Skip to main content

Psychopathology Versus Adaptation

  • 64 Accesses

Synonyms

Neurodiversity

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, access via your institution.

References

  • Brüne, M., & Brüne-Cohrs, U. (2006). Theory of mind–evolution, ontogeny, brain mechanisms and psychopathology. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 30(4), 437–455.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kapp, S. K., Gillespie-Lynch, K., Sherman, L. E., & Hutman, T. (2013). Deficit, difference, or both? Autism and neurodiversity. Developmental Psychology, 49(1), 59.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gareth Craze .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Craze, G. (2019). Psychopathology Versus Adaptation. In: Shackelford, T., Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2307-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2307-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-16999-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-16999-6

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and PsychologyReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences