chapter  Chapter Seven
6 Pages

The unit of selection

ByRobert Langs, James O. Raney, David Smith

The study of evolutionary factors in communicating and adaptive processing as carried out by the emotion-processing mind will both establish a critical evolutionary scenario of its own and offer a fresh basis for investigations into the development of relationship capacities. The adaptive human mind and its emotional coping strategies have evolved over some six millions years of hominid existence. As noted, the first task in developing an evolutionary scenario is to choose and define a critical unit of evolutionary change. The broad scope and specificity of the emotion-processing mind provides a unit of selection that is more advantageous for study than the psychic defences and means of relatedness that were focused on by prior psychoanalytic evolutionists. Psychic defences are substructures of the emotion-processing mind and, as such, are not fundamental units.