Evolutionary Social Psychology

In this chapter, we review the current state of evolutionary social psychology. We begin with a brief primer on exactly what evolutionary social psychology is and is not, articulating its assumptions and the tools it provides for inquiry into social cognition and behavior. We then present an overview of what we call the affordance management system—a conceptual framework that articulates, in general terms, the manner in which many evolved psychological mechanisms influence cognition and behavior as individuals negotiate the many threats and opportunities inherent in social life. We proceed to review many different lines of evolutionarily informed research on a wide range of social psychological phenomena. This review highlights the many novel and nuanced hypotheses that have been deduced within an evolutionary framework, and illustrates the generative and integrative power of evolutionary logic when applied to the study of social psychology. We then address broader questions. We explore the relationships among evolved adaptations, development, learning, and culture. We discuss several epistemic and methodological issues that attend inquiries in evolutionary social psychology (and common misunderstandings that arise from these issues). We identify promising directions for future research. Finally, we reconsider the utility that an evolutionary perspective offers to scientific inquiry into social behavior.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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