Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Apes and angels: Adaptationism versus Panglossianism

Aurelio José Figueredo a1, Mark J. Landau a1 and Jon A. Sefcek a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0068 [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]


The “straw man” prior expectation of the dominant social psychology paradigm is that humans should behave with perfect rationality and high ethical standards. The more modest claim of evolutionary psychologists is that humans have evolved specific adaptations for adaptive problems that were reliably present in the ancestral environment. Outside that restricted range of problems, one should not expect optimal behavior.