Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology is an approach to studying human behavior and cognition. It rests on a Darwinian, adaptationist approach to studying the human mind. For this reason, people who become evolutionary psychologists pursue study in multiple areas, including evolutionary biology, animal behavior, cognitive science, anthropology, behavior genetics, and other areas. Most evolutionary psychologists assume that human cognition consists of a large number of specialized computational systems, each designed to discharge a particular function associated with an adaptive problem faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Evolutionary psychology, because it is an approach rather than a content area, can be applied to understanding many different aspects of human and animal behavior. This includes areas such as economic decision making (Kurzban), social behavior (Cheney, Kurzban, Rozin, Seyfarth), political science (Lustick) cognitive development, logical reasoning, language, culture (Cheney, Rozin, Seyfarth), emotions (Rozin), and so forth. At the University of Pennsylvania, people interested in studying evolutionary psychology can draw on resources associated with the study of animal behavior (Cheney, Seyfarth), behavior genetics, decision making, cognition (Kurzban), and other related areas, including the large community of cognitive scientists.

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Coren Apicella
Dorothy Cheney
Robert Kurzban
Paul Rozin
Robert Seyfarth