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Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences

SEAR, R; LAWSON, D; DICKINS, T; (2007) Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology , 5 (1-4) 3 - 28. 10.1556/JEP.2007.1019.

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Abstract

Over the last three decades, the application of evolutionary theory to the human sciences has shown remarkable growth. This growth has also been characterised by a ‘splitting’ process, with the emergence of distinct sub-disciplines, most notably: Human Behavioural Ecology (HBE), Evolutionary Psychology (EP) and studies of Cultural Evolution (CE). Multiple applications of evolutionary ideas to the human sciences are undoubtedly a good thing, demonstrating the usefulness of this approach to human affairs. Nevertheless, this fracture has been associated with considerable tension, a lack of integration, and sometimes outright conflict between researchers. In recent years however, there have been clear signs of hope that a synthesis of the human evolutionary behavioural sciences is underway. Here, we briefly review the history of the debate, both its theoretical and practical causes; then provide evidence that the field is currently becoming more integrated, as the traditional boundaries between sub-disciplines become blurred. This article constitutes the first paper under the new editorship of the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology , which aims to further this integration by explicitly providing a forum for integrated work.

Type:Article
Title:Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences
DOI:10.1556/JEP.2007.1019
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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