Samenvatting

S.L.K. GRUIJTERS
WHY WE DON’T FLEE FROM POISONOUS MUSHROOMS
A recently published popular science book discusses the mismatch hypothesis (Giphart & van Vugt, 2016). Central in its thesis is the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EAA), as a source of mismatch with current environments. Stone-age minds in a modern world, where culture and information-load has exploded since then. In this article, I argue that ‘just-so-story’ skepticism towards evolutionary psychology is partly fueled by too easily made claims about how evolution has shaped the mind, and a lacking mentioning of alternative views on how and when psychological adaptations took shape. The easily learned fear for spiders, considered to be a mismatching adaptation by the authors, is discussed to illustrate an alternative approach.


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Lopen wij rond met een oerbrein? Een boek van Giphart & Van Vugt (2016) bespreekt de mismatch-hypothese: ons brein is geëvolueerd op de savannes en is eigenlijk niet up-to-date. Spinnenangst, depressie, ADHD, dyslexie en dyscalculie, onze recente voorouders krijgen van alles de schuld. Hebben die jager-verzamelaar en zijn savannes nu zoveel verklarende kracht? Darwins evolutietheorie hoort thuis in de psychologie, stelt Stefan Gruijters. De vraag is wel: op welke manier en met welke nuances?

Darwins uitspraak aan het einde van zijn On the origin of species wordt veelvuldig geciteerd in evolutionaire kringen (Darwin). Evolutie door natuurlijke selectie, zo voorzag Darwin (1859)13, zou de fundering gaan vormen van ons begrip van de psychologie.

De geschiedenis van de psychologie leert ons echter anders. De evolutietheorie heeft maar in relatief beperkte mate een plek verworven binnen de psychologie. Historisch in eerste instantie mede door een reeks niet-wetenschappelijke toepassingen van de evolutietheorie. De evolutietheorie werd bijvoorbeeld misbruikt als verantwoording voor politieke idealen; een inspiratiebron voor onder andere het ‘iedereen voor zich’-denken en rasverbeteringsideologie. Binnen de psychologie is de beperkte acceptatie wellicht mede gevolg van negatieve connotaties verbonden aan het concept ‘de menselijke natuur’. Evolutie centraal stellen in verklaringen van psyche en gedrag lijkt voor sommigen ons dagelijks wel en wee op dwingende wijze te koppelen aan onze evolutionaire historie. De genetica achter de schermen van ons doen en laten.

Dergelijke negativiteit rondom de evolutietheorie is de

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