Evolutionary Social Psychology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Evolutionary social psychology is a framework that relies on principles of evolutionary theory to bridge various subdisciplines of psychology with other social sciences. From an evolutionary perspective, regularities in human social behavior reflect adaptive mechanisms designed to help our ancestors survive and reproduce. A number of different social psychological topics have been studied from an evolutionary perspective, including mating choice, aggression, altruism, and social cognition. Methodological approaches have included cross-cultural and cross-species comparisons, but the framework provides a basis for a range of experimental studies. Evolutionary psychologists assume that research on any topic in social behavior could benefit from an evolutionary perspective, and that other areas of psychology, including personality, psychopathology, and cognitive neuroscience, are all linked by this perspective. At the broadest level, the behaviors of humans and other animals are linked by general principles such as inclusive fitness, sexual selection, and differential parental investment. The field has been controversial, challenging traditional social science views, and it has been the subject of several misconceptions based on confusion about genetic determinism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Cross-cultural data
  • Cross-species comparisons
  • Human social behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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