Darwinian Diversity - towards an evolutionarily informed understanding of individual differences
This is a terrifically important and interesting area we feel. Evolutionarily consilient fields such as behavioural genetics, personality, intelligence, psychopathology and autism research shed new light on what makes us different to each other. This is important for potential interventions to reduce human suffering and just to understand ourselves better.
We set up a Facebook group with group description as follows. Recommended reading here.
This is a private discussion group that is interested in human psychological diversity, how much does human psychological diversity stem from neurodiversity, biological underpinnings?
I think those high on the Autism spectrum are leading the charge on recognising neurodiversity. But research in behavioural genetics appears to show that "All psychological traits show significant and substantial genetic influence". We are psychologically diverse in AQ, IQ and personality. It seems we are born with a certain makeup which gives each of us different talents and tendencies. It would seem that all of this diversity has been preserved by natural selection as it is adaptive and gives or gave us a reproductive and/or survival fitness advantage.
We are interested in research in this whole area and I think understanding the complete picture of this diversity probably helps us understand the Autism spectrum too and it's significance to our lives. Often psychology will focus on human universals and that is great good work, but there is much to be learnt from understanding individual differences too I feel.
So this group will discuss:
autism in particular but also be interested in research into intelligence, personality, behavioural genetics
the relationship between extremes of personality and diagnosed psychological disorders
does an evolutionary psychology perspective help us in understanding diagnosis such as OCD, ADHD, ADD, eating disorders (such as ARFID in girls), depression, social anxiety, etc.
frequent comorbidities - alexithymia, eating disorders and attention disorders are often comorbid with autism for example
the question of rapid-onset gender dysphoria, what is it and are autistic children particularly prone to it?
evolutionary psychological understandings of individual differences and life strategy theory
the biological expression of individual differences (for instance we're interested in discussion of the 4D:2D digit ratio, it's relationship to prenatal testosterone exposure and behavioural traits)
interventions to improve individual's lives including pharmacological interventions
issues of inclusion and engaging the different talents of individuals
we also carefully discuss the seemingly fraught area of eugenic and dysgenic trends.