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2009 | 58 | 3-4 | 573-583
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Psychologia ewolucyjna - nauka o adaptacjach i ewolucyjnej inercji ludzkiego umysłu

Title variants
Evolutionary psychology - adaptations and evolutionaryinertion of human mind
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Evolutionary psychology (EP) attempts to explain human preferences and psychological mechanisms that are related to human behaviour as evolutionary adaptations. Among such biological approaches explaining human behavior as human ethology, sociobiology or human behavioural ecology, EP seems to develop presently in the fastest way and has already many proponents amongst biologists and psychologists. We present the biological theories that allowed the emergence of EP (e.g. natural and sexual selection, inclusive fitness, parental investment, reciprocal altruism, evolutionary game theory) and main principles of EP. According to EP, human brain functions as a "computer" designed by natural or sexual selection that are related with psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in environments (both physical and social) in which our ancestors lived. This means that cognitive programs are adaptations which promoted some types of preferences and behaviours that increased biological fitness. EP accepts modularity of mind, what means that mind is composed of separate modules to solve different adaptive problems (this opposite view is that human mental faculties are general-purpose learning mechanisms). We discuss the idea of the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), and explain why EP claims that not all presently observed human preferences and behaviours maximise biological fitness. Furthermore, we present the main areas of research in EP (survival, mate choices, relationships within family as well as conflicts and cooperation in a group). We also discuss the controversies related to the EP presumptions or interpretations and in the final part of the paper we suggest that EP could give better understanding of human preferences and behaviour if it would include higher behavioural plasticity of man, quantity dependent behavioural strategies or cultural impact on human behaviour.
Physical description
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