Evolutionary Theories of Personality Disorders

Current evolutionary psychologists have drawn heavily from the earlier theory of sociobiology as expounded by E. O. Wilson in his influential 1975 book. Wilson based the premise of sociobiology on Charles Darwin's book Origin of the Species published in 1859. Darwin's central thesis revolved around the process of natural selection, which Darwin once summarized as "multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die." Yet, Darwin's theory could not readily explain behaviors such as altruism, particularly in cases where the altruistic organism died in the process. For example, Darwin was puzzled by a group of insects that produced no descendants. How could a whole caste of ants be sterile? He vaguely suspected that it had something to do with the survival of the whole family of ants, all of the castes. Darwin likened it to making a well-flavored soup where the individual contributions are lost, although he worried that his failure to explain the phenomenon would be fatal to his whole theory.

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