Evolutionary social psychology: From sexual selection to social cognition

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The main chapter argues that a consideration of the evolutionary literature is not only a potentially useful tool in generating hypotheses about social psychological phenomena but that it is also an essential framework for a full understanding of the phenomena. The other goal is to show that social psychological methods and findings can help provide essential pieces of the puzzle connecting evolutionary psychology and cognitive science. The chapter summarizes the general principles of evolutionary social psychology. The chapter considers a number of studies conducted in the area of gender differences in attraction and mate selection that wed the traditional evolutionary and social psychological approaches. Perhaps because of the importance of individual differences and differential reproduction to evolutionary theory, mate selection is one of the research areas that have resulted in a great deal of fruitful cross-fertilization. The chapter discusses that the implications of these and related findings should concern all social psychologists, and not only those studying heterosexual relationships. Several researchers working in the areas of aggression, altruism, and group processes have considered the ultimate implications of their findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-121
Number of pages47
JournalAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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