Evolutionary psychology in the round
Dunbar R., Barrett L.
© Oxford University Press, 2007. All rights reserved. This article makes two general points on evolutionary psychology. First, the evolutionary approach enjoins a broad disciplinary perspective to the subject. Second, an evolutionary view does not commit to any particular assumptions about the genetic determination of behaviour. Indeed, learning, and by extension cultural transmission, play an especially important role in the behaviour of humans, and one will never be able to understand human behaviour without understanding culture and the way it influences what humans do. The important consideration in the present context is that the theory of evolution provides a framework within which a diverse range of intellectual questions can be integrated. The significance of this is well illustrated by the role it has played within biology. Evolutionary psychology, the article argues, is not a new and separate sub-discipline within psychology, but rather a framework theory that allows psychology's many diverse sub-disciplines to be integrated into a unitary whole.