Evolutionary Developmental Psychology

A. C. Jordan, G. L. Schlomer, Bruce J Ellis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The field of evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP) seeks to integrate the basic tenets of evolutionary psychology (EP) and developmental systems theory. EDP can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream EP by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection with the study of human development, focusing on the epigenetic processes that occur between humans and their environment in a way that attempts to explain how evolved psychological mechanisms become expressed in the phenotypes of children and adults. This article provides an overview of the newly emerging field of EDP, focusing both on species-typical patterns of human development and their applications, as well as identifying individual differences among humans as a result of adaptively structured phenotypic plasticity and genetic variation.EDP represents an emerging synthesis between explanatory models of species-universal traits and individual differences resulting from adaptive developmental plasticity and genetic diversity. This newly emerging field provides the most complete picture of adaptive human behavior and cognition, taking into consideration our species' rich evolutionary history in conjunction with ontogenetic differences among humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780123750006
ISBN (Print)9780080961804
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Adaptations
  • Developmental systems theory
  • Domain-specificity
  • Epigenesis
  • Evolutionary developmental psychology
  • Life history theory
  • Modularity of mind
  • Plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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