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Psychology professor examines selectionism in new research publication

4/24/2018

by: Paige Ruedy, CSE communications intern

Kenneth Leising

Kenneth Leising, associate professor of psychology at TCU, collaborated with his colleague W. David Stahlman, an assistant professor at the University of Mary Washington, on a new article that will be published in the American Psychologist. The article is titled, “The coelacanth still lives: Bringing selection back to the fore in a science of behavior.”

The article considers the degree to which a selectionist account (after Darwin’s work) can provide a full account for behavior. They ultimately argue that all organismal behavior is the result of three levels of environmental selection (phylogenic, ontogenic, and cultural), and common notions like free will, consciousness, and mind divert researchers away from identifying the initiating causes for behavior. Therefore, selectionism can and should be central to psychological investigation, much like Darwinian natural selection is central to modern biological science.

The article can be found at: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/amp/

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