Psychology and Biology
- What determines/constrains human nature?
- To what extent is human nature malleable?
- How does it vary between people and populations?
Since human behavior is so diverse, it can be difficult to find absolutely invariant human behaviors that are of interest to philosophers. A lesser (but still scientifically valid) standard for evidence pertaining to "human nature" is used by scientists who study behavior. Biologists look for evidence of genetic predisposition to behavioral patterns. Human behavior can be influenced by the environment, so penetrance of genetically predisposed behavioral traits is not expected to reach 100%. A type of human behavior for which there is a strong genetic predisposition can be considered to be part of human nature. In other words, human nature is not seen as something that forces individuals to behave in a certain way, but as something that makes individuals more inclined to act in a certain way than in another.
Evolutionary psychology (EP) posits that the mind is made up of a massive number of interacting emotional, motivational and cognitive adaptations or "mental modules." EP seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations - that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary psychology applies the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the mind has a modular structure similar to that of the body, with different modular adaptations serving different functions. Evolutionary psychologists argue that much of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. This view has been critiqued as essentialist by some, and as neglecting "natural" genetic, environmental and individual variation (and that the closest you can come is norms of reaction), and as equivocating between the levels of genes, developmental programs, and actual human psychology/culture, and between individuals and population averages.
Read more about this topic: Human Nature
Other articles related to "psychology, psychology and biology, psychology and":
... In sharp contrast to people like Hare, J ... L ...
... A newly emerging section of psychology known as positive psychology has to do with controlling one's perception of the world ... Positive psychology says that in order to be most successful a person must perceive the world in a positive light ... This field of psychology is causing a lot of controversy as it is not accepted by traditional psychologists ...
... In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke posits that the human mind is at birth a tabula rasa or blank slate, and that the individual has freedom to shape their nature ... Nayef Al-Rodhan argues that such freedom is restricted by inbuilt predilections and moral sensitivities ...
... Main article Critical psychology Critical psychology is a sub-discipline aimed at evaluating mainstream psychology and attempts to apply psychology in more progressive ways, often looking ... One of critical psychology's main objections to conventional psychology is that it ignores the way power differences between social classes and groups can ... Key elements within critical psychology include the study of power relations, situated knowledge, and the dualisms of the self and the agency, and the individual and the social ...
... to as one of the founding figures of personality psychology ... and lasting influence on the field of psychology, even though his work is cited much less often than that of other well-known figures ... brother Floyd Henry Allport, was professor of social psychology and political psychology at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (in ...
Famous quotes containing the words psychology and, biology and/or psychology:
“A writer must always try to have a philosophy and he should also have a psychology and a philology and many other things. Without a philosophy and a psychology and all these various other things he is not really worthy of being called a writer. I agree with Kant and Schopenhauer and Plato and Spinoza and that is quite enough to be called a philosophy. But then of course a philosophy is not the same thing as a style.”
—Gertrude Stein (18741946)
“Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley (182595)
“Psychology has nothing to say about what women are really like, what they need and what they want, essentially because psychology does not know.... this failure is not limited to women; rather, the kind of psychology that has addressed itself to how people act and who they are has failed to understand in the first place why people act the way they do, and certainly failed to understand what might make them act differently.”
—Naomi Weisstein, U.S. psychologist, feminist, and author. Psychology Constructs the Female (1969)