Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind

Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind (pdf) by  David Buss – Fourth Edition

In the distant future I see open fields for more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation.
                                                                              —Charles Darwin, 1859

LAs the archeologist dusted off the dirt and debris from the skeleton, she noticed something strange: The left side of the skull had a large dent, apparently from a ferocious blow, and the rib cage—also on the left side—had the head of a spear lodged in it. Back in the laboratory, scientists determined that the skeleton was that of a Neanderthal man who had died roughly 50,000 years ago, the earliest known homicide victim. His killer, judging from the damage to the skull and rib cage, bore the lethal weapon in his right hand.

The fossil record of injuries to bones reveals two strikingly common patterns (Jurmain et al., 2009: Trinkaus & Zimmerman, 1982; Walker, 1995). First, the skeletons of men contain far more fractures and dents than do the skeletons of women. Second, the injuries are located mainly on the left frontal sides of the skulls and skeletons, suggesting right-handed attackers. The bone record alone cannot tell us with certainty that combat among men was a central feature of human ancestral life. Nor can it tell us with certainty that men evolved to be the more physically aggressive sex. But skeletal remains provide clues that yield a fascinating piece of the puzzle of where we came from, the forces that shaped who we are, and the nature of our minds today.

The huge human brain, approximately 1,350 cubic centimeters, is the most complex organic structure in the known world. Understanding the human mind/brain mechanisms in evolutionary perspective is the goal of the new scientific discipline called evolutionary- psychology. Evolutionary psychology’ focuses on four key questions: (1) Why is the mind designed the way it is—that is, what causal processes created, fashioned, or shaped the human mind into its current form?  (2) How is the human mind designed—what are its mechanisms or component parts, and how are they organized? (3) What are the functions of the component parts and their organized structure—that is, what is the mind designed to do? (4) How does input from the current environment interact with the design of the human mind to produce observable behavior’?

Contemplating the mysteries of the human mind is not new. Ancient Greeks such as Aristotle and Plato wrote manifestos on the subject. More recently, theories of the human mind such as the Freudian theory of psychoanalysis, the Skinnerian theory of reinforcement, and con-nectionism have vied for the attention of psychologists.
Only within the past few decades have we acquired the conceptual tools to synthesize our understanding of the human mind under one unifying theoretical framework—that of evolutionary psychology.

This discipline pulls together findings from all disciplines of the mind, including those of brain imaging; learning and memory; attention, emotion, and passion; attraction, jealousy, and sex; self-esteem, status, and self-sacrifice; parenting, persuasion, and perception; kinship, warfare, and aggression; cooperation, altruism, and helping; ethics, morality, and medicine; and commitment, culture, and consciousness. This book offers an introduction to evolutionary psychology and provides a road map to this new science of the mind.

This chapter starts by tracing the major landmarks in the history of evolutionary biology that w ere critical in the emergence of evolutionary psychology. Then we turn to the history of the field of psychology and show the progression of accomplishments that led to the need for integrating evolutionary theory with modem psychology.

Table of Contents

1. The Scientific Movements Leading to Evolutionary Psychology /David Buss
2. The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology /David Buss
3. Combating the Hostile Forces of Nature: Human Survival Problems /David Buss
4. Men’s Long-Term Mating Strategies /David Buss
5. Women’s Long-Term Mating Strategies /David Buss
6. Short-Term Sexual Strategies /David Buss
7. Problems of Parenting/ David Buss
8. Problems of Kinship /David Buss
9. Cooperative Alliances/ David Buss
10. Aggression and Warfare /David Buss
11. Status, Prestige, and Social Dominance /David Buss
12. Conflict Between the Sexes /David Buss
13. Toward a Unified Evolutionary Psychology /David Buss

David Buss

Language: English
Format: PDF
Pages: 488
Size: 5.61 Mb
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