Evolutionary psychology News

Evo psych: “Evolution” explains procrastination?

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Yup. Further to theories of culture,, including the germ theory of culture, evolution explains procrastination.

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Your daily dose of evolutionary psychology (without which … ?), an “evolutionary” explanation of procrastination, based on a twin study:

Procrastination and impulsivity are genetically linked, suggesting that the two traits stem from similar evolutionary origins, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research indicates that the traits are related to our ability to successfully pursue and juggle goals.

From an evolutionary standpoint, impulsivity makes sense: Our ancestors should have been inclined to seek immediate rewards when the next day was uncertain. Procrastination, on the other hand, may have emerged more recently in human history. In the modern world, we have many distinct goals far in the future, which we need to prepare for – when we’re impulsive and easily distracted from those long-term goals, we often procrastinate.

One explanation we can reject out of hand—because it is far too simple and obvious—is that procrastinators typically waste and dither away the time other people spend planning and rehearsing. As a result, they find themselves making decisions impulsively in a last-minute rush.

Genes may reflect that fact but they don’t govern it.

A friend wonders whether evolutionary psychology is still taken seriously (many quite serious Darwinians, to say nothing of naturalist atheists critical of Darwinism, won’t have anything to do with it).

Best guess we’ve heard, for now: Lots people would love to just dump it but they don’t have anything in its place yet. Thoughts?

Now back to serious news soon.

Hat tip: Bioethics.com

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