Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘evolutionary psychology’

Evolutionary Psychology as a Metatheory for the Social Sciences

Annemie Ploeger

Abstract: Evolutionary psychology has been proposed as a metatheory for the social sciences. In this paper, the different ways in which scholars have used the concept of a metatheory in the field of evolutionary psychology is reviewed. These different ways include evolutionary psychology as a unification of different subdisciplines, as a nomological network of evidence, as Lakatosian hard core, as a tool for conceptual integration, and as a theory that addresses the major issues in the social sciences. It is concluded that evolutionary psychology has been successful as Lakatosian hard core, that is, it has been fruitful in generating new hypotheses. However, it has been less successful in unifying different subdisciplines. It is also concluded that evolutionary psychology needs to broaden its scope by including insights from evolutionary developmental biology in order to become a unifying framework for the social sciences.

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Measuring an Approximate g in Animals and People

Michael Lamport Commons

Abstract: A science of comparative cognition ultimately needs a measurement theory, allowing the comparison of performance in different species of animals, including humans. Current theories are often based on human performance only, and may not easily apply to other species. It is proposed that such a theory include a number of indexes: an index of the stage of development based on the order of hierarchical complexity of the tasks the species can perform; an index of horizontal complexity; and measures of g (for general intelligence) and related indexes. This article is an early-stage proposal of ways to conceive of g in animals and people. It responds to Geary’s argument that domain-general mechanisms are essential for evolutionary psychologists. Existing research is used to enumerate domains, such as problem solving behavior in pursuit of food, or behaviors in pursuit of mates and/or reproduction, and itemize identifiable human social domains. How to construct g, across domains and within domains, is described.

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