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


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...


Social Play Perceptual Bias Adaptive Outcome Conditional Adaptation Fast Life History 
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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