Evolutionary social psychology

Evolutionary social psychology edited by Jeffry A. Simpson – Douglas T.Kenrick


pg 2/3 –  “Reasons for ignoring evolutionary social psychology …….

. Genes cannot influence complex human behaviour.

Social and evolutionary psychology

.Evolutionary explanations imply genetic determinism and ignore the role of the environment.

.Culture is more important than( and independent of) evolved psychological mechanisms.

. Social psychologists can ignore evolutionary explanations because the latter are at a different level of analysis.

. Evolutionary principles are relevant only to a narrow range of phenomena in social psychology.

.Evolutionary models provide explanations that are merely common sense, post hoc, or untestable.

pg 11 – ” Many patterns of social behaviour are very difficult to explain using traditional social models, but they make more sense wen viewed from an evolutionary perspective. We have already discussed a number of cross-cultural regularities in social behaviour that are difficult to explain solely in terms of the impact of “american culture” or idiosyncratic societal rules, expectations, or norms.”


pg 21 – “when i look at my friend who is your enemy, i see a person quite different from the person you see. My image of you, also, is quite different from your image of yourself. Wherein lies the truth, or is it all socially constructed illusion?”


“Research in social psychology has revealed that when we encounter other people, we immediately and automatically classify them as in-group or out-group, and this categorisation strutter our subsequent perceptions of them.”


pg 28 – The adaptive functions of negative illusions

“As demonstrated earlier, people tend to perceive out-group members through dark-coloured lenses.”They” are all alike; “they” are bad; and “they” are bent on exploiting or destroying us. In projecting hostile intentions onto our enemies and in characterising their negative behaviours in abstract terms that imply high stability, we feel justified in exploiting them. In viewing our enemies as dissimilar to us, we move them outside out domain of empathy.”


pg 30 – “Happiness – the sad truth is that life can be very cruel. People get raped, injured, betrayed, and murdered every day. From the perspective of evolution life is not, in fact, as fair or as meaningful as most people assume……..philosophers such as Becker and Camus discussed the dilemma of humans faced with the meaningless and absurdity of their existence and the inevitability of death.”




About hannahruthkellett

I am currently doing my Masters in interior design, this blog is to reflect and inspire my progress through out my time on the course. View all posts by hannahruthkellett

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