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Contrast Evolutionary and Social Psychology Research Paper

Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychologists argue that the mind is a general purpose cognition device shaped by the culture in which one lives. Evolution psychology takes a modern perspective in trying to explain human traits such as perception and language. This, therefore, means that our body’s organs change to adapt to the existing conditions in the environment. Our lungs, hearts and other organs adapt respectively to the environment. The traits developed thereof are passed down to our succeeding generations. It advocates further that the traits are borne from the adaptations of past generations. This means that the general traits of a previous generation affect our psychological make up.

The way we behave, speak, perceive things in the environment and our overall characteristics are shaped entirely by culture. Our ability to learn new language skills are also as a result of evolved psychological adaptations. We, therefore, form social groupings such as extended families and social groups including friends, relatives and acquaintances. This theory borrows a lot from Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The theory says that the ancestral environment greatly influences our behavior.

The way our parents behaved will most probably determine how we behave too. The brain is a processing device which produces behavior relative to the things we experience. the human brain, therefore, responds to fit in the environment (Gerald, 2008).

Preceding experiences determine how we respond to previously known stimuli. For example we know that one is friendly or good towards us if they treat us with respect and care. If I meet for the first time and they treat me badly, the next time we meet, my mind will pre-conceive the man as an enemy and I will have an attitude of hatred towards him. If on the other hand I meet a friendly guy and they treat me with humility and humor, I will definitely like then and look forward to our next interaction. My mind will therefore have been preconditioned to respond positively to those things I like and unfavorably to the things I dislike (Carl, 1980).

The human brain has special neural mechanisms for solving past adaptive problems. This benefits the human so that they do not have to go through the same problems without solving them effectively. If for example there were consequences suffered due to certain some acts in the past, then, in the future it will be remembered and the response will be such that the results will be better than last time.

The human brain has developed neural adaptations that handle previous problems faced by past generations. This may infer that humans have ‘stone age minds, but in essence they have evolved to suit their environment. Problems that my family has gone through as hereditary illnesses can better be handled if the brain is aware of them. A human person who is informed will be in a better position to handle trouble than one that knows not what their fore fathers went through.

Diabetes for example which is one of the most common hereditary diseases has my brain on the ready because I anticipate it at some point or other in my life. My desire to have my father come visiting me all the time after watching him beat up my mother is for example is an unimaginable thing. My mind has already put him into a ‘black list’ so that he has been predetermined as an animal or whatever other name people give to bad fathers (Frederick, 2006).

On the opposite side of the coin, mom has been loving and protective. She is always with me in her best interest, never relenting in her love for me. She has taken me through the best moments of my life though Dad always was a drunk and come between us and our fun. It is such pre-exposure to these conditions that has formed the positive and negative feelings I have for Dad and Mom respectively. I can not have much control mover how I feel, act, or even behave towards each of them.

Social Psychology

This theory is based on our concepts both for ourselves and those around us. These concepts determine how we perceive things, feel and behave towards various phenomena in the environment. There is the effect that before we act, we ask ourselves how other people will perceive our behavior. Personally, each person has an Image of who they are. On the contrary this theory purports that our behavior is determined by the perception of other people in our lives. Our actions are as a result of attitudes i.e. our approval or disapproval, liking or disliking of things, people or occurrences in the environment.

The sociaological theory interpreted dreams as having an obvious manifest. In other words, they are symbolic and they have meaning. The manifest in this case is the theme of the dream. Everything that appears in a dream does so for a reason and has some history of the person having it. Societal theory also interprets that a dream being the unconscious in form of manifest content is transformed by condensation and displacement processes. Condensation in this case entails several unconscious issues being manifested as one dream, a situation he refers to as dream thoughts. This differs from what is seen as dream contents or elements. This means that there can be more than one interpretation of a dream and hence a dream can have several meanings (Carl, 1980).

Displacement on the other hand is a process in which the fearful unconscious changes into reasonable issues. He continues to state that there is a physical force that usually operates in the dream. This force is responsible for creating a balance between the high physical value and those of low physical value. The new ones created are later found on the dream content. Socieatal theory states that dream as a wish fulfillment is determined by active material at that particular time.

In the real sense therefore, it means that there are no dreams but wishful ones. He added that even the latent meanings can be described as the wish fulfilling dream. However, in 1920, the theory reviewed his interpretation of the dream. He changed his principle that all dreams are wish fulfilling. He accepted the fact that nightmares and horrifying dreams were as a result of traumatic experiences. Moreover, he believed that things happening around us could appear in dreams.

Moreover, all the people in the world produce symbols in their dreams unconsciously and spontaneously. The sociological theory added that dreams are usually in to compensate for those things that the dreamer have negative attitude about. The most important things that an individual ought to put in mind concerning dreams are that dreams are facts. This means that one should not make assumptions unless in the situation that it make sense. He also needs to understand that dreams give expression or messages from the unconscious.


Carl, J. (1980). The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. New York: Princeton University Press.

Frederick. L. (2006). Dream Interpretation as a Psychotherapeutic Technique. Abingdon, U.K: Radliffe Publishing Ltd.

Gerald, C. (2008). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Cole C.A: Thompson books.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Contrast Evolutionary and Social Psychology." February 24, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/contrast-evolutionary-and-social-psychology/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Contrast Evolutionary and Social Psychology'. 24 February.

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