The first formal annual meeting of AEPS will precede the Fifth Annual NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS) 2011 Conference; Friday, 4/1/2011. 1-3:30 pm.The Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society (AEPS)
April 1 at NEEPS 2011 – SUNY Binghamton
1 pm to 3:30 pmThis is the first public meeting of the Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society (AEPS). All interested persons are invited to attend and participate. We will discuss the purpose for which AEPS was developed and its goals. Additionally, there will be presentations demonstrating the evolutionarily informed (EI) applications of evolutionary theory and findings to understanding and solving some human problems. A proposed edited book addressing EI solutions to human problems will be presented and discuss as well. All attendees are encouraged to provide input and feedback during the AEPS workshop. The AEPS workshop will be followed by the opening session of NEEPS 2011.
1:00- 1:10 – Introduction – Nick Armenti
1:15- 1:25 – AEPS Mission and Website – Brian Mayer
1:25- 1:40 – Discussion led by Nando Pelusi
1:40 –2:10 – EI Electorate Behavior – Kilian Garvey (includes Q&A) see abstract below
2:10-2:50 – EI Business Management – Kalman Glantz and Gary Bernhard (includes Q&A) led by Thomas Hirschmann & Brian Mayer
2:50 -3:05 A Proposed Edited Book Addressing Applied EP – Dan Kruger and Nick Armenti
3:05 – 3:25 Discussion and Wrap-up- led by Dan Kruger
Evolutionary political science: How the savanna-affect hypothesis explains voting against one’s own interests. Kilian Garvey
Abstract: A rational human should act in his or her own best self interests. However, a significant section of the electorate seems to be choosing candidates and policies that do not reflect their own stated preferences. This may best be explained by the fact that natural selection shaped both intellectual and emotional problem solving mechanisms at a time when modern political, economic, and military challenges did not exist, thus, what may appear to be irrational political behavior is hypotheses to be information processing reflecting what would have been adaptive during the EEA, not the modern era. Empirical data will be presented to support this hypothesis and suggestions will be made on how political communication might be structured to take the savanna-affect hypothesis into account.
Healing the Split
Kalman Glantz and Gary Bernhard
Abstract: The study of human evolution shows us that for most of our existence as a species individual and community interests were in rough equilibrium. Our foraging ancestors sought status, like all primates, but they generally acquired the highest status by doing things that benefited the group. With the advent of agriculture and civilization, a split began to occur. Individuals could acquire hitherto unimaginable status by accumulating wealth and political power—often at the expense of family and community. Today, the world-wide emphasis on individual achievement has created a culture in which people think it’s okay to be completely selfish. At the same time, we can’t shake our old hunter-gatherer emotions. We’re not completely comfortable with the selfishness or with the inequality it creates. We give to charities, we volunteer.
In the United States, the split between individual and community interests has become embedded in two ideologies: conservative and liberal. Conservatives promote individual freedom and self-reliance; liberals promote fairness and equality. These two positions have become so polarized that it’s virtually impossible for Congress to address crucial issues effectively. Each side doggedly proclaims one half of what once was the human whole. Meanwhile, people are losing the belief that the system can work for them.
An evolutionary perspective shows us that any step in the direction of uniting self-interest and the common good will be beneficial—to individuals, families, communities, and the environment. With an understanding of our heritage we can tackle pressing problems from an integrated point of view. In this presentation we propose several policies that might help heal the split.