Criticism of Evolutionary Psychology - Ethnocentrism


One aspect of evolutionary psychology is finding traits that have been shown to be universal in humans. Many critics have pointed out that many traits considered universal at some stage or another by evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists often turn out to be dependent on cultural and particular historical circumstances. Critics allege that evolutionary psychologists tend to assume that their own current cultural context represents a universal human nature; for example, in a review of Steven Pinker's book on evolutionary psychology (The Blank Slate), Louis Menand wrote: "In general, the views that Pinker derives from 'the new sciences of human nature' are mainstream Clinton-era views: incarceration is regrettable but necessary; sexism is unacceptable, but men and women will always have different attitudes toward sex; dialogue is preferable to threats of force in defusing ethnic and nationalist conflicts; most group stereotypes are roughly correct, but we should never judge an individual by group stereotypes; rectitude is all very well, but 'noble guys tend to finish last'; and so on.".

However, evolutionary psychologists point out that their research actually focuses on commonalities between people of different cultures to help to identify "human psychological nature" and cultural universals. It is not a focus on local behavioral variation (which may sometimes be considered ethnocentric) that interests evolutionary psychologists; rather their focus is to find underlying psychological commonalities between people from various cultures.

Read more about this topic:  Criticism Of Evolutionary Psychology

Other articles related to "ethnocentrism":

Ethnocentrism - Biology and Evolutionary Theory
... A 2011 paper in PNAS suggested that ethnocentrism may be mediated by the oxytocin hormone ... It found that in randomized controlled trials "oxytocin creates intergroup bias because oxytocin motivates in-group favoritism and, to a lesser extent, out-group derogation" ...
Consumer Ethnocentrism - Attributes
... Consumer ethnocentrism gives individuals an understanding of what purchases are acceptable to the in-group, as well as feelings of identity and belonging ... Brodowsky (1998) studied consumer ethnocentrism among car buyers in the U.S ... and found a strong positive relationship between high ethnocentrism and country-based bias in the evaluation of automobiles ...