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Evolutionary psychologists are concerned with functional explanations of human behaviour. How do evolutionary psychologists explain the evolution of the human mind?

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Introduction

Evolutionary psychologists are concerned with functional explanations of human behaviour. How do evolutionary psychologists explain the evolution of the human mind? What are some of the methods evolutionary psychologists employ to investigate their claims? Evolutionary psychologists are interested in understanding how and why human abilities developed as they have today and assumed that human abilities are the results of a long period of evolution. (p.108) Functional approaches are also used by these evolutionary psychologists to explain the cause of some particular human behaviours rather than causal explanations which only explain the immediate causes of behaviour. In my essay, I will discuss how evolutionary psychologists explain the evolution of the human mind and look at the research methods used by these evolutionary psychologists to investigate their claims. Evolutionary psychologists believe that every organ and system in the human body comprises of both a functional and genetic basis. Control behaviour also emerged together with other human processes like distinct mental functions of perception, mind reading and emotional responding. Elements of evolution like time, genetic transmission and diversity, and natural and sexual selection over many generations also aid the evolutionary process (p. ...read more.

Middle

From the above, it is seen that evolutionary psychologists try to link the human mind to human behaviour and that the survival of human species indeed lies in the fact that humans make use of their mind to try to think in order to survive. Besides that, environmental pressures also influence the way in which human think and thus, create the evolution of a modular mind. As a result, developmental psychologists used the term 'theory of mind' to describe animals who have the ability to understand one another. This theory of mind-reading includes implicit mind-reading, counter-deception, recognition of intervening variables and experience projection. In particular, it is important to differentiate 'complex mind-reading' from 'simpler behaviour reading' (p.127). Inevitably, in the explanation of the evolutionary of the human mind, many evolutionary psychologists have to make use of a range of methods to support their theories and claims. Some of the methods are as follows: The first method consists that of natural history like observation, classification and induction. For example, Darwin had collected a wide range of samples of plant and animal life before classifying them to develop theoretical concepts in order to make sense of his data (p. ...read more.

Conclusion

It proposes how the human brains evolve (Machiavellian hypothesis and modular hypothesis), shows how the human evolution comes about through the studying of other animals as well as encourages an interdisciplinary approach and generating new investigations and understanding through the use of functional questioning. Undeniably, on the other hand, evolutionary psychology seems to suggest that humans are forced to behave in specific ways and the limitations with regards to the impact of change in which humans live. Thus, evolutionary psychology has only a limited amount of value as it is linked to human psychology, as what some critiques believed. In view of the criticisms, human creative intelligence makes us different from other animals and the way in which human live in the past does provide an impact on the way we live now as many of the survival instincts in humans can still be seen today. In conclusion, human behaviour is indeed difficult to explain and account for. "The mind is an equisitely organized system that accomplishes remarkable feats that no engineer can duplicate" (Stephen Pinker, p. 154). It is not an easy feat for evolutionary psychologists to explain the evolution of the human mind and due recognition should be given to them to acknowledge their contributions towards the study of the human mind. 1 ...read more.

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