Evolutionary psychology is not a specialized subfield of psychology,
such as personality psychology or abnormal psychology. Instead,
it is a different way of thinking about the entire field. Its
insights and methods should be the groundwork for the study of
psychology, not an afterthought. (pp. xii - xiii)
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A Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Mind So RareA Natural History of RapeAcquiring GenomesAdapting MindsAgeing, Health and CareAlas, Poor DarwinAn Introduction to Evolutionary EthicsAncient Bodies, Modern LivesAnimal ArchitectsAping MankindAre We Hardwired?Bang!BehavingBeyond EvolutionBeyond GeneticsBlood MattersBody BazaarBoneBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain StormBrave New BrainBrave New WorldsChoosing ChildrenCloneCloningConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConsciousness EvolvingContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyControlling Our DestiniesCooperation and Its EvolutionCreatures of AccidentDarwin Loves YouDarwin's Brave New WorldDarwin's Gift to Science and ReligionDarwin's UniverseDarwin's WormsDarwinian ConservatismDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinism and its DiscontentsDarwinism as ReligionDebating DesignDecoding DarknessDefenders of the TruthDo We Still Need Doctors?Doubting Darwin?Early WarningEngineering the Human GermlineEnhancing EvolutionEnoughEntwined LivesEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEvil GenesEvolutionEvolutionEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution and Human Sexual BehaviorEvolution and LearningEvolution and ReligionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution in MindEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolution: The Modern SynthesisEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychiatryEvolutionary PsychologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolutionary Psychology as Maladapted PsychologyExploding the Gene MythFaces of Huntington'sFlesh of My FleshFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Darwin to HitlerGenesGenes in ConflictGenes on the CouchGenes, Environment, and PsychopathologyGenes, Environment, and PsychopathologyGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenetics in the MadhouseGenetics of Criminal and Antisocial BehaviourGenetics of Mental DisordersGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenomeGenomeGenome: Updated EditionGenomes and What to Make of ThemGlowing GenesHow Women Got Their Curves and Other Just-So StoriesHuman CloningHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityImproving Nature?In Our Own ImageIn Pursuit of the GeneIn the Name of GodIngenious GenesInheritanceInside the Human GenomeInside the O'BriensIntegrating Evolution and DevelopmentIntelligence, Race, and GeneticsIs Human Nature Obsolete?Language OriginsLess Than HumanLiberal EugenicsLiving with Our GenesMaking Genes, Making WavesMaking Sense of EvolutionMan As The PrayerMean GenesMenMood GenesMoral OriginsMothers and OthersNature Via NurtureNever Let Me GoNot By Genes AloneOf Flies, Mice, and MenOn the Origin of StoriesOrigin of MindOrigins of Human NatureOrigins of PsychopathologyOur Posthuman FuturePhilosophy of BiologyPlaying God?Playing God?Portraits of Huntington'sPrimates and PhilosophersPromiscuityPsychiatric Genetics and GenomicsPsychologyQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRe-creating MedicineRedesigning HumansResearch Advances in Genetics and GenomicsResponsible GeneticsResponsible GeneticsScience, Seeds and CyborgsSex and WarSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsStrange BedfellowsStrange BehaviorSubjects of the WorldSubordination and DefeatThe Age of EmpathyThe Agile GeneThe Ape and the Sushi MasterThe Biotech CenturyThe Blank SlateThe Book of LifeThe Boy Who Loved Too MuchThe Bridge to HumanityThe Case Against PerfectionThe Case for PerfectionThe Case of the Female OrgasmThe Century of the GeneThe Common ThreadThe Concept of the Gene in Development and EvolutionThe Debated MindThe Double-Edged HelixThe Epidemiology of SchizophreniaThe Ethics of Choosing ChildrenThe Ethics of Human CloningThe Evolution of CooperationThe Evolution of MindThe Evolution of MindThe Evolved ApprenticeThe Evolving WorldThe Extended Selfish GeneThe Fact of EvolutionThe Folly of FoolsThe Future of Human NatureThe God GeneThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Impact of the GeneThe Innate MindThe Innate MindThe Innate Mind: Volume 3The Limits and Lies of Human Genetic ResearchThe Lives of the BrainThe Maladapted MindThe Meme MachineThe Misunderstood GeneThe Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and ScreeningThe Most Dangerous AnimalThe New Genetic MedicineThe Nurture AssumptionThe Origin and Evolution of CulturesThe Origins of FairnessThe Paradoxical PrimateThe Perfect BabyThe Robot's RebellionThe Selfish GeneThe Shape of ThoughtThe Shattered SelfThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Story WithinThe Stuff of LifeThe Talking ApeThe Temperamental ThreadThe Terrible GiftThe Theory of OptionsThe Top 10 Myths About EvolutionThe Triple HelixThe Triumph of SociobiologyThe Woman Who Walked into the SeaTwinsUnderstanding CloningUnderstanding the GenomeUnnatural SelectionUnto OthersUp From DragonsVoracious Science and Vulnerable AnimalsWar Against the WeakWhat Genes Can't DoWhat It Means to Be 98 Percent ChimpanzeeWho Owns YouWhose View of Life?Why Evolution Is TrueWhy Think? WondergenesWrestling with Behavioral GeneticsYour Genetic Destiny
This remarkably well-crafted work is written ostensibly as an
introductory text for undergraduate college students, but will
be accessible to and understandable by general readers as well.
Even those already very familiar with current thought in evolutionary
psychology will find this book an excellent resource.
The authors are both in academia: Gaulin's background is
in biological anthropology and McBurney's is in psychology. These
two areas of study are especially complementary, a fact that this
One of the fundamental limitations of traditional psychology,
according to these authors, is that it doesn't address what
the mind is for. This question, they point out, is at the
heart of other biologically based sciences, and it should be at
the heart of psychology as well. Evolutionary psychology offers
this perspective to the field. In showing how the processes of
natural selection have evolved our human nature, the purpose of
the mind (along with our other attributes) becomes clearer. As
the authors point out, evolution provides the foundation
for psychology as an empirically based science.
And in keeping with this approach, the foremost of the many commendable
qualities of this text is the successful application of evolutionary
principles to the entire range of human nature and behavior -
- e.g., perception, cognition, consciousness, identity and social
or group interactions. In considering common human characteristics
and tendencies, the authors demonstrate the evolutionarily derived
principles that most likely underlie them. They provide a point-by-point
comparison of evolutionary psychology and traditional psychology
(which they refer to as the SSSM - - the "standard social
sciences model"), so that the reader understands the subtle
but profound differences between the two approaches.
The first section of the book provides a thorough overview of
the theory of evolution, including some of the important clarifications
in the field since Darwin. This is very useful as a review for
those already familiar with the theory and, for readers less facile
with the subject, this section serves as a necessary prologue
to the extension of the theory to include human behavior and psychology.
In addition, the field of genetics is briefly but adequately covered.
The book then moves on progressively to cover almost all the areas
of specialized interest in psychology - - learning and cognition,
perception, the purpose and functioning of emotions, human sexual
strategies, normal human development, decision-making heuristics,
and the causes and course of human psychopathology.
Key bits of information and central elements of theory are highlighted
in shaded frames throughout the chapters; these are labeled as
Trail Markers. At the end of each chapter is a concise
but excellent summary of the chapter's main points. (The use of
these two techniques highlights the target audience of the book.)
The authors follow a logical system of presentation, in which
each chapter sensibly leads to the next. The layout and editing
of the book are flawless, although it would have been nice for
the publisher to offer an edition with hardcover binding.
There are other excellent university-level texts on evolutionary
psychology, such as David Buss's first-rate book, Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of Mind,
published in 1999. But Gaulin and McBurney's Psychology: An
Evolutionary Approach is an especially well written, thought
provoking and comprehensive book, and therefore highly recommended.
Keith Harris, PhD,
is a clinical psychologist and supervisor of Victor Valley Behavioral
Health Center in San Bernardino county, California. His interests
include clinical supervision, the empirical basis for psychotherapy
research (and its design), human decision-making processes, and
the shaping of human nature by evolutionary forces.