Psychology: an Evolutionary Approach

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9780137599943: Psychology: an Evolutionary Approach

For use in introductory psychology courses.

  • This is the first text to show the relevance of evolutionary thinking to the entire range of psychological phenomena, and it does so at a level appropriate for introductory students.
  • The authors-representing the disciplines of both psychology and anthropology-have taken special care to present their material in a way that parallels the organization of a standard introductory text. After they lay out the fundamentals of modern evolutionary theory, they systematically apply this theory to questions from every domain of psychology: learning, cognition, perception, emotion, development, pathology and more.
  • Appropriate as a core text or supplement for any introductory or upper-division psychology course with an emphasis on evolution.

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From the Back Cover:

In 1858 Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace changed forever the way we think about living things. Their theory of evolution by natural selection solved life's greatest mystery—why it all looks so well designed. Wherever we look in the living world, no matter the species, nor the level of magnification, we see integrated complexity, all of it finely tuned to specific functions. Darwin and Wallace explained that this elegant machinery of life comes about as nature sorts through existing designs, allowing only the best to be passed to future generations.

This theory, long the cornerstone of biology, is now beginning to reshape the social and human sciences. Just as selection has sculpted hearts, lungs and livers for specific functions, the human mind too can best be understood in the light of what it was designed to do. This text is the first to show the relevance of evolutionary thinking to the entire range of psychological phenomena, and it does so at a level appropriate for introductory students.

Drawing on their considerable interdisciplinary expertise, Gaulin and McBurney first lay out the fundamentals of modern evolutionary theory. Then they systematically apply this theory to questions from every domain of psychology: learning, cognition, perception, emotion, development, pathology, and more.

This approach has three significant benefits; It forms a bridge that joins psychology with the rest of the life sciences; it provides a powerful and easily mastered basis for hypothesis generation; and it offers an explanatory framework that, for the first time, unites all of psychology. The result is a text that is exciting for both student and professor.

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