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Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development
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Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development

Second Edition
Edited by:

© 2005 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"This new edition of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development is obligatory reading for anyone interested in the integration of evolutionary theory into developmental psychology. . . . It provides a valuable corrective to recent narrow approaches which argue that the human mind is constructed exclusively of domain-specific mechanisms and which deemphasize the importance of human psychological and behavioral plasticity. . . . Anyone who reads this book will come away with a richer understanding of our shared human nature."

-
Bill Irons, Northwestern University



"In this volume, Burgess and MacDonald have brought together a distinguished group of psychologists and anthropologists to investigate how-given our evolutionary heritage, genetic make-up and salient environment-behavior, cognition, and emotion unfold from the human organism. They make clear that both evolutionary functional and proximate behavioral perspectives are essential to understanding the human mind and its products. Many of these essays should be required reading for sociobiologists, evolutionary psychologists, and evolutionary anthropologists and their ilk."
-Jeffrey Kurland, Penn State

"It's clear that evolutionary biology has a tremendous amount to offer when it comes to our understanding of human development, and yet, many experts in developmental psychology have remained impervious to these insights. At last, this may change: Burgess and MacDonald have compiled a rich array of theory and data, much of it contributed by the leading lights of evolutionary psychology (or, if you prefer, sociobiology). A very valuable collection and one that might help define a new and important field."

-David P. Barash, University of Washington

Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development, Second Edition considers the role of evolutionary theory in the field of developmental psychology to examine key topics of individual human development. This unique book fills an important gap in the literature, applying evolutionary models to human development by focusing on central development issues. The book emphasizes both domain-general evolved psychological mechanisms and domain-specific processes. The text also integrates behavior-genetic research with evolutionary and developmental principles.

In this contributed volume, editors Robert L. Burgess and Kevin MacDonald have brought together a distinguished group of social and behavioral scientists employing multiple levels of analysis drawn from a variety of academic disciplines. This diverse group of contributors illustrates the enormous power of evolutionary theory by elucidating human behavior and its development and the various ways it is manifested in different environments. Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development applies evolutionary theory to such topics as parent-child relationships, the maltreatment of children, psychopathology, cooperation and competition among siblings, and the acquisition of vital resources in different cultural settings from an evolutionary point of view.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive coverage of the impact of evolutionary theory on human development provides students with the most thorough foundation available in this area.
  • Contributions by leading scholars and researchers expose readers to the exciting research and developments that have been occurring in the field.
  • An introductory chapter written by the volume editors provides an accessible overview of the book.

Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development provides state-of-the-art groundwork in evolutionary theory as viewed by leading thinkers in the field. It is an excellent supplementary textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in evolutionary and developmental psychology.

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Nancy L. Segal
Foreword
 
Preface
Robert L. Burgess
1. Evolutionary Theory and Human Development
Kevin MacDonald and Scott L. Hershberger
2. Theoretical Issues in the Study of Evolution and Development
Mark V. Flinn
3. Culture and Developmental Plasticity: Evolution of the Social Brain
David C. Geary
4. Evolution and Cognitive Development
D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel
5. Contextual Freedom in Human Infant Vocalization and the Evolution of Language
Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
6. On Why It Takes a Village: Cooperative Breeders, Infant Needs, and the Future
Peter LaFreniere
7. Human Emotions as Multipurpose Adaptations: An Evolutionary Perspective on the Development of Fear
Kevin MacDonald
8. Personality, Evolution, and Development
Dennis Krebs
9. An Evolutionary Reconceptualization of Kohlberg's Model of Moral Development
Nancy L. Segal
10. Evolutionary Studies of Cooperation, Competition, and Altruism: A Twin-Based Approach
Robert L. Burgess and Alicia A. Drais-Parrillo
11. An Analysis of Child Maltreatment: From Behavioral Psychology to Behavioral Ecology
Glenn E. Weisfeld and Donyell K. Coleman
12. Further Observations on Adolescence
William R. Charlesworth
13. Amish and Gypsy Children: Socialization Within Cohesive, Strategizing Groups
Linda Mealey
14. Evolutionary Psychopathology and Abnormal Development
 
Author Index
 
Subject Index
 
About the Editors
 
About the Contributors


"In this volume, Burgess and MacDonald have brought together a distinguished group of psychologists and anthropologists to investigate how-given our evolutionary heritage, genetic make-up and salient environment-behavior, cognition, and emotion unfold from the human organism. They make clear that both evolutionary functional and proximate behavioral perspectives are essential to understanding the human mind and its products. Many of these essays should be required reading for sociobiologists, evolutionary psychologists, and evolutionary anthropologists and their ilk."

Jeffrey Kurland
Penn State


"It's clear that evolutionary biology has a tremendous amount to offer when it comes to our understanding of human development, and yet, many experts in developmental psychology have remained impervious to these insights. At last, this may change: Burgess and MacDonald have compiled a rich array of theory and data, much of it contributed by the leading lights of evolutionary psychology (or, if you prefer, sociobiology). A very valuable collection and one that might help define a new and important field."

David P. Barash
University of Washington


"This new edition of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development is obligatory reading for anyone interested in the integration of evolutionary theory into developmental psychology. Its basic approach is not to reject and replace the earlier pre-evolutionary work of developmental and other psychologists but to combine the fruits of earlier work with the new insights from our rapidly growing understanding of how evolution has shaped all life forms especially human beings. It provides a valuable corrective to recent narrow approaches which argue that the human mind is constructed exclusively of domain-specific mechanism and which deemphasize the importance of human psychological and behavioral plasticity. The book presents a view of the human mind as consisting of both domain-specific and domain-general mechanisms and points to the importance of plasticity and intelligence in the unique way in which the brainiest of large-brained animals has adapted to its environment. The topics covered are broad ranging, including, among others, child and adolescent development, the development of cognition, language, morality, personality, emotional development, resource acquisition during ontogeny, and the role of kinship in shaping cooperation and competition. As it must, it also explores the dark-side of human development: the development of psychopathology and the maltreatment of children. Anyone who reads this book will come away with a richer understanding of our shared human nature."

Bill Irons
Northwestern University


"I feel that evolutionary psychology is a growing force, and it will come to dominate thinking in psychology. . . such a book now is timely."

Jon H. Kaas
Vanderbilt University


"The contributors are, as a group, a most impressive lot. . . . On the whole, there appears to be enough new material in the proposed book to cause an evolutionary developmental psychologist to adopt it as a supplementary book of readings. Too, I suspect that individuals such as myself, who are not developmental psychologists, would be inclined to buy it and read it."

E.J. Capaldi
Purdue University
Key features
  • Comprehensive coverage on current thinking about the impact of evolutionary theory on human development provides students with the most thorough grounding available in this area.
  • Contributions by leading scholars and researchers expose students first-hand to the thinking of widely recognized experts and the exciting contributions they have been making to this field.
  • To ensure accessibility in classroom settings, chapters were written according to uniform guidelines for length and format, with cross-references between chapters and a style appropriate to upper-division undergraduate and beginning graduate psychology students.
  • To further facilitate use of the book as supplemental classroom reading, the volume editors provide an introductory overview chapter and a concluding chapter that sums up the book.

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