Evolutionary Perspectives on Situations

Rebecca Neel, Nicolas A. Brown and Oliver Sng

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychological Situations

ISBN: 9780190263348
Published online November 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190848903 | DOI:
Evolutionary Perspectives on Situations

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Evolutionary perspectives presume that the mind has been shaped by human ancestors’ encounters with recurrent adaptive problems. Focusing on these recurrent adaptive problems offers researchers theoretically derived hypotheses about the psychology of situations. Specifically, this analysis suggests novel insights about the cues that signal particular kinds of situations, how situations are differently construed by perceivers, and when situations guide or constrain behavior. It also offers guidance in generating situation taxonomies akin to those found for personality. This chapter aims to show how the integration of evolutionary analysis with the study of situations can be rich and generative, highlighting insights from this perspective that have already emerged, as well as proposing new directions for specific topics in the study of situations.

Keywords: evolution; situations; recurrent adaptive problems; ecology; fundamental motives; life history strategy

Article.  8862 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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