Evolutionary Psychology vs. Cultural Constructionism: A Breakdown of Key Ideas
Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach to psychology that examines how human psychology evolved through natural selection.Evolutionary psychologists argue that our brains contain psychological mechanisms that evolved to solve adaptive problems in our ancestral environment.These mechanisms are thought to be universal, meaning that they are common to all humans.
Cultural constructionism is a theoretical approach to psychology that examines how human psychology is shaped by culture. Cultural constructionists argue that there is no such thing as psychological universals and that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all learned through culture.
Human behavior is shaped by natural selection.
There are psychological universals that are common to all humans.
Psychological mechanisms evolved to solve adaptive problems in our ancestral environment.
Culture is a product of our evolved psychology.
Humans have a fear of snakes that was inherited from our ancestors.
Men are more likely to be attracted to women with physical features that are associated with fertility.
Humans are more likely to trust people who are similar to them in terms of appearance and values.
Humans are more likely to cooperate with others who are kin to them.
Human behavior is shaped by culture.
There is no such thing as psychological universals.
Psychological mechanisms are not innate but are learned through culture.
Culture is socially constructed.
Beauty standards vary widely across cultures.
Gender roles are learned through socialization, not inherited.
Moral values are not universal but are culturally constructed.
The meaning of life is different for different people, depending on their culture.
Similarities and differences
Evolutionary psychology and cultural constructionism both seek to explain human behavior. However, they differ in their focus. Evolutionary psychology focuses on the biological and evolutionary underpinnings of human behavior, while cultural constructionism focuses on the social and cultural influences on human behavior.
Another key difference between the two approaches is their view of human nature. Evolutionary psychologists believe that human nature is largely fixed and that our behavior is influenced by our evolutionary past.Cultural constructionists, on the other hand, believe that human nature is more fluid and that our behavior is shaped by our culture.
Which approach is right?
Evolutionary psychology and cultural constructionism are both valid approaches to understanding human psychology. However, they offer different perspectives on how our psychology is shaped. Evolutionary psychology focuses on the role of biology, while cultural constructionism focuses on the role of culture.
Ultimately, the best way to understand human behavior is to consider all of the different factors that can influence it, including evolution, culture, and individual experiences.
Evolutionary psychology and cultural constructionism are two important theoretical approaches to psychology. They offer different perspectives on how our psychology is shaped, but they are both valid and can be useful for understanding different aspects of human behavior.