Talk:Psychological adaptation

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"The least controversial EPMs are those commonly known as instincts, including human capacities for digestion, interpreting stereoscopic vision, suckling a mother's breast, etc." ---I don't know that digestion is a psychological process or type of behavior. It is a physiological/biochemical process largely outside the bounds of cognitive action. I don't believe it belongs grouped with instincts.

I think this highlights the fuzziness of the boundary between what's considered "psychological" and "non-psychological" in human behavior... I'm not familiar with the details of CNS/PNS/hormonal aspects of control of digestion, but certainly there are neural structures that govern it, that evolved for that purpose, and that produce muscle behavior in response to the environment (presence of food). This isn't fundamentally different from other psychological adaptations, because they need not be consciously (another imprecise term) controlled or mediated through emotions or motivational states or anything else more typically "psychological." Delmonte 19:34, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Your article is good, but I think it would be a lot more intersting if you added some examples of Psychological adaptaion or maybe some realtionships with different situations and how it effects the human or animal explaining why we are the way we are. --Gem0493 (talk) 22:33, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

I am going to add on more reliable references to this topic as well as add a few more for examples of psychological adaptation. Also within the article, I am going to add a bit of information concerning the Zeitgiest and how many reasoning behind psychological adaptation is due to the era of psychological findings. Also another concept I may bring up is what the previous editor brought up with the idea of how our bodies have learned to respond or have become classically conditioned to the presence of food. Delbroccos1 (talk) 16:43, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Psychological adaptations in human and animal mating behaviours[edit]

I would perhaps suggest adding a section that describes some well-known psychological adaptations that humans and animals have to select a mate. eg: the peahen's ability to strategically prioritize symmetry and the size of the peacocks tail when it comes to choosing a mate. Providing examples of universal 'cues of attractiveness' that species have evolved to attend to during mate choice could be quite informative and perhaps help the novice to contextualize the information a lot better. E.g. for men, hip to waist ratio are the informational input to their psychological adaptation in order to select a mate with high Estrogen levels whilst both men and women universally have evolved to process information regarding facial symmetry OluGW (talk) 05:28, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

I and some other students have been tasked with fixing up this page. The above comments that detail intended future additions are from some time ago, so I am assuming that those changes will be left to us. We will try and retain the relevant parts of the current page, and take the above suggestions into consideration when rebuilding the page. My main concern with the page as it stands now, is that it doesn't coincide with the wiki page on Adaptation or of Evolution, so I am going to attempt to fix that. What I mean is that by the thoroughly refined page on adaptation a distinction is made between adaptive traits, vestigial traits, and traits that are bi-products of evolutionary processes. In terms of cognitive traits, behaviors, and mechanisms, EPM's include any of the three forms, however, psychological adaptations only refer to the those functional cognitive traits, behaviors and mechanisms that improve a organism's fitness. This quite obviously creates a distinction between psychological adaptations and EPMs, where psychological adaptations are a subset of EPMs but the converse does not hold. I hope that through solidifying this distinction we can resolve some of the previously brought up issues. ChaoticNeutral (talk) 20:00, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

An additional section on conscience and morality as psychological adaptations could offer a broader scope of the subject, especially since our group focussed mainly on topics directly related to human sexuality. However, I do believe we managed to cover the general principles of psychological adaptations and clear up the ambiguity with similar concepts. Furthermore, I think it would be great to get more perspective from the field of cognitive science, especially regarding principles of psychological adaptation in modelling AI and further information on heuristic systems that are thought of as psychological adaptations. These sources offer additional insight that may help future contributors:;jsessionid=7A6C41A7913006F53C7F17FDCEEE7361?doi= Fister, I., Strnad, D., Yang, X., Fister Jr., I. (2000) Adaptation and hybridization in nature-inspired algorithms. Adaptation, Learning, and Optimization, 18. Springer. Online. ChaoticNeutral (talk) 14:46, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

As previously suggested by users, I and another student have added in some specific examples of psychological adapatations in males and females. As recommended we included the hip-to-waist ratio, along with short-term mating in males, testosterone cues, rape avoidance etc. We were focusing on human sexuality as this is our module topic area, however we are aware there is room for the addition of non-related examples to sexuality. We also removed the citation banner as we believe there are now sufficient in-text citations and sources.Kirivictoria (talk) 16:59, 24 November 2016 (UTC)


Here are my peer-review comments for your heading "Psychological Adaptation in males":

Overall, I think it's a good section. It is easy to read and you have a lot of interesting and relevant information included. I like the sub-section "Short-term mating" as it creates a sense of structure - it organises the information on short-term mating. In light of this, I suggest perhaps using more subheadings throughout the previous sections of 'Psychological Adaptations in males". For example, the information on humour and intersexual adaptations could come under separate subheadings as, much like short-term mating, they too are psychological adaptation in males. So in terms of structuring the information, perhaps consider including some more subheadings so the information you have collated can be more organised?

I would also suggest a few more links to other pages. Besides that it gives a great, comprehensive overview of the subject!

Here are my peer-review comments for your heading "Psychological Adaptation in females":

I find this section to be very comprehensive and effectively meeting Wiki's guidelines. The content is also highly interesting and relevant. The structure is balanced in terms of the sub-headings and with how much text there is under each subheading. Very nicely organised. This makes the information very nicely structured and easy to read. I also think you have made very good use of the scientific literature and provide the correct references where necessary. I have learnt a lot interesting new things from reading this!

It is hard for me to suggest how you could improve this. Perhaps add a few more links to other pages? Other than this, I really think your contribution is brilliant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ayselisa.allison (talkcontribs) 14:45, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Peer Review II[edit]

I really liked the way this page was written. It's quite thorough in it's explanations, discussing both male and female adaptations as well as covering discrepancies between theories. Things were clearly broken down into subsections and you also added a 'see also' bit which encouraged more reading later. You also use a variety of sources which increases the credibility of your work. It was nice to see a bit on Darwinism as it helped define the voice of the rest of the article and enables the reader to start off reading the basics, before the go into the more detailed content. The article also meets Wikipedia's guidelines. The only copy-editing changes I made was adding a space between some words and added a word to better the grammar of a sentence, otherwise it was well written.

Further improvements:

  • Including images will be a great addition as it'll help visualise the information. You could add an image relating to polygyny for instance.
  • The introduction explains the concept human adaptations well however, a hyperlink could be included for EPM when it's first mentioned. A citation can also be included for when you explain the difference between an EPM vs something that's just a psychological adaptation.
  • Regarding this sentence specifically: "vestigial traits that no longer benefit the species’ fitness. Some evolutionists consider vestigial traits as adaptations, even though they no longer have adaptive functionality" you could condense the sentence as it sounds like it's repeating itself or at least isn't as concise as it could be, so it's just a matter of rephrasing it.
  • Formatting. It's generally done quite well in this piece. There are a few areas where there could be more spacing such as:
     1. I think there are areas in the adaption for males section there could be broken down into subheaders such as for humour, waist to hip ratio and mate retention strategies. This just helps someone to see what the different adaptations are.
     2. In the sexual selection section you could split sexual jealousy and incest avoidance into separate paragraphs if not subheaders.
     3. The 'evolved adaptations vs learned behaviours' section could split the writing into paragraphs as the text is quite heavy. 
  • For the "evolved adaptions and learned behaviours section": as above, it would be nice to split the section, it was a good read, however there was a lot being said in one ago. I think reorganizing the sentences will help as there are conflicting ideas being discussed and how they are different. It jumps between between the three different modes of thought (evolutionary, cognitivist and behaviourist) a few times which can be hard to follow for some. Otherwise, it's a good evaluative section, showcasing the different theories.
  • Citations: Is the hybrid solution proposed by Chomsky or supported by him?
  • Are there any individual (not just sex) differences that are considered psychological adaptations such as personality?

NidaAhmad2 (talk) 17:23, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

This was a comprehensive piece, I enjoyed reading it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NidaAhmad2 (talkcontribs) 23:44, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Peer Review III[edit]

Hi there,

The article reads very well and is sectioned in an organised and comprehensive format. I particularly like the contribution of male and female adaptations, and how they have been structured as distinct paragraphs. The article uses a variety of sources including book and journal articles which shows depth and breadth of research and knowledge. Here is my personal feedback that you can hopefully constructively use for improving this article:

•In the introduction, you could source a particular evolutionary theorist that considers the vestigial traits as adaptations

•You could add in the date of Charles Darwin theory of evolution

•External links that I think could be added throughout the article are those for: cognitive, cultural norms, reproductive success, parental investment

•The section 'Evolved adaptation vs learned behaviour' could be paragraphed a little more. A suggestion could be to start a new paragraph after 'on the other hand...'

•A grammatical error in the plural 'explain', needs to be changed to 'explains' in the sentence 'where behaviourism explain a conscious behaviour as a conditioned response'

•You could put 'to have a number of female partners at once' in italics, as this is a definition of the word polygyny

•Instead of using the term 'children' you could change this to 'offspring' because this fits with the terminology appropriate for this topic

•You could try inserting an image from the wiki commons for hip-waist ratio, a picture of Charles Darwin or Noam Chomsky, or a graph taken from one of the journal articles you referenced displaying the females menses cycle

You have made a great contribution to this article, and have covered many topics within this domain, I think you have written in a neutral, non biased manner which is appropriate for wikipedia!

Can wait to see how this article progresses!


LauraHarris (talk) 14:57, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

Peer review - November 2016[edit]

The additions to this page are great! Overall I think the information is conveyed clearly and there is also a clear flow through the sections. I really like that it has been separated into Psychological adaptation in males and Psychological adaptation in females; makes it easy to read and easy to quickly find if you are looking for a particular section.

Hard to suggest how to improve the page but here are a few potential changes:

  • You could link to a few more pages e.g. mate choice, incest avoidance, humour, hip to waist ratio, etc
  • A few pictures could also be included to enhance the page's aesthetics e.g. for Darwin, hip to waist ratio, etc
  • Am not sure that "Evolutionary Psychology, Biology, and Cognitive Science" need to be capitalised in the introduction
  • Charles Darwin's section could include a bit more on his research e.g. dates, name of his published work

Very interesting and written in a non biased manner that works well for the page. Emilycollins (talk) 18:16, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Peer review Human Sexuality 2016[edit]

This is a great page, very clearly laid out with good subheading which splits the text up! I did notice a few things that could maybe boost its greatness slightly: - the evolution vs learned behaviour bit is great, however I do feel like some terms are just thrown around; maybe media infuences could be explained better using examples, pictures and studies as i think it's an important point. - Again I think the link to polygyny and how this has helped survival and psychological adaptions could be more useful, for example it links to sociosexuality. - humour is a great example, but arguably cross-culturally different, maybe include an example of where it is less or more valued? - I think the last three paragraphs are really good and explained concisely with evidence.

Overall this is a very informative page and easy to read. I hope the suggestions aren't to late.

Sbamwarwick (talk) 19:28, 8 December 2016 (UTC)