Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 18 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Many aspects of human cognition — especially the processes that define the conceptual territory of social cognition — are adapted to the recurrent problems and opportunities posed by these other members of ancestral human populations. So, to understand social cognition fully and deeply, it is useful — perhaps even essential — to employ scientific strategy. First, it is important to identify the set of fitness-relevant ‘problems’ recurrently posed by human social environments. Second, one should employ an evolutionary cost-benefit analysis to deduce plausible cognitive adaptations that would have helped ‘solve’ those problems. When considered in an evolutionary light, human social cognition is not merely one domain of inquiry within the small scientific province of social psychology; it is instead a topic of relevance to any scientist who cares about the evolution and behavioural ecology of mammals in general.

Keywords: human, cognition, social cognition, populations, fitness, problems, environments, social psychology, evolution, mammals

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.