chapter  10
20 Pages

Clinical Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology: Strange Bedfellows?

The growth and development of evolutionary psychology has been little short of spectacular (Barkow, Cosmides, & Tooby, 1992; Buss, 1999; Cosmides & Tooby, 1989). Since the early 1980s EP has rapidly replaced its predecessor, sociobiology (Wilson, 1975), and become a powerful paradigm for generating theory and research on such varied phenomena as language (Pinker, 1997), pregnancy sickness (Profet, 1992), autism and theory of mind (Baron-Cohen, 1995), mate selection (Buss & Schmitt, 1993), step-parenting and marital conflict (Daly, Singh, & Wilson, 1993), and rape (Thornhill & Palmer, 2000). EP's strengths include its grounding in evolutionary biology, which provides a unifying theory for understanding the behavior of organisms, and also the ability of the resulting theory to generate testable predictions concerning a variety of human behaviors. A basis in evolutionary biology means that EP shares the same scientific foundations as all other disciplines that study living organisms.