Tenets to Guide My Research

-Evolutionary theory teaches us that organisms have evolved through natural selection.

-This selection occurs at multiple levels, as ascribed by multilevel selection theory.

-The forces that drive evolution occur outside of the individual, which is the environment.

-This is true for traits and behaviors that can be described as genic or memic in origin.

-The environment is comprised of both the natural world and the social world of ideas. The later is synonymous with culture.

-Behaviors and environments interact. As such, behaviors should be analyzed as both originating from and acting on the environment.

-Behaviors serve the purpose of allowing an individual to engage with the environment.

-Before engaging with the environment, all possible behaviors are activated and then a single behavior is selected.

-Factors effect which behavior is selected. This is basically the argument made by Mischel, a cognitivist’s approach to the situationist perspective.

-Learning, the internalization of knowledge and the creation of representations, is central to this approach.

-Learning comes in two forms. The first is experience. The second is through social means such as communication and education.

-Evolved psychological mechanisms can also influence the selection of behaviors.

-One such example of this emotions, which serve to influence how an individual engages in an environment.

-Emotions are activated by situational features, and as such are products of the environment in which the individual is acting. Again, importance is placed on the interaction with the environment.

-Perception is merely a type of behavior.