David F. Bjorklund is a Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University where teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in developmental and evolutionary psychology. He served as Associate Editor of Child Development (1997-2001) and is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. His books include The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology (with Anthony Pellegrini), Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development (edited with Bruce Ellis), Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young: Immaturity in Human Development, Child and Adolescent Development: An Integrative Approach (with Carlos Hernández Blasi), and Children's Thinking: Cognitive Development and Individual Differences, now in its fifth edition. His current research interests include children's cognitive development and evolutionary developmental psychology.
Developmental Evolutionary Psychology
Evolutionary developmental psychology, (or EDP), is the application of the basic principles of Darwinian evolution, particularly natural selection, to explain contemporary human development. It involves the study of the genetic and environmental mechanisms that underlie the universal development of social and cognitive competencies and the evolved epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. It assumes that not only are behaviors and cognitions that characterize adults the product of natural selection pressures operating over the course of evolution, but so also are characteristics of children's behaviors and minds. It further proposes that an evolutionary account would provide some insight into not only predictable stages of ontogeny, but into specific differences between individuals as well. Such a perspective suggests that there are multiple alternative strategies to recurring problems that human children would have faced throughout our evolutionary past and that individual differences in developmental patterns aren’t necessarily idiosyncratic reactions, but are predictable, adaptive responses to environmental pressures.