Does the Selection Task Detect Cheater-Detection?
This makes work on distinctly human adaptations involving higher cognition of particular importance for defenders of a psychologically ambitious evolutionary psychology. What is often presented (e.g., Pinker, 1997) as the signal
achievement of cognitive evolutionary psychology in this respect is the experimental testing of Cosmides' (1989) hypothesis that there exists an evolved competence to deal with social contracts, and, in particular to detect cheaters. We want to argue that, because of faulty methodological choices-the quasi-exclusive reliance on the four-cards selection task-the hypothesis has in fact not yet been tested.