Ploeger, Annemie

Developmental psychology and evolutionay theory


Annemie Ploeger PhD

Project:University of Amsterdam

Supervisors: Prof. dr H.L.J. van der Maas, dr M.E.J. Raijmakers

Project running from: 1 January 2001 – 23 January 2008

Evolutionary psychologists state that psychological mechanism have been developed in the course of evolution and have been shaped by natural selection. Evolutionary psychologists do not have much influence in developmental psychology. Another point is that they missed an important development in evolutionary biology, i.e., the idea that natural selection alone is not the only principle in evolution; self-organization is also important. It is proposed to study the relationship between different evolutionary theories and development psychology. Next to a theoretical analysis, also simulation studies will be done to find evidence for the relation between evolutionary theory, self-organization and developmental psychology. Also experiments will be done in which the cultural transmission of information will be studied to find out more about mechanism behind biological transmission of information (memes versus genes).

Date of defence: 3 December 2008

Title of thesis: Towards an integration of evolutionary psychology and developmental science