Adaptations and Adaptations

Ross A. Thompson

in Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755059
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979479 | DOI:
Adaptations and Adaptations

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Why is it important to understand early experience in the context of the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA)? The answer hinges on the meaning of the term adaptation, and different meanings of this term have different implications for the contemporary relevance of early hominid practices. In this essay, the concepts of deferred adaptation, ontogenetic adaptation, psychological adaptation, and facultative adaptation are compared and applied to the research on parent–infant attachment. In the end, the significant differences between alternative meanings of adaptation suggests that early hominid practices are important depending on why they evolved, not simply that they were characteristic of the EEA.

Keywords: adaptation; deferred adaptation; ontogenetic adaptation; psychological adaptation; facultative adaptation; attachment

Chapter.  3456 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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