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Evolutionary psychology

Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological structure from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations – that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection in human evolution. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Some evolutionary psychologists apply the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the modularity of mind is similar to that of the body and with different modular adaptations serving different functions. Evolutionary psychologists argue that much of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments.

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We now realize that humans did not evolve from monkeys but from a common ancestor. This common ancestor and the links between us and it are still a mystery. A popular idea is the Out-Of-Africa theory, in which, humans have a common ancestor that sprouted in Africa and dispersed throughout the world. We have the Java man in Asia, Australopithecus in Africa and Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals in Europe. Pangea possibly polarized the early hominids and thus each evolved into distinct characters based on environment.

Contributed by Hannah Gail

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