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Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences.

Sear, R. and Lawson, D.W. and Dickins, T.E. (2007) 'Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences.', Journal of evolutionary psychology., 5 (1-4). pp. 3-28.


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.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Human Behavioural Ecology, Evolutionary Psychology, Cultural Evolution.
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Record Created:06 Dec 2010 16:50
Last Modified:03 Mar 2011 10:04

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