Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Psychopathology Versus Adaptation

  • Gareth CrazeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2307-1

Synonyms

Definition

The potential reframing of psychological abnormalities and pathologies as having adaptive, evolutionary fitness-maximizing attributes.

The scientific conceptualization of psychological abnormalities and pathologies has been steadily refined through developments in cognitive science, neurobiology, and neuroendocrinology. The role that genetic and epigenetic influences play in undergirding the neural and biochemical activity that influences human cognitive development and function is now well-established in the literature. Indeed, many mental health conditions that have typically been referred to as “diseases” or “ailments” are probably normal instances of within-species phenotypic variation with respect to differences in cognitive and affective processing and subsequent behavioral output. Rather than being disabilities, conditions such as autism, synesthesia, and even major depressive disorder – each of which have an enduring presence in the human...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Brüne, M., & Brüne-Cohrs, U. (2006). Theory of mind–evolution, ontogeny, brain mechanisms and psychopathology. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 30(4), 437–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Eisenberg, D. T., Campbell, B., Gray, P. B., & Sorenson, M. D. (2008). Dopamine receptor genetic polymorphisms and body composition in undernourished pastoralists: An exploration of nutrition indices among nomadic and recently settled Ariaal men of northern Kenya. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8(1), 173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Jensen, P. S., Mrazek, D., Knapp, P. K., Steinberg, L., Pfeffer, C., Schowalter, J., & Shapiro, T. (1997). Evolution and revolution in child psychiatry: ADHD as a disorder of adaptation. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(12), 1672–1681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kapp, S. K., Gillespie-Lynch, K., Sherman, L. E., & Hutman, T. (2013). Deficit, difference, or both? Autism and neurodiversity. Developmental Psychology, 49(1), 59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Reser, J. E. (2011). Conceptualizing the autism spectrum in terms of natural selection and behavioral ecology: The solitary forager hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychology, 9(2), 207–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Spikins, P., Wright, B., & Hodgson, D. (2016). Are there alternative adaptive strategies to human pro-sociality? The role of collaborative morality in the emergence of personality variation and autistic traits. Time and Mind, 9(4), 289–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Kniffin
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA