Blog Post #3

2 Commentsby   |  03.05.13  |  Student Posts

Evolutionary psychology is an interesting topic to many people within the field of psychology. Since Darwin’s theories have been largely solidified and accepted by the scientific community, it is no wonder that placing psychology within an evolutionary context seems so fitting. Evolutionary psychology offers a variety of explanations into various phenomena that are uniquely human. Things such as altruistic behavior, language, and even some phobias have been tackled and some even explained by evolutionary psychologists. Evolutionary psychology goes far in explaining how we have come to be, but it does little to aide us in understanding and creating solutions to various psychological problems.

Take altruistic behavior for example. Though evolutionary psychologists have explained the function of altruism in early humans, they have not explained its inconsistency from person to person. Evolutionary psychology does little to explain the conscious cognitive process that is at the center of altruism. As well as not explaining processes behind many aspects of the human experience, evolutionary psychology does not fully explain the phenomenon of altruism.

Further more, little can be known of our history as a species. Many explanations offered by evolutionary psychologists logically make sense and are possibly true, but little can be known about the historical context of the time that any said evolutionary change took place. For example, take the prevalent phobias of snakes and spiders. Why are those the only organisms that seem to evoke a fear response? Many other animals are poisonous or deadly, yet the fear of them is not as inherent as spiders or snakes. Why do phobias of spiders and snakes seem more prevalent when there are deadlier organisms? Evolutionary psychology does not completely explain many of the theories that it postulates.

Evolution as a theory has completely changed the way scientists look at and study biology. Within the context of psychology, evolution most certainly has its place. Evolution is among the best current theories that explain how we have become the human beings we are today. It is a necessity that psychology take whatever it can away from evolution as a theory. And though the way we have come to exist as human beings can possibly be explained by evolutionary theory, this does not mean that all other areas of psychology are no longer needed. Though evolutionary psychology can reveal much about our past as humans, we need to remain vigilant in other areas of psychology to tackle the larger questions of who we are as human beings now, what makes us uniquely human, and what we are to become in the future.


  1. Katie Clouse
    10:21 pm, 03.05.13

    I agreed with many of the points you made in your blog post such as evolutionary psychology can explain certain things like phobias, but it cannot explain all things. I liked how you talked about how evolutionary psychology has influenced the field of biology. And I agree with you again in the fact that we need to look more at who we are now, and where we are heading.

  2. Kelsey Hilton
    10:55 am, 03.06.13

    Grant, I always enjoy reading what you have to say. We can critique evolutionary psychology all day long because it is easy to critique but why do we not pay as much attention to other theories? Why not sit down and talk about existentialism and whether or not we actually exist or have purpose, because if we do not have a purpose then who cares about studying evolution at all.
    What I took away from your post was that it does not really matter if we agree or disagree with evolutionary psychology, it provides ideas and we should not dismiss ideas just because we disagree. Ideas are ideas that spark other ideas which leads to the evolution of thought.

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