Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (EEA)

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1627-1



The environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) is the ancestral environment to which a species is adapted. It is the set of selection pressures that shaped an adaptation.


A central premise of evolutionary science is that forces in our distant past helped make us who we are today. The environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) refers to a group of selection pressures occurring during an adaptation’s period of evolution responsible for producing the adaptation (Tooby and Cosmides 1992). A selection pressure can be any factor in a population that impacts reproductive success. Physical, social, and intrapersonal pressures from our ancestral past help to shape our current human design because all animals have heritable variations that are selectively favored or disfavored in accordance with reproductive success (Buss 1999). Each adaptation has its own EEA, or set of adaptive...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPennsylvania State University, BeaverMonacaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Glenn Scheyd
    • 1
  1. 1.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA