Evolutionary Adaptationism: Another Biological Approach to Criminal and Antisocial Behaviour Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Although in a sense "genetic', the conceptual framework of evolutionary psychology, behavioural ecology and sociobiology is distinct from that of behaviour genetics. Considerable confusion has resulted from failures to recognize the distinctions. These disciplines are primarily concerned with the characterization of evolved adaptations, which are usually species-typical and environmentally contingent, so theory and research in these fields mainly concerns environmental rather than genetic sources of behavioural variation. Heritable behavioural variation is in general neither predicted by nor supportive of adaptationist theories. One might even say that substantial heritability of an apparently consequential attribute is a datum that challenges the tenets of adaptationism. Behaviour genetics and evolutionary adaptationism have had only limited mutual influence, but increasing knowledge of the processes by which genotypes affect behavioural phenotypes should facilitate development of a more synthetic approach.

publication date

  • 1996