Many social psychologists have an ideological aversion to evolutionary psychology

Many social psychologists have an ideological aversion to evolutionary psychology, by Christian Jarrett.

Quizzing the social psychologists on their views of evolutionary theory, Buss and von Hippel found that they overwhelmingly accepted the principles of Darwinian evolution and also that it applied to humans, but when it came to whether evolutionary theory applies to human psychology and behaviour, the sample was split, with many social psychologists rejecting this notion.

Digging deeper into the survey results, there was no evidence that the social psychologists were averse to evolutionary psychology for religious reasons, but many did reject the idea that humans might be inherently violent (in certain situations) or that some people are widely considered more physically attractive than others due to universal evolved standards of attractiveness — perhaps, Buss and von Hippel suggested, this is because “they dislike the implications regarding the dark side of human nature.” …

Realities that puncture the PC fantasies are not allowed, by many of these leftist academics. They cannot even apply evolutionary theory to humans — because the obvious implications contradict their political beliefs. “Scientists”? Bah.

Buss and von Hippel think that, motivated by principles of social justice, many social psychologists are ideologically opposed to what they mistakenly think evolutionary psychology argues for — namely genetic determinism, environmental irrelevance, and the idea that attempts to change human behaviour are doomed to fail. In fact, these are erroneous caricatures and evolutionary psychology does not espouse any of these beliefs. It does though recognise that we are not blank slates and that our minds and behaviour have been shaped by evolution in important ways. …

On an optimistic note, Buss and von Hippel point out that their survey found that a substantial minority of social psychologists did endorse findings rooted in evolutionary biology.