How Children Invented Humanity: The Role of Development in Human Evolution

ISBN : 9780190066864

David F. Bjorklund
368 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Dec 2020
Send mail

Infants and children are the often-ignored heroes when it comes to understanding human evolution. Evolutionary pressures acted upon the young of our ancestors more powerfully than on adults, and changes over the course of development in our ancestors were primarily responsible for the species and the people we have become. This book takes an evolutionary developmental perspective, emphasizing that developmental plasticity-the ability to change our physical and psychological selves early in life-is the creative force in evolution, with natural selection serving as a filter, eliminating novel developmental outcomes that did not benefit survival. This book is about becoming-of becoming human and of becoming mature adults. Bjorklund asks, "How can an understanding of human development help us better understand human evolution?" Then, turning the relation between evolution and development on its head, Bjorklund demonstrates how an understanding of our species' evolution can help us better understand current development and how to better rear successful and emotionally healthy children.


Chapter 1: Children, Childhood, and Development in Evolutionary Perspective
Chapter 2: Changeable Children: Evolved Plasticity and Development
Chapter 3: Adaptable Ancestors: Developmental Plasticity and Evolution
Chapter 4: Embryos and Ancestors
Chapter 5: The Adaptive Value of Immaturity (or The Benefits To Being Young at Heart)
Chapter 6: Developing the Evolved Social Brain
Chapter 7: Evolutionary Mismatches in the Development of Today's Children
Chapter 8: Epilogue: How Children Invented Humanity

About the author: 

David F. Bjorklund is Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in developmental and evolutionary psychology. He previously served as Associate Editor of Child Development and is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. His books include The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology (with Anthony Pellegrini); Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development (edited with Bruce Ellis); Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young: Immaturity in Human Development; Child and Adolescent Development: An Integrative Approach (with Carlos Hernandez Blasi); Psychology (with Peter Gray), and Children's Thinking: Cognitive Development and Individual Differences, now in its sixth edition. His current research interests include children's cognitive development and evolutionary developmental psychology.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.