Introduction to Evolutionary Psychology Careers
Darwin's theory on the evolution of biological life had a profound impact on the world of biology, raising important questions concerning the developmental history of organisms' physical characteristics. For example, how did the eye develop? What is, or was, the purpose of an appendix? In what way are we the descendants of apes? While biologist look to answer these questions, evolutionary psychologists explore similar issues for mental characteristics, seeking explanations for everything from the human mind's capacity for reason and thought to the survival payoff of emotions like guilt and love.
Evolutionary Psychology Job Description
Evolutionary psychologists, who work to explain these issues, study the evolutionary development of the mind and its attendant psychological characteristics. Organized around the concept of natural selection, evolutionary psychologists examine how brain design and function are "selected" in response to organisms' survival and reproductive needs.
Evolutionary Psychology Requirements
Budding evolutionary psychologists come from a variety of majors including: psychology, biology and anthropology, as the field encompasses aspects of each of these disciplines. Because evolutionary psychologists engage in research-not clinical practice-candidates for graduate programs often must demonstrate particular interest in the field. In some programs, applicants are selected for admission individually by faculty members with whom they share an academic interest. The most competitive candidates possess prior research experience, relevant undergraduate study, and satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Students may pursue a master's degree, which takes one to two years to complete, or the Doctor of Philosophy in psychology (Ph.D.), which takes approximately five years to complete.Evolutionary psychology receives mixed treatment within graduate programs. Some explicitly offer degrees in the field, while others-treating evolutionary psychology as a way of approaching other areas within the discipline--offer relevant coursework, which utilizes the evolutionary approach, but confers degrees in areas such as cognitive, developmental or social psychology.
Evolutionary Psychology Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a category of professionals including evolutionary psychologists earn a median salary of $86,120. According to a 2005 report by the American Psychological Association, salaries for psychologists within academia ranged from $59,000 to $75,000.
Evolutionary Psychology Trends
Evolutionary psychologists can touch on everything from the evolutionary context of emotion and religion to what motivates attraction and mate selection. For instance one topic recently studied is how attraction relates to facial features. Evolutionary psychologists have examined why we react positively to certain facial features and negatively to others, and how various facial features relate to reproduction and survival.
Evolutionary Psychology Degree Programs
Welcome to the most complete directory on the Web of Evolutionary Psychology programs. It contains all the nationally accredited programs, from 8 schools across the country.