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Evolutionary Psychology


Throughout history, in different disciplines great power struggles have been disputed to discover who is right about the evolution and development of the human being. Within psychology we can find different branches that, although they study  the behavior of the human mind , also move towards other broader areas such as the evolution of the human brain, and therefore the evolution of its behavior. The branch of psychology that deals with the focus on human evolution is evolutionary psychology.

What is evolutionary psychology?

Evolutionary psychology is a discipline within psychology that studies the concrete man from the psychological point of view, trying to give an overview of his historical development . This has its roots in cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology.

Evolutionary psychology shows a theoretical approach that tries to explain the useful mental and psychological traits of the human being, such as memory, perception or language and their adaptations, that is, the functional products of natural selection.

This branch of psychology tries to characterize man psychologically in his various ages, discovering in turn how he passes from one stage to the next and what links unify them.

What is evolutionary psychology based on?

Evolutionary psychology focuses on how evolution has shaped the mind and behavior. It proposes that the human brain comprises many functional mechanisms, including cognitive processes. These evolved cognitive processes are designed by the process of natural selection.

It is based on the absolutely objective and natural fact that every living being goes through different periods in the course of its existence in which the way of behaving, acting, or presenting itself is completely different, according to Juan Carlos Carrasco. It is precisely this variability, this progressive behavior modification that gives rise to the concept of development.

The development process consists of a progressive, continuous variation that cannot be stopped. Part of a genetic operation and other aspects are added to it. It begins with conception and ends with death.

Evolutionary psychology arises from a certain generalization , taking into account the similarity for various beings at a certain time, that is, we can start from the basis that what is given for certain subjects can be expected for others; but it is always applicable in a given historical moment and context, since the situation must be contextualized, in turn particularizing each individual or specific group.

The evolutionary psychologist seeks to explain people’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors from the view of natural selection, based on Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

Darwin’s theory of evolution

The first theory of evolution was postulated in 1809 by Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck. It stated that organisms had the ability to transmit the qualities acquired in their life, to their offspring, that is, that evolution occurred as a result of the inheritance of the characters acquired from parents to their progeny (offspring), in over time.

Some time later, in 1859, Charles Darwin postulated his book “The Origin of Species” where he made known your theory about the evolution of the human being. Darwin’s theory is based on natural selection, which explains the evolutionary process by focusing on how the species adapts to its environment.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection states that nature selects organisms that have favorable characteristics for their survival, while eliminating lower species.

According to Darwin, more organisms are produced on earth than can survive due to the limited resources they present. These organisms struggle to stay alive, but not all of them succeed, as there is great competition for resources. Individuals within a population vary in their characteristic features; some of these traits are inherited and passed down to the offspring. Some variants are better adapted to survive and reproduce under local conditions than others.

Better-adapted beings are more likely to survive and reproduce, procreating and passing on copies of their genes to the next generation. The species whose individuals are best adapted are those that survive, the others end up becoming extinct.

According to Darwin’s theory, the most successful creations and solutions applied by our hunter-gatherer ancestors became our basic instincts. We no longer need to consciously think about certain behaviors, as they simply occur naturally. Those behaviors are tempered by contributions from our culture, family, and individual factors, but the underlying behaviors are instinctive.

Principles of evolutionary psychology

Evolutionary psychology focuses on 4 fundamental aspects:

  1. The human brain is a physical system that educates the subject so that it behaves in an appropriate way according to its environment.
  2. According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, through natural selection neural circuits were designed in the human brain, which helps the subject to solve problems appropriately.
  3. Neural circuitry processes are mostly unknown and consciousness is taken as a guide, which can be misleading. That is, you are consciously aware of the conclusions resulting from complex neural circuits, but not of their process.
  4. Neural circuits are specialized to solve different adaptation problems.

Periods of human development

Pre-natal: Corresponds to the moment of fertilization, of conception . During the nine months of intrauterine life this process of variation is offered and presented, since between the fertilized ovum and the fetus at term there is a remarkable difference from the morphological and behavioral point of view.

Postnatal: It focuses on the moment of birth.

  • Period Preschool : it goes from birth to 6 years. It comprises a short sub-period called peri-natal which comprises part of the post and prenatal moment and another that is the lactation period .
  • School period : from 6 to 12 years old.
  • Period teenager or young: from 12 to 25 approximately. It is sub-divided into: early ( puberty ), middle and late.
  • Adult period : from 25 to 65 approximately. It is sub-divided into: young, medium and late.
  • Old age period : from approximately 65 until death.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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