Differences between Evolutionary Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology
We explain the differences between both approaches.
In the corridors of Psychology faculties in Spain and Latin America you can see, every weekday, a number of people wandering totally disoriented through corridors and classrooms. They are mostly young students, but there is something in their look that has nothing to do with the expression of self-sufficiency and bravado that one would expect to see flashing on the face of any twenty-something.
What is the reason for this kind of inner tension? Quite simply: their knowledge of psychology is grounded in something that is essentially WRONG; hence there are certain ideas and concepts that they cannot grasp no matter how hard they try. There is something that escapes them. And it is that these poor devils still do not know that the Evolutionary Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology are not the same thing.
Fortunately, sooner or later a savior professor always comes along and ends up clarifying these concepts in what will be one of the short lessons from which you will get the most benefit during your career. However, it is better to know the difference between evolutionary and evolutionary psychology as soon as possible (and preferably before failing an exam for ignoring it), since the two deal with totally different things and, in fact, it is not clear that evolutionary psychology is a branch of psychology itself.
To understand well the relationship between the two, it is good to to delve a little into a concept to which both appeal: evolution..
Two basic types of evolution
The concept of "evolution" is sufficiently abstract to be used to explain a wide variety of processes, but basically it can be used to explain a wide variety of processes. defines a development through which different changes follow one another more or less gradually.. In the fields of psychology, however, evolution usually refers to two essentially different processes: the changes that occur in the development of an organism and the changes that occur in the form and behavior of the species from generation to generation.
Phylogeny and ontogeny
When we speak of the first type of evolution, that which refers to individual organisms developing from their zygote form until they reach senescence, we speak of ontogenywhile when we speak of processes of change between generations and species that succeed one another, we speak of phylogeny. phylogeny.
The basic idea that serves to distinguish evolutionary psychology from evolutionary psychology is the following: Evolutionary psychology studies the psychology of human beings in terms of their ontogenetic development, whereas evolutionary psychology studies human behavior in the light of the evolution of species, i.e. in the light of their phylogenetic development.while evolutionary psychology studies human behavior in the light of the evolution of species, i.e. in the light of their phylogenetic development.
The object of study of evolutionary psychology is the patterns of behavior and subjectivation that are associated with each phase of a human being's growth, whereas evolutionary psychology, rather than offering a field of study, proposes an approach based on what is known and what is not known, proposes an approach based on what is known of the evolutionary history of the populations from which its lineage from which their lineage is derived to obtain hypotheses about how people behave.
Where does the confusion come from?
It is a problem that has to do with the translation into Spanish of words used in the dominant academic environment, which uses English. What we know today as developmental psychology was originally called developmental psychologywhich means that in this language there is practically no confusion.
However, when the first researchers began to talk about evolutionary psychology, there was practically no confusion. evolutionary psychologyHowever, when the first researchers began to talk about evolutionary psychology, there was already a very similar term in Spanish to designate the previous branch of psychology. Hence, in Spain and Latin America the word "evolutionary" is used to distinguish it from evolutionary psychology without renouncing its basic meaning, which is related to a process of change.
- Bunge, M. and Ardila, R. (2002). Philosophy of psychology. Mexico: Siglo XXI.
- Papalia, D. and Wendkos, S. (1992). Psicología. Mexico: McGraw-Hill.
- Triglia, Adrián; Regader, Bertrand; García-Allen, Jonathan (2016). Psicológicamente hablando. Paidós.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)