If psychology is destined to be your ideal career path, but you aren’t dead set on a specific direction then maybe it is time you consider evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology is the study of psychological traits in relation to social sciences and natural sciences. You will spend time working with characteristics such as perception, language, and memory from a modern perspective of evolution. This branch of psychology works to determine which psychological traits of humans are evolved adaptations; more specifically, which traits are functional products of sexual selection or natural selection. It is important to note that evolutionary psychologists work in a manner similar to that of evolutionary biologists. In evolutionary biology, adaptationist thinking is applied to physiological mechanisms (like the immune system, the lungs, and the heart).
Individuals who study evolutionary psychology apply the same basic thought processes to the world of psychology. Evolutionary psychologists believe that the human mind has a similar modular structure to that of our bodies; in addition, they believe that each modular adaptation serves different life functions. Evolutionary psychologists also believe that a human’s behavior is a result of the psychological adaptations that have evolved as a means of solving recurrent problems or issues. It is important to note that evolutionary psychology is a branch of psychology that is continuing to evolve due to an ever-increasing influence from the entire field of psychology.
As an evolutionary psychologist it is very likely that you will function on the belief that evolutionary psychology does not exist merely as a subsection of psychology. Instead, this branch of psychology operates in that evolutionary psychology can provide a foundation that incorporates every field and every aspect of the field of psychology. Much of the work that evolutionary psychologists focus on is in relation to behavioral traits that occur universally; these traits are thought to be good options for adaptations. Applicable examples would be identity, the ability to cooperate with others, the ability to infer the emotions of others, how to distinguish non-kin from kin, and the reasoning behind the preference of healthier mates. There have been numerous successful reports from evolutionary psychologists related to the testing of theoretical predictions. These are all in reference to topics such as: marriage patterns, bride price, intelligence, the perception of beauty, parental investment, promiscuity, and infanticide.
Due to the fact that evolutionary psychologists deal with and study a wide range of aspects related to real-world issues, it is completely feasible for these individuals to work in the industries of law, economics, literature, politics, management, environment, health care, or psychiatry. Of course, due to the nature of many of the types of assessments that are used within evolutionary psychology, there are often many controversies surrounding this specific branch of psychology. For instance, integrated functioning of the brain, how the ancestral environment influences certain behavioral aspects, political issues, ethical issues, how important non-adaptive explanations are, and how non-genetic explanations are used are all factors that are challenged due to possible discrepancies in interpretations.
Although there are lower, entry-level positions that will be available within this field of study, by obtaining your doctor of psychology degree in evolutionary psychology you will be able to use your expertise and skills in a variety of industries. It is important to understand that very few colleges and universities offer a degree program in the area of evolutionary psychology. Generally speaking, upon completion of your course work you will be adequately prepared to enter the work force in the area of education, or research, or within any field that is related to the field of psychology.