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Theoretical Insights of Evolutionary Psychology: New Opportunities for Studies in Evolutionary Ethnobiology

Abstract

In this article, we present the central ideas of evolutionary psychology, and discuss how their assumptions can help ethnobiologists to understand the dynamic relationship between people and their environments. In this sense, investigating this relationship from an evolutionary perspective can bring new empirical evidence about human evolution, also contributing to both evolutionary psychology and evolutionary ethnobiology.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Social-ecological systems represent a product of the interaction between sociocultural systems—the set of beliefs, knowledge and behaviors in human groups—and ecological systems—the biotic and abiotic environment of human groups (Berkes and Folke 2000).

  2. 2.

    Cultural evolution is a scientific field that analyzes changes detected in societies from the perspective of Darwinian evolution theory, and that takes into account such aspects as variation, competition, and inheritance (Mesoudi 2011, 2016).

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Acknowledgements

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001. Contribution of the INCT Ethnobiology, Bioprospecting and Nature Conservation, certified by CNPq, with financial support from FACEPE (Foundation for Support to Science and Technology of the State of Pernambuco - Grant Number: APQ-0562-2.01/17). Thanks to CNPq for the productivity grant awarded to UPA. We also acknowledge the CAPES for the grant awarded to JM, and the Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia de Pernambuco (FACEPE) for the grant awarded to RHS. To the anonymous reviewers who improved our paper with their comments.

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Correspondence to Joelson Moreno Brito Moura or Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque.

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Moura, J.M.B., da Silva, R.H., Ferreira Júnior, W.S. et al. Theoretical Insights of Evolutionary Psychology: New Opportunities for Studies in Evolutionary Ethnobiology. Evol Biol 47, 6–17 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11692-020-09491-0

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Keywords

  • Adaptive memory
  • Hierarchical memory
  • Human evolution
  • Naturalist mind
  • Social-ecological systems