1st Edition

Origins of the Social Mind
Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development

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ISBN 9781593851033
Published December 22, 2004 by Guilford Press
540 Pages

USD $76.00

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Book Description

Until now, evolutionary psychologists have focused largely on understanding adult behavior, giving little sustained attention to childhood. Developmental psychologists, for their part, have been wary of the perceived genetic determinism of evolutionary thinking. This important volume brings together an array of prominent developmental scientists whose work is explicitly driven by evolutionary concerns. Presenting sophisticated new models for understanding gene-environment interactions, the authors demonstrate how evolutionary knowledge can enhance our understanding of key aspects of cognitive, social, and personality development. Tightly edited chapters examine how different developmental mechanisms have evolved and what role they play in children's functioning and their adaptation to adult life. Essential topics covered include parent-child relationships, aggression, puberty, infant perception and cognition, memory, language, and more.

Table of Contents

I. Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Developmental Psychology: Core Issues and Approaches
1. Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development: An Emerging Synthesis,
David F. Bjorklund and Bruce J. Ellis
2. Ontogeny and Evolution of the Social Child, Mark V. Flinn and Carol V. Ward
3. The Role of Developmental Plasticity in the Evolution of Human Cognition: Evidence from Enculturated, Juvenile Great Apes, David F. Bjorklund and Justin S. Rosenberg
4. Early Stress: Perspectives from Developmental Evolutionary Ecology, James S. Chisholm,
Victoria K. Burbank, David A. Coall, and Frank Gemmiti
5. Developmental Behavioral Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology: Tying the Theoretical and Empirical Threads, Nancy L. Segal and Elizabeth M. Hill
II. Personality and Social Development
6. Differential Susceptibility to Rearing Influence: An Evolutionary Hypothesis and Some Evidence, Jay Belsky
7. Determinants of Pubertal Timing: An Evolutionary Developmental Approach,
Bruce J. Ellis
8. Some Functional Aspects of Human Adolescence, Glenn E. Weisfeld and Heather C. Janisse
9. Sex Differences in Competitive and Aggressive Behavior: A View from Sexual Selection Theory, Anthony D. Pellegrini and John Archer
10. Social Behavior and Personality Development: The Role of Experiences with Siblings and with Peers, Judith Rich Harris
11. Play: Types and Functions in Human Development, Peter K. Smith
12. Evolutionary Origins and Ontogenetic Development of Incest Avoidance, Irwin Silverman and Irene Bevc
III. Cognitive Development
13. Infant Perception and Cognition: An Evolutionary Perspective on Early Learning,
David H. Rakison
14. Evolution and Development of Human Memory Systems, Katherine Nelson
15. Language Evolution and Human Development, Brian MacWhinney
16. The Evolutionary History of an Illusion: Religious Causal Beliefs in Children and Adults, Jesse M. Bering
17. Cognitive Development and the Understanding of Animal Behavior, H. Clark Barrett
18. The Empathizing System: A Revision of the 1994 Model of the Mindreading System,
Simon Baron-Cohen
19. Folk Knowledge and Academic Learning, David C. Geary

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"A cornucopia of new ideas on human development, 'Origins of the Social Mind' is required reading for developmental psychologists." - Steven Pinker, Harvard University, USA

"This is a timely and impressive volume from many of today's leading scholars in the field of evolutionary developmental psychology, a perspective that is much misunderstood by mainstream developmental psychologists. The volume includes a nice mix of broad theoretical overviews of the discipline and detailed analyses of a wide range of social and cognitive phenomena. As such, it serves both to introduce the perspective to scholars and students who are unfamiliar with it and to illustrate the ways in which evolutionary thinking can inform the study of numerous aspects of development. It would make a marvelous textbook for instructors in search of something to stimulate and challenge the thinking of advanced undergraduate or graduate students interested in child development. Indeed, the next time I teach an advanced course in developmental psychology, I likely will build my syllabus around this book." - Laurence Steinberg, PhD, Department of Psychology, Temple University, USA

"This volume represents the cutting-edge of transdisciplinary scholarship. Relying on the theories and methods of evolutionary psychology, it broadens the reach of this emerging discipline to the field of child development. Particularly provocative are integrative, novel theories by Ellis and Belsky on topics of relevance to scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and parents. There is something here for everyone." - Kenneth A. Dodge, PhD, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, USA