Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Development of Adaptations

  • David F. Bjorklund
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2385-1

Definition

The concept of adaptation is central to evolutionary psychology. Three types of developmental adaptations are described: ontogenetic adaptations, deferred adaptations, and conditional adaptations. Adaptations develop and are based on the highly plastic nature of infants’ and children’s behavior/cognition/brains. The concept of evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanismsis introduced, defined as information-processing mechanisms evolved to solve recurrent problems faced by ancestral populations that are expressed in a probabilistic fashion in each individual in a generation, based on the continuous and bidirectional interaction over time at all levels of organization, from the genetic through the cultural. Early perceptual/cognitive/affective biases result in behavior that, when occurring in a species-typical environment, produce adaptive changes in behavior and cognition, yielding stable and adaptive outcomes. Examples from three domains, the development of face processing...

Keywords

Social Play Perceptual Bias Adaptive Outcome Conditional Adaptation Fast Life History 
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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Anzures, G., Wheeler, A., Quinn, P. C., Pascalis, O., Slater, A., Heron-Delaney, M., Tanaka, J. W., & Lee, K. (2012). Brief daily exposure to Asian females reverses perceptual narrowing for Asian faces in Caucasian infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 112, 484–495.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Belsky, J., & Most, R. K. (1981). From exploration to play: A cross-sectional study of infant free play behavior. Developmental Psychology, 17, 630–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., & Draper, P. (1991). Childhood experience, interpersonal development, and reproductive strategy: An evolutionary theory of socialization. Child Development, 62, 647–670.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjorklund, D. F. (1997). The role of immaturity in human development. Psychological Bulletin, 122, 153–169.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bjorklund, D. F. (2015). Developing adaptations. Developmental Review, 38, 13–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bjorklund, D. F., Gaultney, J. F., & Green, B. L. (1993). “I watch therefore I can do:” The development of meta-imitation over the preschool years and the advantage of optimism in one’s imitative skills. In R. Pasnak & M. L. Howe (Eds.), Emerging themes in cognitive development, Vol. II: Competencies (pp. 79–102). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bjorklund, D. F., Ellis, B. J., & Rosenberg, J. S. (2007). Evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms: An evolutionary approach to gene x environment x development interactions. In R. V. Kail (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 35, pp. 1–39). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bock, J. (2005). Farming, foraging, and children’s play in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. In A. D. Pellegrini & P. K. Smith (Eds.), The nature of play: Great apes and humans (pp. 254–281). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Boyce, W. T., & Ellis, B. J. (2005). Biological sensitivity to context: I. An evolutionary-developmental theory of the origins and functions of stress reactivity. Development and Psychopathology, 17, 271–301.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Buss, D. M., Haselton, M. G., Shackelford, T. K., Bleske, A. L., & Wakefield, J. C. (1998). Adaptations, exaptations, and spandrels. American Psychologist, 53, 533–548.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cook, M., & Mineka, S. (1989). Observational conditioning of fear to fear-relevant versus fear-irrelevant stimuli in rhesus monkeys. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98, 448–459.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Cutting, N., Apperly, I. A., Chappell, C., & Beck, S. R. (2014). The puzzling difficulty of tool innovation: Why can’t children piece their knowledge together? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 125, 110–117.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Del Giudice, M. (2012). Fetal programming by maternal stress: Insights from a conflict perspective. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37, 1614–1629.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. DeLoache, J. S., & LoBue, V. (2009). The narrow fellow in the grass: Human infants associate snakes and fear. Developmental Science, 12, 201–207.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Ellis, B. J., Figueredo, A. J., Brumbach, B. H., & Schlomer, G. L. (2009). Fundamental dimensions of environmental risk: The impact of harsh versus unpredictable environments on the evolution and development of life history strategies. Human Nature, 20, 204–268.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Ellis, B. J., Del Giudice, M., Dishion, T. J., Figueredo, A. J., Gray, P., Griskevicius, V., Hawley, P. H., Jacobs, W. J., James, J., & AA Volk Wilson, D. S. (2012). The evolutionary basis of risky adolescent behavior: Implications for science, policy, and practice. Developmental Psychology, 48, 598–623.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Erlich, N., Lipp, O. V., & Slaughter, V. (2013). Of hissing snakes and angry voices: Human infants are differentially responsive to evolutionary fear-relevant sounds. Developmental Science, 6, 894–904.Google Scholar
  18. Flynn, E., & Whiten, A. (2008). Cultural transmission of tool use in young children: A diffusion chain study. Social Development, 17, 699–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gluckman, P., & Hanson, M. (2005). The fetal matrix: Evolution, development, and disease. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Gredlein, J. M., & Bjorklund, D. F. (2005). Sex differences in young children’s use of tools in a problem-solving task: The role of object-oriented play. Human Nature, 16, 211–232.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hernández Blasi, C., & Bjorklund, D. F. (2003). Evolutionary developmental psychology: A new tool for better understanding human ontogeny. Human Development, 46, 259–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kelly, D. J., Quinn, P. C., Slater, A. M., Lee, K., Ge, L., & Pascalis, O. (2007). The other-race effect develops during infancy. Psychological Science, 18, 1084–1089.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. LoBue, V. (2013). What are we so afraid of? How early attention shapes our most common fears. Child Development Perspectives, 7, 38–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. LoBue, V., & DeLoache, J. S. (2010). Superior detection of threat-relevant stimuli in infancy. Developmental Science, 13, 221–228.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Meltzoff, A. N., & Moore, M. K. (1977). Imitation of facial and manual gestures by human neonates. Science, 198, 75–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Nielsen, M. (2012). Imitation, pretend play, and childhood: Essential elements in the evolution of human culture? Journal of Comparative Psychology, 126, 170–181.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Pascalis, O., de Haan, M., & Nelson, C. A. (2002). Is face processing species-specific during the first year of life? Science, 296, 1321–1323.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Rakison, D. H. (2009). Does women’s greater fear of snakes and spiders originate in infancy? Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 438–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shin, H.-E., Bjorklund, D. F., & Beck, E. F. (2007). The adaptive nature of children’s overestimation in a strategic memory task. Cognitive Development, 22, 197–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tomasello, M. (2009). Why we cooperate. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  31. Tooby, J., & Cosmides, L. (1992). The psychological foundations of culture. In L. Cosmides, J. Tooby, & J. H. Barkow (Eds.), The adapted mind (pp. 19–136). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina - BeaufortBlufftonUSA