has evolved to become complex and to adapt to certain situations and environments. Evidence of evolutionary psychology is also found in primary literature as scientific studies. For example, a study done by Kruger, et al. discovered that sexual behaviors were most indicative of cheating (Kruger et al., 2013). It is speculated that this result indicates that people would not want their partners to engage in sexual behaviors with others because that would mean the individual who cheated would devote less time and resources to the partner and any children. In another study by Zeigler-Hill et al., people with benign (i.e. not injurious or deprecating) humor styles were found to be rated more positively among parents and peers, leading the researchers to speculate that humor has evolved as a signal and as a way to appease and bond with other members of a social group, much like mutual grooming in monkeys (Zeigler-Hill, 2013). Overall, critics of evolutionary psychology are correct to point out