The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology

Pages: 444
Item #: 431671A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-878-2
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2002
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

The Origins of Human Nature offers readers the first book-length attempt to define the field of evolutionary developmental psychology—the application of the principle of natural selection to explain contemporary human development. The authors point out that an evolutionary-developmental perspective allows one to view gene–environment interactions, the significance of individual differences, and the role of behavior and development in evolution in much greater depth. The authors also focus on how an evolutionary perspective can foster a better understanding of human development and how developmental processes may have influenced the course of human evolution.

Of particular interest are chapters that explore factors influencing parenting and other aspects of family life; the role of play; and the interacting roles of an extended juvenile period, a big brain, and a complex social structure in human cognitive evolution. The authors present a hybrid approach to evolution and development, pointing out that though underlying assumptions held by evolutionary and developmental psychologists have been at odds, each field has much to offer the other. This volume will be an important and useful resource for scholars and others interested in the relationship between evolution and psychological development.

Table of Contents



  1. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology
  2. A New Science of the Developing Mind
  3. History and Controversy
  4. The Benefits of Youth
  5. Classifying Cognition
  6. Prepared to Learn
  7. Social Cognition
  8. All in the Family: Parents and Other Relations
  9. Interactions, Relationships, and Groups
  10. Homo ludens: The Importance of Play
  11. Epilogue: Evolution and Development


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors