Evolutionary biology: a basic science for psychiatry?

M. T. McGuire, I. Marks, R. M. Nesse, A. Troisi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Evolutionary biology has much to offer psychiatry. It distinguishes between ultimate and proximate explanations of behavior and addresses the functional significance of behavior. Subtheories, frequently voiced misconceptions, specific applications, testable hypotheses and limitations of evolutionary theory are reviewed. An evolutionary perspective is likely to improve understanding of psychopathology, refocus some clinical research, influence treatment and help integrate seemingly unrelated findings and theoretical explanations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • evolutionary biology
  • psychiatric research
  • psychiatric theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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