Evolutionary psychology/External Links

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A hand-picked, annotated list of Web resources about Evolutionary psychology.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner and consider archiving the URLs behind the links you provide. See also related web sources.
  • Center for Evolutionary Psychology | Leda Cosmides, Dept. of Psychology, John Tooby, Dept. of Anthropology, Directors. University of California Santa Barbara.
    • "The goals of the Center are (1) to promote the discovery and systematic mapping of the adaptations that comprise the evolved species-typical architecture of the human mind and brain, and (2) to explore how cultural and social phenomena can be explained as the output of such newly discovered or newly mapped psychological adaptations."
  • Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer., by Leda Cosmides & John Tooby.
    • An approximately 14,000 word document, 41 references. Last updated 1997.
    • "[Evolutionary psychology] not an area of study, like vision, reasoning, or social behavior. It is a way of thinking about psychology that can be applied to any topic within it....In this view, the mind is a set of information-processing machines that were designed by natural selection to solve adaptive problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors."
    • "But our natural competences -- our abilities to see, to speak, to find someone beautiful, to reciprocate a favor, to fear disease, to fall in love, to initiate an attack, to experience moral outrage, to navigate a landscape, and myriad others -- are possible only because there is a vast and heterogenous array of complex computational machinery supporting and regulating these activities. This machinery works so well that we don't even realize that it exists -- We all suffer from instinct blindness."
    • "Einstein once commented that "It is the theory which decides what we can observe". An evolutionary focus is valuable for psychologists, who are studying a biological system of fantastic complexity, because it can make the intricate outlines of the mind's design stand out in sharp relief. Theories of adaptive problems can guide the search for the cognitive programs that solve them; knowing what cognitive programs exist can, in turn, guide the search for their neural basis."
  • The Evolutionary Psychology FAQ. 36 questions and answers. Last updated September 8, 2004.
    • "This FAQ is written and maintained by Edward Hagen, formerly of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and now at the Institute for Theoretical Biology in Berlin. The FAQ assumes a basic knowledge of genes and natural selection. Its purpose is to outline the foundations of evolutionary psychology. These foundations are extremely robust (though not beyond criticism). The status of specific hypotheses (e.g., mate selection preferences, cheater detection modules) is more debatable, and will not be discussed in detail here. In addition, I address many of the common misconceptions about evolutionary psychology. This FAQ draws upon the work of many individuals."
  • The Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES)
    • "The Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) is an interdisciplinary, international society of researchers, primarily from the social and biological sciences, who use modern evolutionary theory to help to discover human nature - including evolved emotional, cognitive and sexual adaptations."
  • What is Evolutionary Psychology? Kruger, D.J. (2002).
    • An evolutionary approach to psychology focuses on proximate mediation; those affects, cognitions and behaviors which helped to solve some adaptive problem in the ancestral environment. This approach is quite useful in organizing information about a wide variety of structurally distal phenomena. There is no grand unifying theory of social psychology, it is currently composed of many specialized areas of research. Framing knowledge about human cognitions and behaviors in terms of their adaptive functions would lend coherence and commonality to the massive amounts of data already collected. Evolutionary psychology is concerned with the conditions that existed in ancestral environments, the proximate mechanisms that evolved to deal with conditions in this environment, and the function of these evolved mechanisms in our current environment."