chapter  1
17 Pages

Evolutionary Psychology and Social Thinking: History, Issues, and Prospects: William von Hippel, Martie G. Haselton, and Joseph P. Forgas

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s psychological treatise, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Other Animals (Darwin, 1872/1965), a young Berkeley Zoologist named Ghiselin gave an address at the American Psychological Association Conference. In the address, subsequently published in Science (Ghiselin, 1973), Ghiselin pointed out that Darwin’s radically new way of studying behavior-which he called “evolutionary psychology”—hadn’t fully caught on. The study of white rats and college sophomores missed the mark, and much of what purported to be evolutionary psychology was a “warmed over version of scala naturae which arranged beings . . . from highest to lowest” (God to man to brutes to plants, p. 179). Nonetheless, he argued, there clearly seemed to be promise-not only in understanding the emotions, as many had already acknowledged, but also the important role played by sexual selection in human behavior and in so-called “higher” attributes such as moral sentiments.