Evolution and the Psychology of Thinking
Edited by David E. Over
Psychology Press – 2003 – 256 pages
The field of evolutionary cognitive psychology has stimulated considerable interest and debate among cognitive psychologists and those working in related areas. In this collection, leading experts evaluate the status of this new field, providing a critical analysis of its most controversial hypotheses. These hypotheses have far reaching implications for cognition, including a modular view of the mind, which rejects, in its extreme form, any general learning or reasoning abilities. Some evolutionary psychologists have also proposed content-dependent accounts of conditional reasoning and probability judgements, which in turn have significant, and equally controversial, implications about the nature of human reasoning and decision making.
The contributions range from those that are highly critical of the hypotheses to those that support and develop them. The result is a uniquely balanced, cutting-edge evaluation of the field that will be of interest to psychologists, philosophers and those in related subjects who wish to find out what evolutionary considerations can, and cannot, tell us about the human mind.
The book is a timely addition to the literature. To see such a range of arguments in one place is stimulating and valuable; the reference sections themselves are a goldmine for students. - Ken Manktelow, University of Wolverhampton
A fine volume and well organised debate, the contributed chapters are all of very high quality and are written by well respected cognitive scientists. - Denise Cummins, University of California, Davis, USA
D.E. Over, Introduction: The Evolutionary Psychology of Thinking. G.L. Brase, The Allocation System: Using Signal Detection Processes to Regulate Representations in a Multi-modular Mind. L. Fiddick, Is There a Faculty of Deontic Reasoning? A Critical Reevalution of Abstract Versions of the Wason Selection Task. A.P. Atkinson, M. Wheeler, Evolutionary Psychology's Grain Problem and the Cognitive Neuroscience of Reasoning. A. Almor, Specialised Behaviour without Specialised Modules. D.E. Over, From Massive Modularity to Metarepresentation: The Evolution of Higher Cognition. S. Sloman, D.E. Over, Probability Judgment: From the Inside and Out. K.E. Stanovich, R.F. West, Evolutionary versus Instrumental Goals: How Evolutionary Psychology Misconceives Human Rationality.