What is evolutionary psychology? Cognition and behavior in the light of evolution

Theoretical notes
By Nassim Elimari, Gilles Lafargue

Evolutionary psychology aims to understand human cognitive organisation and functioning in the light of evolutionary theory. Despite its growing acceptance among scientists as a metatheory of the mind, evolutionary psychology has yet to find its place in the French scientific literature. This article aims to provide a general introductory framework to evolutionary psychology. We describe how natural selection shaped cognition and behavior, and what it entails for conceptualizing the human mind. We also explore how sexual selection acted as a key driver for the evolution of psychological differences between men and women. Finally, we address the most recurrent critics directed at evolutionary psychology.

  • evolutionary psychology
  • natural selection
  • brain evolution
  • sexual selection
  • sexual dimorphism
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