Discovering the next big question in evolutionary psychology: A few guidelines.

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3 Scopus citations


The original big question for evolutionary psychology was whether an evolutionary perspective could generate any novel predictions, beyond those that would follow from common sense or from traditional theories in psychology. I consider a couple of examples of lines of research that answer that affirmatively. I then suggest 6 general heuristics for generating evolutionary psychological hypotheses and some criteria for evaluating the likely importance of a particular research question. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved) Public Significance Statement—Our evolved psychological mechanisms influence our responses to modern societal conditions. Thus, evolutionary psychological hypotheses have the potential not only to be scientifically interesting, but also to help us understand and address the most pressing social problems of today. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalEvolutionary Behavioral Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • evolutionary psychology
  • heuristics
  • hypothesis generation
  • theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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