Evolutionary psychology: the emperor’s new paradigm
Buller, David J.
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For some evolutionary psychology is merely a field of inquiry, but for others it is a robust paradigm involving specific theories about the nature and evolution of the human mind. Proponents of this paradigm claim to have made several important discoveries regarding the evolved architecture of the mind. Highly publicized discoveries include a cheater-detection module, a psychological sex difference in jealousy, and motivational mechanisms underlying parental love and its lapses, which purportedly result in child maltreatment. In this article, I argue that the empirical evidence for these ‘discoveries’ is inconclusive, at best. I suggest that, as the reigning paradigm in evolutionary psychology has produced questionable results, the evolutionary study of human psychology is still in need of a guiding paradigm.