Copyright 2002 by the Educational Publishing Foundation 1089-2680/02/$5.00 DOI: 10.1037//1089-2622.214.171.124
Clinical Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology: Toward a Dialogue
Richard J. Siegert
Victoria University of Wellington
University of Melbourne
The growth of evolutionary psychology as a theoretical framework for the study of human behavior has been spectacular. However, evolutionary psychology has been largely ignored by clinical psychology. This article is an attempt to encourage greater dialogue between the two. First, some of the major principles of evolutionary psychology are outlined, followed by consideration of some of the criticisms that have been made of this approach. Second, an attempt is made to trace the inﬂuence of evolutionary theory on the history and development of clinical psychology. Third, the authors describe how an evolutionary perspective has enhanced the understanding and study of autism and depression. Finally, some implications of an evolutionary perspective for etiological theory, assessment, treatment, and ethics are discussed.
Evolutionary psychology (EP) is a relatively new approach to the study of human cognition and behavior that argues that our evolutionary history provides the fundamental framework for developing theory and conducting research on human cognition and behavior. Evolutionary psychologists regard the human mind as an information-processing device that evolved over millions of years to meet speciﬁc environmental challenges. Thus, we can best begin to study human cognition and behavior with an understanding of the nature of the mind that is most likely to have evolved. The growth and development of EP as a theoretical framework for guiding the study of human behavior has been little short of spectacular (Barkow, Cosmides & Tooby, 1992; Buss, 1999; Cosmides & Tooby, 1989).
Richard J. Siegert, School of Psychology, Victoria... [continues]
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