Evolutionary psychology: Theoretical foundations for the study of organizations
This article provides an introduction to evolutionary psychology and its relevance to organizational design theory and practice. Evolutionary psychology assumes that
human nature reflect adaptations to an ancestral environment that was intensely social, but differed profoundly from modern organizations in scale and complexity.
Further, organizational structures and cultures co-evolved with human nature to deal with the different environmental challenges early humans faced. In this article, I
present a concise review of the theoretical foundations of evolutionary psychology and convey how evolutionary psychology hypotheses about organizational design,
culture, and leadership in organizations can be developed and tested. I also provide some directions for future research in this area and discuss implications for designing
organizations that are perhaps better aligned with human nature than current structures.
The Evolutionary Mismatch Hypothesis: Implications for Psychological Science
Li. N. P., Van Vugt, M., & Colarelli., S. M. (2017). The evolutionary mismatch hypothesis: Implications for psychological science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1-7. DOI: 10.1177/0963721417731378
Human psychological mechanisms are adaptations that evolved to process environmental inputs, turning them into behavioral outputs that, on average, increase survival or reproductive prospects. Modern contexts, however, differ vastly from the environments that existed as human psychological mechanisms evolved. Many inputs now differ in quantity and intensity or no longer have the same fitness associations, thereby leading many mechanisms to produce maladaptive output. We present the precepts of this evolutionary mismatch process, highlight areas of mismatch, and consider implications for psychological science and policy.
Keywords: mismatch, adaptive lag, supernormal stimuli, evolutionary psychology
A melding of minds (in press)
Brosnan, S. F., Newton-Fisher, N. E., & Van Vugt, M. (2009). A melding of minds: When primatology meets personality and social psychology. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 129-147. DOI: 10.1177/1088868309335127