What Is Evolutionary Psychology?
The human body evolved over eons, slowly calibrating to the African savanna on which 98 percent of human ancestry lived and died. So, too, did human brains. According to evolutionary psychologists, the mind is shaped by the pressure to survive and reproduce; emotions, communication skills, and language ability are adaptations that enabled ancestors to thrive.
Many of the behaviors humans exhibit have been tools for self-preservation: People jealously guard their romantic partners, competition for mates has always been harsh. Everyone cherishes their closest kin; preserving genes is in one’s best interest. Humans also crave social interaction to encourage cooperation, further increasing the chances for survival. Many of these behaviors are innate; often how people react and interact with one another is spelled out in DNA.