Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences


Sear, Rebecca, Lawson, David W. and Dickins, Thomas E. 2007. Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology.
AuthorsSear, Rebecca, Lawson, David W. and Dickins, Thomas E.

Over the last three decades, the application of evolutionary theory to the human sciences has shown remarkable growth. This growth has also been characterised by a ‘splitting’ process, with the emergence of distinct sub-disciplines, most notably: Human Behavioural Ecology (HBE), Evolutionary Psychology (EP) and studies of Cultural Evolution (CE). Multiple applications of evolutionary ideas to the human sciences are undoubtedly a good thing, demonstrating the usefulness of this approach to human affairs. However, this fracture has been associated with considerable tension, a lack of integration, and sometimes outright conflict between researchers. In recent years however, there have been clear signs of hope that a synthesis of the human evolutionary behavioural sciences is underway. Here, we briefly review the history of the debate, both its theoretical and practical causes; then provide evidence that the field is currently becoming more integrated, as the traditional boundaries between sub-disciplines become blurred. This article constitutes the first paper under the new editorship of the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, which aims to further this integration by explicitly providing a forum for integrated work.

KeywordsHuman Behavioural Ecology; Evolutionary Psychology; Cultural Evolution
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Psychology
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)
Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Feb 2010
Additional information

Sear, R. et al (2007) ‘Synthesis in the human evolutionary behavioural sciences.’ Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 5 (1-4) 3-28.

Page range1-4
Permalink -

Download files

Accepted author manuscript
  • 90
    total views
  • 149
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as