Is Evolutionary Psychology Possible?

  title={Is Evolutionary Psychology Possible?},
  author={Subrena E. Smith},
  journal={Biological Theory},
In this article I argue that evolutionary psychological strategies for making inferences about present-day human psychology are methodologically unsound. Evolutionary psychology is committed to the view that the mind has an architecture that has been conserved since the Pleistocene, and that our psychology can be fruitfully understood in terms of the original, fitness-enhancing functions of these conserved psychological mechanisms. But for evolutionary psychological explanations to succeed… Expand
Making Sense of the Relationship Between Adaptive Thinking and Heuristics in Evolutionary Psychology
The purpose of this article is to elucidate the use of heuristics in evolutionary psychology, thereby clarifying the role adaptive thinking has to play, and draws two primary conclusions. Expand
Musings about Metaphors and Models: the Need to Put Psychology Together Again
This commentary examines the metaphors and models invoked in the article and suggests alternative perspectives on the grounds that a grand singular solution and consistency in definitions are not urgent requirements for understanding the complexity, diversity, and nuances of the human condition. Expand
A Brief (Hi)Story of Just-So Stories in Evolutionary Science
In this essay, I examine the usage of the term “just-so story.” I attempt to show that just-so storytelling can be seen as an epistemic concept that, in various ways, tackles the epistemological andExpand
In the Light of the Environment: Evolution Through Biogrammars Not Programmers
An alternative to genetic programs—dubbed “biogrammars”— is proposed here to deal with complex, changing environments and explain evolving complexity from pre-genetic life to human socio-cognitive functions. Expand
Are online games a blessing or evil? The moderating role of self-worth
  • Jinqi Ding, Renjie Shan, +4 authors Qingbai Zhao
  • Psychology
  • 2021
Abstract Online games have gained prominence in people's lives. While some studies have demonstrated that online games damage students’ cognitive flexibility, others have illustrated that theyExpand


Evolutionary Psychology: A New Paradigm for Psychological Science
Psychological science is currently in conceptual disarray, characterized by unconnected mini-theories and isolated empirical findings. We lack a theory of the functional properties of the human mindExpand
Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature
Was human nature designed by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch? The dominant view in evolutionary psychology holds that it was--that our psychological adaptations were designed tens ofExpand
Evolutionary Psychology and the Massive Modularity Hypothesis
  • R. Samuels
  • Psychology, Sociology
  • The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 1998
In recent years evolutionary psychologists have developed and defended the Massive Modularity Hypothesis, which maintains that our cognitive architecture—including the part that subserves ‘centralExpand
Evolutionary Psychology: The Burdens of Proof
I discuss two types of evidential problems with the most widely touted experiments in evolutionary psychology, those performed by Leda Cosmides and interpreted by Cosmides and John Tooby. First, andExpand
Cognitive adaptations for social exchange.
The human mind is the most complex natural phenomenon humans have yet encountered, and Darwin's gift to those who wish to understand it is a knowledge of the process that created it and gave it itsExpand
Evolutionary Psychology, Meet Developmental Neurobiology: Against Promiscuous Modularity
Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind contains “hundreds or thousands” of “genetically specified” modules, which are evolutionary adaptations for their cognitive functions. We argue that,Expand
The Mind Doesn't Work That Way : The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology
In this engaging book, Jerry Fodor argues against the widely held view that mental processes are largely computations, that the architecture of cognition is massively modular, and that theExpand
Historical Evidence and Human Adaptations
While phylogenetic information can be useful for testing adaptive hypotheses in humans, these generally involve traits that are likely of a lower order of complexity than the sorts of traits evolutionary psychology has so far been interested in. Expand
Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology
Introduction C. Salmon, C. Crawford Evolutionary Psychology: The Historical Context Part 1: Biological Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology J. Alcock, C. Crawford Evolutionary Questions forExpand
Modularity and mental architecture.
  • P. Robbins
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science
  • 2013
The current state of evidence and argument suggests that a broader skepticism about modularity may be warranted, and it is suggested that high-level cognitive systems responsible for judgment, decision making, and reasoning should be questioned. Expand