Human Nature

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 313–328 | Cite as

Testing the Controversy

An Empirical Examination of Adaptationists’ Attitudes Toward Politics and Science
  • Joshua M. Tybur
  • Geoffrey F. Miller
  • Steven W. Gangestad
Article

Abstract

Critics of evolutionary psychology and sociobiology have advanced an adaptationists-as-right-wing-conspirators (ARC) hypothesis, suggesting that adaptationists use their research to support a right-wing political agenda. We report the first quantitative test of the ARC hypothesis based on an online survey of political and scientific attitudes among 168 US psychology Ph.D. students, 31 of whom self-identified as adaptationists and 137 others who identified with another non-adaptationist meta-theory. Results indicate that adaptationists are much less politically conservative than typical US citizens and no more politically conservative than non-adaptationist graduate students. Also, contrary to the “adaptationists-as-pseudo-scientists” stereotype, adaptationists endorse more rigorous, progressive, quantitative scientific methods in the study of human behavior than non-adaptationists.

Keywords

Adaptationism Political attitudes Sociology of science 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua M. Tybur
    • 1
  • Geoffrey F. Miller
    • 1
  • Steven W. Gangestad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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