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Evolutionary Psychology And Economics

Evolutionary psychology, a promising new discipline that has emerged fully formed in the past 20 years or so, brings together elements of evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and (often unacknowledged even by its creators) aspects of economic analysis to produce an approach that explains the psychological foundations of social behavior in fundamentally Darwinian terms. Although it remains controversial, especially in its “strong” or narrow form, and some problems with it remain unresolved, it has yielded insights into human behavior that have proved powerful in explanatory terms and is particularly relevant to certain economic issues.

Basic Postulates

The origins of evolutionary psychology can be traced to Thomas Malthus and Charles Darwin. Malthus understood that for most of history, individuals had lived at the edge of subsistence constraints, leading to ...

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