Evolutionary Psychology and Motivation

Evolutionary Psychology and Motivation

Evolutionary Psychology and Motivation

Evolutionary Psychology and Motivation

Synopsis

Recent media coverage of the controversial theory of sexual violence as a product of biological evolution has once again brought the question of the origins of human motivation into the public eye. In this volume, leading scholars in behavioral studies examine the value of evolutionary perspectives in understanding psychological motivations. Beginning with the fundamental fact that humans are part of the biological world, evolutionary psychologists contend that human motivations and mental processes should be understood as by-products of natural selection. By viewing human psychology- both normal and abnormal- within this framework, evolutionary psychologists intend to bridge the disciplinary divide between traditional psychology and fields such as biology.

Excerpt

When one looks at the intellectual landscape of the modern university, at the scholarly and scientific interests of its faculty, the panorama is seamless. There are no discontinuities. The interests of physicists transmogrify into those of chemists, those of chemists into those of biologists, and so on. The lines, the divisions, between departments have been created out of administrative, not intellectual, necessity.

For example, consider the divide between chemistry and biology. There is a set of chemical processes that are characteristic of living systems. Is the study of these processes chemistry or biology? This is a meaningless question. To be a really good biochemist, one must be both a biologist and a chemist. After all, biochemistry is the study of chemical processes as carried out by biological systems.

Now consider the divide between biology and psychology. Psychological processes are produced by organisms and are the result of biological systems. The nature of psychological processes, therefore, must be understood, at least in part, in terms of biology. But biology is a huge, diverse discipline whose subject matter ranges from . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.