To find out
more about Evolutionary Psychology (EP)
Just click the
|1. Just what is
|4. The mind.
Some beg to
|6. Links and
Adaptation: The mind is an adaptive
Cosmides and Tooby, considered to be
“fathers of evolutionary psychology” (Kanazawa, 2004, p.512) have over
the past 12 years extended Fodor's neural module and put
forward the argument that the mind is comprised of thousands of these
“computational” modules. These
domain-specific modules not only include psychological mechanisms for
provisioning the physical senses such as eyesight but also provision
domains, some of which are uniquely associated with humans. These
include the language acquisition
device (Pinker 1994 in Kanazawa,
2004, p.513), cheater detection
mechanism (Cosmides, 1989 in
Kanazawa, 2004, p.513) and mind-reading
& Zarate, 1999,
p.87). Together, these thousands of domain-specific modules function
within an intricate and inter-coordinated “peer-to-peer network” (also
known as the mind) - to finally produce what is known as "human nature".
Humans and all
other animals face adaptive problems within the environments they
operate in. Underlying the idea of adaptiveness is the evolutionary
concept that the sole purpose
organism is to survive within its environment and reproduce itself.
(Evans & Zarate, 1999, p. 42). An environment
offers an organism degrees of opportunities to survive and reproduce. However it
also offers degrees of obstacles or problems that hinder its survival
reproductive ability ie. adaptive problems which an organism must
'solve' - either by using its own innate resources or via evolutionary
processes - if it is to sucessfully survive and reproduce within
| "An adaptive problem is
something that an organism needs to solve in order to survive and
(Evans & Zarate, p.42).
psychologists believe that the domain-specific module is a
psychological adaptation (Hagen, 2002). Many of the thousand
modules extant within the modern human mind are infact evolved
"solutions" to common adaptive
problems encountered by pre-historic humans during their time in
Pleistocene East African savannah (Evans & Zarate, p.
45). These "solutions" or adaptations have become encoded within
the human mind through the evolutionary process of natural
is believed that these individual "solutions" (or modules) to common
problems posed by the savannah environment during Pleistocene, underlay
the structure and design of the human mind.
The Pleistocene Epoch covers the period -
1.8 million to 11,000 years BP. It is characterised by the development,
advance and retreat of great sheets of ice that covered the Northern
Hemispheric continents down to latitude 45th parrallel.
|Go to pages:
1, 2, 4,
On the web
Interesting links around the web on
Evolutionary Psychology (EP).
Just click the images below:
|Steve Pinker's homepage. Plenty of
|The EP Primer . A detailed
outline of EP principles - prepared by Leda Cosmides & John Tooby.
|HBES homepage. Human Behaviour
& Evolution Society.