408 pages | 43 B/W Illus.
In this text, students are invited to rethink psychology by grounding it in the natural sciences with the understanding that evolutionary and developmental processes work together with culture to solve problems of human adaptation. These processes are cast as interdependent: Development cannot be understood except in the light of evolutionary theory, and the best proof of evolution is the fact of development. For students of evolutionary psychology, all the central topics -- such as evolved mental modules for theory of mind or language -- require an understanding of the developmental processes that lead to their expression. Genes, as important as they are, are never the whole story.
The role of biological factors is explored in chapters outlining evolution, development, genetics, human origins, hormones and the brain. Then, the integrative value of this evolutionary/developmental vision in understanding key topics in psychology is illustrated by applying it to traditional area of inquiry including infancy and attachment, emotions and their expression, social relations with peers, cognitive and language development, sex differences, courtship and mating, violence and aggression, and cooperation and competition.
"[Adaptive Origins is] relevant to anyone interested in people, not only speech and language therapists … this is a hugely interesting book." – Katie Cullian, pediatric speech and language therapist, in Speech & Language Therapy in Practice
"Peter LaFrenière, an evolutionary developmental psychologist, intends Adaptive Origins:Evolution and Human Development to serve as a developmental psychology textbook for undergraduates. However, it is probably better described as a new primer for the entire field of evolutionary psychology. … LaFrenière has made a significant contribution to the progress of evolutionary psychology through his integration of the many disciplines that nonbiologists need to take into account in order to understand the impact of evolution on human behavior. His book belongs in the libraries of professors and researchers as well as the students for whom it was written." – Sidney Perloe in PsycCRITIQUES
"For anyone from undergraduate students to accomplished scientists, LaFrenière's book provides the crucial groundwork for understanding development and evolution, and why understanding either requires investigation of both. A very readable textbook for all levels from one of the key contributors to understanding humanity in a fully biological context." – D. Kimbrough Oller, Ph.D., Professor and Plough Chair of Excellence, The University of Memphis School of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, USA
"This is a terrific book. Peter LaFrenière has a remarkable talent for presenting seemingly difficult ideas clearly, concisely, in a way that draws readers in and holds them through the sheer power of the ideas. On every topic he goes right to the heart of the matter, with no hemming and hawing, so there is no room for boredom. The book represents beautifully the new wave in the evolutionary analysis of human behavior. The developmental perspective puts flesh on the skeleton that evolutionary psychology was just a few years ago. I recommend the book to anyone who wants to understand our species." – Peter Gray, Ph.D., Research Professor of Psychology, Boston College, USA
1. Evolutionary Theory. 2. Contemporary Evolutionary Perspectives. 3. The Genetic Basis of Evolution and Development. 4. Human Origins. 5. Brain Evolution and Development. 6. Hormones and Behavior. 7. Facial Expressions and Basic Emotions. 8. Attachment in Infancy. 9. Theory of Mind and Language. 10. Sex Differences. 11. Mate Choice and Reproductive Strategies. 12. Darwinian Medicine and Evolutionary Psychiatry. 13. Altruism, Cooperation and Competition.