Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw University of Padova Western Sydney University
Workshop: Evolutionary psychology: What it is, what it isn't, and how to do it
Early bird price (until April 15th, 2021): 25€ Late price (until May 10th, 2021): 35€
How do we create a systematic, replicable science of psychology? Most researchers (social psychologists in particular) would contend that we need to use open data and methods, be more honest, and engage in large-scale replication projects. While these might help, they are (1) bottom-up solutions, (2) concerned more with data than theory, and (3) the implication is that researchers are overtly or covertly engaging in fraud. Evolutionary psychology offers an alternative. By having strong a priori assumptions from biology, one can better theorize and account for data such that even small and odd effects can be interpretable through an adaptive lens (i.e., ties to survival and mating adaptations). Such a lens assumes that like in biology (Dobzhansky, 1973), nothing (“major”) in psychology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Despite the fact that Darwin wrote “In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history” in 1859, psychology continues to be at odds with evolutionary approaches in the forms of antireductionism, social justice motives (e.g., reducing prejudice), biological denialism (e.g., the sexes are biologically interchangeable), hyperadaptionism (i.e. not everything is an adaptation), and simply a poor understanding of how-to do (e.g., concerns over falsification) evolutionary research and what it means (e.g., biology is destiny). In this half-day course, I will take you through a “boot camp” for evolutionary psychology. I will combine PowerPoint presentations, academic articles, and group work to help you learn what is evolutionary psychology, what it is not, how to do, and focus on evolutionary personality psychology. When you come out of this short-course, you should also have a fairly well developed idea that you can take forward and test for publications in academic journals.