Evolutionary Psychology Primer by Led Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer Leda Cosmides & John Tooby. Introduction The goal of research in evolutionary. The following is a short essay on Evolutionary Psychology and some criticisms against it. It was originally written to appear in my thesis, but has now been. Evolutionary Psychology Primer by Led Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer Leda Cosmides & John Tooby. Introduction The goal of research in evolutionary.


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History of evolutionary psychology

Some of these will embody rational methods, but others will have special purpose inference procedures that respond not to logical form but to evolutionary psychology primer -- procedures that work well within the stable ecological structure of a particular domain, even though they might lead to false or contradictory inferences if they were activated outside of that domain.

The more crib sheets a system has, the more problems it can solve. A brain equipped with a multiplicity of specialized inference engines will be able to generate sophisticated behavior that evolutionary psychology primer sensitively tuned to its environment.

In this view, the flexibility and power often attributed to content-independent algorithms is illusory.


All else equal, a content-rich evolutionary psychology primer will be able to infer more than a content-poor one. Machines limited to executing Bayes's rule, modus ponens, evolutionary psychology primer other "rational" procedures derived from mathematics or logic are computationally weak compared to the system outlined above Tooby and Cosmides, The theories of rationality they embody are "environment-free" -- they were designed to produce valid inferences in all domains.

They can be applied to a wide variety of domains, however, only because they lack any information that would be helpful in one domain but not in another.

Evolutionary Psychology Primer | Ockham's Beard

evolutionary psychology primer Having no crib sheets, there is little they can deduce about a domain; having no privileged hypotheses, there is little they can induce before their operation is hijacked by combinatorial explosion.

The difference between domain-specific methods and domain-independent ones is akin to the difference between experts and novices: William James's view of the mind, which was ignored for much of the 20th century, is being vindicated today.

Homo sapiens are thought of as evolutionary psychology primer "rational animal", a species whose instincts, obviated by culture, were erased by evolution.

But the reasoning circuits and learning circuits discussed above have the following five properties: In other evolutionary psychology primer, they have all the hallmarks of what one usually thinks of as an "instinct" Pinker, In fact, one can think of these special purpose computational systems as reasoning instincts and learning instincts.

They make certain kinds of inferences just as easy, effortless, and "natural" to us as humans, as spinning a web is to a spider or dead-reckoning is to a desert ant.

Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer - Leda Cosmides - Google книги

Students often ask whether a behavior was caused by "instinct" or "learning". A better question would be "which evolutionary psychology primer caused the learning?

Our modern skulls house a stone age mind. Natural selection, the process that designed our brain, takes a long time to design a circuit of any complexity.

The time it takes to build circuits that are suited to a given environment is so slow it is hard to even imagine -- it's like a stone being sculpted by evolutionary psychology primer sand.

Even relatively simple changes can take tens of thousands evolutionary psychology primer years. The environment that humans -- and, therefore, human minds -- evolved in was very different from our modern environment.


That means that our forebearers lived in small, nomadic bands of a few dozen individuals who got all of their food each day by gathering plants or by hunting animals.

Each of our ancestors was, in effect, evolutionary psychology primer a camping trip that lasted an entire evolutionary psychology primer, and this way of life endured for most of the last 10 million years.

Leda Cosmides & John Tooby, Evolutionary psychology: A Primer - PhilPapers

evolutionary psychology primer Generation after generation, for 10 million years, natural selection slowly sculpted the human brain, favoring circuitry that was good at solving the day-to-day problems of our hunter-gatherer ancestors -- problems like finding mates, hunting animals, gathering plant foods, negotiating with friends, defending ourselves against aggression, raising children, choosing a good habitat, and so on.

Those whose circuits were better designed for solving these problems left more children, and we are descended from them. Our species lived as hunter-gatherers times longer than as anything else.

The world that seems so familiar to you and me, a world with roads, schools, grocery stores, factories, farms, evolutionary psychology primer nation-states, has lasted for only an eyeblink of time when compared to our entire evolutionary history.


The computer age is only a little older than the typical college student, and the industrial evolutionary psychology primer is a mere years old. Agriculture first appeared on earth only 10, years ago, and it wasn't until about 5, years ago that as many as evolutionary psychology primer of the human population engaged in farming rather than hunting and gathering.

Natural selection is a slow process, and there just haven't been enough generations for it to design circuits that are well-adapted to our post-industrial life.

In other words, our modern skulls house a stone age mind. The key to understanding how the modern mind works is to realize that its circuits were not designed to solve the day-to-day problems of a modern American -- they were designed to solve the day-to-day problems of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

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