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Life History Theory

Synonyms

Biological ecology; Life history; Lifespan; Population ecology; Reproductive development

Definition

A theory based on biological evolution that explains variations in organisms’ developmental and reproductive strategies in the context of environment pressures and available resources.

Introduction

The core premises of Darwinian evolution are survival and reproduction (Darwin 1859); and biological organisms need energy to achieve these goals. All life requires capturing and allocating energy; however, this energy is limited and comes at a cost – organisms cannot expend unlimited resources, maximizing all life domains simultaneously. Organisms must live within their restricted energy budgets, mandating tradeoffs to ensure they do not allocate more resources to a particular domain than are available. Selection favors strategies for allocating resources on the basis that they result in the greatest evolutionary fitness for the organism, respective of their environmental...

Keywords

  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Personality Disorder
  • Life History Trait
  • Parental Investment
  • Life History Strategy

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Correspondence to Phillip S. Kavanagh .

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Kavanagh, P.S., Kahl, B.L. (2016). Life History Theory. In: Weekes-Shackelford, V., Shackelford, T., Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1914-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1914-1

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