Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Evolutionary Psychopathology: A Unified Approach

Rate this book
Mental disorders arise from neural and psychological mechanisms that have been built and shaped by natural selection across our evolutionary history. Looking at psychopathology through the lens of evolution is the only way to understand the deeper nature of mental disorders and turn a mass of behavioral, genetic, and neurobiological findings into a coherent, theoretically grounded discipline. The rise of evolutionary psychopathology is part of an exciting scientific movement in psychology and medicine -- a movement that is fundamentally transforming the way we think about health and disease.

Evolutionary Psychopathology takes steps toward a unified approach to psychopathology, using the concepts of life history theory -- a biological account of how individual differences in development, physiology and behavior arise from tradeoffs in survival and reproduction -- to build an integrative framework for mental disorders. This book reviews existing evolutionary models of specific conditions and connects them in a broader perspective, with the goal of explaining the large-scale patterns of risk and comorbidity that characterize psychopathology. Using the life history framework allows for a seamless integration of mental disorders with normative individual differences in personality and cognition, and offers new conceptual tools for the analysis of developmental, genetic, and neurobiological data. The concepts presented in Evolutionary Psychopathology are used to derive a new taxonomy of mental disorders, the Fast-Slow-Defense (FSD) model. The FSD model is the first
classification system explicitly based on evolutionary concepts, a biologically grounded alternative to transdiagnostic models. The book reviews a wide range of common mental disorders, discusses their classification in the FSD model, and identifies functional subtypes within existing diagnostic categories.

560 pages, Hardcover

Published August 10, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Marco del Giudice

1 book3 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
11 (47%)
4 stars
10 (43%)
3 stars
2 (8%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for Yanick Punter.
280 reviews36 followers
August 28, 2020
Interesting. I discuss this book in my review of Our Political Nature by Avi Tuschman. At some later point I will revisit this review and add to my thoughts of this book.

A note: would like to see intellectual giftedness (though g is covered in the book) and biological sensitivity to context explained with this framework.

See also:

"An Evolutionary Life History Framework for Psychopathology" - Marco Del Giudice
"Rethinking the Fast-Slow Continuum of Individual Differences" - Marco Del Giudice

I recommend watching these interviews by the Dissenter:

February 14, 2023
A tour de force. The DSM 5 or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is the manual's last edition. It classifies mental disorders, or psychopathologies.
Thanks to the advance of many, many fields, the very ones that provided us with a different array of options to understand ourselves, the author, Marco del Giudice has managed to create a new proposal: a new manual based of three main characteristics, taken in account the life history model: the fast spectrum, the slow spectrum, and the defense-activation actions, that is why the model is called FSD 0r "fast-slow-defense".

Life history theory or model explains the general features of life cycle, i.e., how fast the organism grows, at what age it matures, how long it lives, and how often it reproduces. The theory is central to evolutionary ecology, as it directly deals with natural selection, fitness, adaptation, and constraint. So, we can select certain traits and categorize them into these groups. For example: promiscuity, earlier sexual development, narcissism, can be taken into acccount for "fast" traits. Meanwhile, deppression, lack of sexual arousal, can be called "slow" traits. And, well, at least to me, we got the most important trait, the so-called "defense activation". For example: phobias of any kind can be triggered by an ancient stimulus: we fear snakes because part of us know that they are dangerous. It is in this focus that evolutionary mismatchs take place: there are things that we should no longer fear, but we do. However, we have changed the way we drink, eat, defecate, have sex, sit, work, sweat and relate to one another so much, that our bodies (evolutionary biology) and minds (evolutionary psychology) cannot cope with the change.

Porn is another example. Men have always liked women, simple as that. Nature and evolution has made sexual attraction like that so we can reproduce. Men see women, and women know that. Arms race start. We have males that fail and commit horrible things (rape) and we have women trying hard to look thin (anorexia nervosa). But, times change and men can watch porn, which is like sleeping with hundreds of women, thus changing neurobiology. Sewage and plumbing are evolutionary novelties, that are not part of our "EEA" or "environment of evolutionary adaptation" that a female (most of them are females) can commit such things as BM (bulimia nervosa). In that way, many psychopathologies can be properly understood: social anxiety disorder, ADHD, post -traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, autism, and many more can also correlate. The "social justice scholarship" once again denies science, saying that it is either "too white", "too western", "too thin", or "too manly". However, this book has more than once hundred pages (i am not lying) of references, citing male and female authors, wherever they come from.

Understanding ourselves is the most important thing besides living. Sciences based on evolution are the way to do that, they are as real as they get. Homo sapiens is a species just like any other, with a unique mind: a mind that can create universes, origin stories, and perceive our surroundings like any other, this includes both landscapes and people, the latter being really important, because we are a social animal.

These three traits, FSD, can be classified by many symptoms concerning a different pathos, however, they can be clustered, meaning that they can be either type "F" or type "S" based on the patient personal heritage and experiences. We must understand why we do what we do, that way we can start to comprehend the darkest place in our minds.
Profile Image for Andreas Hämäläinen.
2 reviews11 followers
October 17, 2019
It's a an easy scientific read without any dumbing down. Del Giudice gives a good description of the research of our most common mental illnesses and makes a good effort to push the boundaries of our theoretical understanding of them.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.