The Future of Human Nature: Implications for Research, Policy, and Ethics

Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan N. Schore and Tracy R. Gleason

in Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755059
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979479 | DOI:
The Future of Human Nature: Implications for Research, Policy, and Ethics

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This chapter makes suggestions for research, policy, and professional ethical stances regarding early life experience. Specifically, rather than assuming the nonclinical participants are normal, research should establish a baseline for evolved human functioning based on how well a person's experiences match ancestral conditions in early life. Researchers, policymakers, parents, and community members should attend to basic human mammalian needs when considering personality and medical disorders. Current epidemic problems should be examined in light of the characteristics of our evolutionary heritage. The health professions should examine the effects of the missing environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) on health and immunity, including cancer. Society should consider the economic outcomes of the missing EEA. Psychologists and professionals in mental health provide guidelines for good parenting and for optimal development. Researchers should establish databases on the relation of EEA characteristics to human outcomes throughout the life span. Many of these moves should be considered ethical responsibilities of professionals.

Keywords: EEA; health; mental health; development; parenting

Chapter.  6258 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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