Daniel J. Glass, SUNY New Paltz

Evolutionary Clinical Psychology

   The earliest attempts to apply evolutionary theory to clinical phenomena date back to Darwin, and Freud used evolutionary thought in his work, but the domain of evolutionary approach to clinical psychology is still in its inception as a formalized field (most of the major papers have been published only in the last 20 years), and as such, nobody has exactly settled on a name yet. Here are some labels under which work in this comprehensive field can be found (contact me if you know of any more!):

Evolutionary Clinical Psychology

Clinical Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary Psychopathology

Evolutionary Psychiatry 

Sociobiological Psychiatry

Darwinian Psychiatry

Clinical Sociobiology

Ethological Psychiatry

Evolutionary Psychotherapy 


Below I have attempted to compile a complete list of publications and other resources pertaining to the field of evolutionary approaches to clinical psychology, since I am unaware of any other such compendium. Needless to say, I do not necessarily endorse all the views presented below. This is always under construction, and please let me know if I am missing anything!


  • Angst: Origins of Anxiety and Depression -- Jeffrey P. Kahn, 2012
  • Darwinian Psychiatry -- Michael T. McGuire & Alfonso Troisi, 1998
  • The Descent of Madness: Evolutionary Origins of Psychosis and the Social Brain -- Jonathan Burns, 2007
  • Ethological Psychiatry: Psychopathology in the Context of Evolutionary Biology -- Eds. Michael T. McGuire & Lynn A. Fairbanks, 1977
  • Evolutionary Psychiatry: A New Beginning -- Anthony Stevens & John Price, 1st ed. 1997, 2nd ed. 2000.
  • Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of Mind (Chapter 13) -- David Buss, 3rd ed. 2007
  • Exiles from Eden: Psychotherapy from an Evolutionary Perspective -- Kalman Glantz & John K. Pearce, 1989
  • Genes on the Couch: Exploration in Evolutionary Psychotherapy -- Eds. Paul Gilbert, Kent G. Bailey, 2000
  • Gestalt Therapy and Human Nature: Evolutionary Psychology Applied -- John Wymore, 2006
  • Healing the Unhappy Caveman -- Chris Wilson, 2007
  • How Sadness Survived: The Evolutionary Basis for Depression -- Paul Keedwell, 2008
  • Human Paleopsychology: Applications to Aggression and Pathological Depression -- 
  • The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder -- Allan V. Horowitz & Jerome C. Wakefield, 2007
  • The Madness of Adam and Eve: How Schizophrenia Shaped Humanity -- David Horrobin, 2002
  • The Maladapted Mind: Classic Readings in Evolutionary Psychopathology -- Ed. Simon Baron-Cohen, 1997
  • Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory -- Eds. Pieter R. Adriaens, Andreas De Block, 2011
  • Prophets, Cults, and Madness -- Anthony Stevens & John Price, 2001
  • Shamans Among Us: Schizophrenia, Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Religion -- Joseph Polimeni, 2013
  • The Social Brain: Evolution and Pathology -- Eds. Martin Brüne, Hedda Ribbert, Wulf Schievenhövel, 2003
  • Sociobiological Psychiatry: Normal Behavior and Psychopathology -- Brant Wenegrat, 1990
  • Subordination and Defeat: An Evolutionary Approach to Mood Disorders and their Therapy -- Eds. Leon Sloman & Paul Gilbert, 2000
  • Suicide and Self-Damaging Behavior: A Sociobiological Perspective – Denys DeCatanzaro, 1985
  • Textbook of Evolutionary Psychiatry: The Origins of Psychopathology -- Martin Brüne, 2008
  • What Is Mental Illness? -- Richard J. McNally, 2011
  • Why We Get Sick (Chapter 14) -- Randolph M. Nesse & George C. Williams, 1996



  • Abed, R. (2000). Psychiatry and Darwinism: Time to reconsider? British Journal of Psychiatry, 177, 1-3.
  • Adriaens, P.R. & De Block, A. (2010). The evolutionary turn in psychiatry: a historical overview. History of Psychiatry, 21(2), 121-143.
  • Barkow, J.H. (2006). Alexander Leighton and the evolutionary perspective. Transcultural Psychiatry, 43(1), 43-55.
  • Brody, J. (200X). Defense mechanisms in EP? Nope. http://www.entelechyjournal.com/defense_mechanisms_in_ep.htm
  • Brüne, M. (2000). Neoteny, psychiatric disorders and the social brain: Hypotheses on heterochrony and the modularity of the mind. Anthropology and Medicine, 7(3), 301-318.
  • Brüne, M. (2001). Evolutionary fallacies of Nazi psychiatry: Implications for current research. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 44(3), 426-433.
  • Brüne, M. (2002). Toward an integration of interpersonal and biological processes: Evolutionary psychiatry as an empirically testable framework for psychiatric research. Psychiatry 65(1), 48-57.
  • Brüne, M., Belsky, J., Fabrega, H., Feierman, J.R., Gilbert, P.,  Glantz, K., ... Wilson, D.R. (2012). The crisis of psychiatry: Insights and prospects from evolutionary theory. World Psychiatry, 11(1), 55-57.
  • Cantor, C., & Joyce, P.R. (2009). Evolution and psychiatry. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(11), 991-993.
  • Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (1999). Toward an evolutionary taxonomy of treatable conditions. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 453-464.
  • Crawford, C. & Salmon, C. (2002). Psychopathology or adaptation? Genetic and evolutionary perspectives on individual differences and psychopathology. Neuroendocrinology Letters Special Issue, Suppl. 4, 23, 39-45.
  • Dubrovsky, B. (2002). Evolutionary psychiatry: Adaptationist and nonadaptationist conceptualizations. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 26, 1-19.
  • Feierman, J. R. (1987). The ethology of psychiatric populations: An introduction.Ethology and Sociobiology8, 1-8.
  • Feierman, J. R. (2006). The ethology of psychiatric populations II: Darwinian neuropsychiatry. Clin Neuropsychiatry3, 87-106.
  • Fulford, K.W.M. (1999). Nine variations and a coda on the theme of of an evolutionary definition of dysfunction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 412-420.
  • Fulford, K.W.M., & Thornton, T. (2007). Fanatical about "harmful dysfunction." World Psychiatry, 6(3), 161-162.
  • Gilbert, P. (1995). Biopsychosocial approaches and evolutionary theory as aids to integration in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2(3), 135-156.
  • Gilbert, P. (2001). Evolutionary approaches to psychopathology: The role of natural defences. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 35(1), 17-27.
  • Gilbert, P. (2002). Evolution theory and cognitive therapy. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 16(3), 259-262.
  • Gilbert, P. (2002). Evolutionary approaches to psychopathology and cognitive therapy. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 16(3), 263-294.
  • Gilbert, P. (2006). Old and new ideas on the evolution of mind and psychotherapy. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 3(2), 139-153.
  • Joness, I. & Blackshaw, J.K. (2000). An evolutionary approach to psychiatry. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34(1), 8-13.
  • Keller, M.C. (2008). The evolutionary persistence of genes that increase mental disorders risk. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(6), 395-399.
  • Keller, M.C. & Miller, G. (2006). Resolving the paradox of common, harmful, heritable mental disorders: Which evolutionary genetic models work best? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29(4), 385-452.
  • Kennair, L.E.O. (2003). Evolutionary psychology and psychopathology. Current Opinion in Psychology, 16, 691-699.
  • Kennair, L.E.O. (2011). The problem of defining psychopathology and challenges to evolutionary psychology theory. In D.M. Buss & P.H. Hawleys (Eds.), The evolution of personality and individual differences (pp. 451-479). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Kirmayer, L.J. & Young, A. (1999). Culture and context in the evolutionary concept of mental disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 446-452.
  • Klein, D.F. (1999). Harmful dysfunction, disorder, disease, illness, and evolution. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 421-429.
  • Lalumiére, M. L., & Dawson, S. J. (2012). The challenges of a Darwinian approach to psychological disorders. Evolutionary Psychology, 10(4), 727-730.
  • Leckman, J.F., & Mayes, L.C. (1998). Understanding developmental psychopathology: How useful are evolutionary accounts? Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(10), 1011-1021.
  • Lilienfeld, S.O. & Marino, L. (1999). Essentialism revisited: Evolutionary theory and the concept of mental disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 400-411.
  • McCrone, J. (2003). Darwinian medicine. Lancet Neurology, 2, 516.
  • McGuire, M.T., Marks, I., Nesse, R.M., & Troisi, A. (1992). Evolutionary biology: A basic science for psychiatry? Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 18, 523-599.
  • McGuire, M.T., McKinney, W.T., Nesse, R.M., & Troisi, A. (1994). Special issue introduction: Mental disorders in an evolutionary context. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 245-246.
  • McGuire, M.T., Fawzy, F.I., Spar, J.E., Weigel, R.M., & Troisi, A.(1994). Altruism and mental disorders. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 299-321.
  • McKinney, W.T., Gardner, R., Barlow, G.W., & McGuire, M.T. (1994). Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 369-382.
  • McNally, R.J. (2001). On Wakefield's harmful dysfunction analysis of mental disorder. Behavior Research and Therapy, 39(3), 309-314.
  • Murphy, D. (2005). Can evolution explain insanity? Biology and Philosophy, 20, 745-766.
  • Murphy, D. & Stich, S. (1998). Darwin in the madhouse: Evolutionary psychology and the classification of mental disorders. In P. Carruthers & A. Chamberlain (Eds.), Evolution and the Human Mind: Modularity, Language and Meta-Cognition (pp. 62-92). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Murphy, D. & Woolfolk, R.L. (2000). The harmful dysfunction analysis of mental disorder. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, 7(4), 241-252.
  • Nesse, R.M. (1989). Evolutionary explanations of emotions. Human Nature, 1(3), 261-289.
  • Nesse, R.M. (1991). Psychiatry. In M. Maxwell (Ed.), The Sociobiological Imagination (pp. 23-40). Albany: SUNY Press.
  • Nesse, R.M. (1991). What good is feeling bad? The Sciences, November/December 1991, 30-37.
  • Nesse, R.M. (2002). Evolutionary biology: A basic science for psychiatry. World Psychiatry, 1(1), 7-9.
  • Nesse, R.M. (2005). Evolutionary psychology and mental health. In D. Buss (Ed.), The Evolutionary Psychology Handbook (pp. 903-927). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Nesse, R.M.  & Ellsworth, P.C. (2009). Evolution, Emotions, and Emotional Disorders. American Psycholologist, 64(2), 129-139.
  • Nesse, R.M. (2009). Evolution at 150: Time for truly biological psychiatry. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 195, 471-472.
  • Nesse, R.M. & Stein, D.J. (2012). Towards a genuinely medical model for psychiatric nosology. BMC Medicine, 10(5).
  • Pitchford, I. (2002). Evolutionary developmental psychopathology. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
  • Price, J. (1967). The dominance hierarchy and the evolution of mental illness. The Lancet, 2(7509), 243-246. 
  • Pridmore, S. & Keyon, W. (2010). Darwin on the emotions of the insane. Australasian Psychiatry, 18(4), 295-297.
  • Richters, J.E. & Hinshaw, S.P. (1999). The abduction of disorder in psychiatry. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 438-445.
  • Sable, P. (2004). Attachment, ethology and adult psychotherapy. Attachment & Human Development, 6(1), 3-19.
  • Sadler, J.Z. (1999). Horsefeathers: A commentary on "Evolutionary versus prototypes analysis of the concept of disorder". Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 433-437.
  • Schelde, T. (1994). Ethological research in psychiatry. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 349-368.
  • Schelde, T. (1994). Ethology and psychotherapy. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 383-392.
  • Shaner, A., Miller, G., & Mintz, J. (2007). Mental disorders as catastrophic failures of mating intelligence. In G. Geher & G. Miller (Eds.), Mating intelligence: Sex, relationships, and the mind's reproductive system (pp. 193-224). New York: Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Siegert, R.J. & Ward, T. (2002). Clinical psychology and evolutionary psychology: Toward a dialogue. Review of General Psychology, 6(3), 235-259.
  • Shackelford, T.K., & Haselton, M.G. (1997). Evolutionary psychiatry: A new beginning (Review). Politics and the Life Sciences, 16(2), 341-343.
  • Spitzer, R. (1999). Harmful dysfunction and the DSM definition of mental disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 430-432.
  • Stein, D. (2006). Evolutionary theory, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 30, 766-773.
  • Troisi, A. (1999). Ethological research in clinical psychiatry: The study of nonverbal behavior during interviews. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 23(7), 905-913.
  • Troisi, A., & McGuire, M.T. (2002). Darwinian psychiatry and the concept of mental disorder. Neuroendocrinology Letters, 23(Suppl. 4), 31-38.
  • Troisi, A. (2005). The concept of alternative strategies and its relevance to psychiatry and clinical psychology. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 29, 159-168.
  • Troisi, A., & McGuire, M. T. (2006). Darwinian psychiatry: It's time to focus on clinical questions. Clinical Neuropsychiatry3, 85-86.
  • Troisi, A. (2011). Mental health and well-being: Clinical applications of Darwinian psychiatry. In S.C. Roberts (Ed.), Applied evolutionary psychology (pp. 276-289). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1992). The concept of mental disorder: On the boundary between biological and social values. American Psychologist, 47, 373-388.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1992). Disorder as harmful dysfunction: A conceptual critique of DSM-III-R''s definition of mental disorder. Psychological Review, 99, 232-247.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1993). Limits of operationalization: A critique of Spitzer and Endicott's 1978 proposed operational criteria for mental disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 160-172.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1996). Dysfunction as a value-free concept. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, 2, 233-246.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1997). Diagnosing DSM-IV, part 1: DSM-IV and the concept of mental disorder. Behavior Research and Therapy, 35, 633-649.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1997). Normal inability versus pathological inability: Why Ossorio's definition of mental disorder is not sufficient. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 4, 249-258. 
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1999). Evolutionary versus prototypes analysis of the concept of disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 374-399.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (1999). Mental disorder as a black box essentialist concept. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108(3), 465-472.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (2000). Spandrels, vestigial organs, and such: Reply to Murphy and Woolfolk's "The harmful dysfunction analysis of mental disorder." Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology7(4), 253-269.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (2005). Biological function and dysfunction. In D.M. Buss (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 878-902). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Wakefield, J.C. (2007). The concept of mental disorder: Diagnostic implications of the harmful dysfunction analysis. World Psychiatry, 6(3), 149-156.
  • Walmsley, T. (1993). Psychiatry in descent: Darwin and the Brownes. Psychiatric Bulletin, 17, 748-751.

 Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

  • Chen, C., Burton, M., Greenberger, E., & Dmitrieva, J. (1999). Population migration and the variation of dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) allele frequencies around the globe. Evolution and Human Behavior20(5), 309-324. 
  • Jensen, P.S., Mrazek, D., Knapp, P.K., Steinberg, L., Pfeffer, C., Schowalter, J., & Shapiro, T. (1997). Evolution and revolution in child psychiatry: ADHD as a disorder of adaptation. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(12), 1672-1679.


  • Del Giudice, M., Klimczuk, A. C., Traficonte, D. M., & Maestripieri, D. (2014). Autistic-like and schizotypal traits in a life history perspective: Diametrical associations with impulsivity, sensation seeking, and sociosexual behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior.
  • Ploeger, A., & Galis, F. (2011). Evolutionary approaches to autism-an overview and integration. McGill Journal of Medicine13(2).
  • Reser, J. (2011). Conceptualizing the autism spectrum in terms of natural selection & natural history: The solitary forager theory. Evolutionary Psychology, 9(2), 207-238.
  • Shaner, A., Miller, G., & Mintz, J. (2008).  Autism as the low-fitness extreme of a parentally selected fitness indicator. Human Nature, 19(4), 389-413.
  • Silverman, C. (2010). 'Birdwatching and baby-watching': Niko and Elisabeth Tinbergen's ethological approach to autism. History of Psychiatry, 21(2), 176-189.

Bipolar Disorder

  • Akiskal, K. K., & Akiskal, H. S. (2005). The theoretical underpinnings of affective temperaments: implications for evolutionary foundations of bipolar disorder and human nature. Journal of affective disorders85(1), 231-239.
  • Sherman, J.A. (2001). Evolutionary origin of bipolar disorder (EOBD). Psycoloquy, 12. 
  • Sherman, J.A. (2012). Evolutionary origins of bipolar disorder-revisited: EOBD-R. Medical Hypotheses, 78(1), 112-122.
  • Wilson, D.R. (1998). Evolutionary epidemiology and manic depression. British Journal of Medical Psychiatry, 71 (Pt. 4), 367-395.


  •  Hill, E.M., Young, J.P., & Nord, J.L. (1994). Childhood adversity, attachment security, and adult relationships: A preliminary study. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 323-338.

 Depression and Anxiety

  • Allen, N.B. & Badcock, P.B.T. (2003). The social risk hypothesis of depressed moods: Evolutionary, psychosocial, and neurobiological perspectives. Psychological Bulletin, 129(6), 887-913.
  • Allen, N.B. & Badcock, P.B.T. (2006) Darwinian models of depression: A review of evolutionary accounts of mood and mood disorders. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 30, 815-826.
  • Andrews, P.W. & Thomson, J.A. (2009) The bright side of being blue. Psychological Review, 116(3), 620-654.
  • Andrews, P.W. & Thomson, J.A. (Sept 23, 2010). Coyne battles Darwin, many other evolutionary biologists -- and himself. Psychiatric Times. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/depressive-disorders/content/article/10168/1676033.
  • Brown, G.W. (2002). Social roles, context and evolution. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 43, 255-276.
  • Cline-Brown, K. & Watson, P.J. (2003). Investigating major depressive disorder from an evolutionary adaptationist perspective: Fitness hindrances and the social navigation hypothesis. In J.T. Devito (Ed.), Focus on Depression Research (pp. 15-44). New York: Nova Scientific Publishers.
  • Coyne, J.A. (2010) Is depression an evolutionary adaptation? Available at: [Part 1] http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/is-depression-an-evolutionary-adaptation-part-1/. [Part 2] http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/is-depression-an-evolutionary-adaptation-part-2/.
  • Coyne, J.A. (May 26, 2010). The evolutionary calculus of depression. Psychiatric Timeshttp://www.psychiatrictimes.com/depression/content/article/10168/1575333.
  • Gallup, G.G., Pipitone, R.N., Carrone, K.J., & Leadholm, K.L. (2010). Bottle feeding simulates child loss: Postpartum depression and evolutionary medicine. Medical Hypotheses, 74(1), 174-176.
  • Gilbert, P. (1998) Evolutionary psychopathology: Why isn't the mind designed better than it is? British Journal of Medical Psychology, 71(4), 353-373.
  • Gilbert, P. & Allan, S. (1998). The role of defeat and entrapment (arrested flight) in depression: an exploration of an evolutionary view. Psychological Medicine, 28, 585-598.
  • Gilbert, P., Allan, S., Brough, S., Melley, S., & Miles, J.N.V. (2002). Relationship of anhedonia and anxiety to social rank, defeat and entrapment. Journal of Affective Disorders, 71, 141-151.
  • Gilbert, P. (2004). Depression: A biopsychosocial, integrative, and evolutionary approach. In M. Power (Ed.), Mood disorders: A handbook of science and practice (pp. 99-142). West Sussex, England: Wiley & Sons.
  • Gilbert, P. (2005). Evolution and depression: Issues and implications. Psychological Medicine, 36, 287-297.
  • Hagen, E.H. (1999). The functions of postpartum depression. Evolution and Human Behavior, 20, 325-359.
  • Hagen, E.H. (2002). Depression as bargaining: The case postpartum. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23, 323-336.
  • Hagen, E.H., Watson, P.J., & Thomson, J.A. (2004). Love's labour's lost: Depression as an evolutionary adaptation to obtain help from those with whom one is in conflict.
  • Hagen, E.H. &  Barret, H.C. (2007). Perinatal sadness among Shuar women: Support for an evolutionary theory of psychic pain. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 21(1), 22-40.
  • Hendrie, C.A. & Pickles, A.R. (2010). Depression as an evolutionary adaptation: Anatomical organisation around the third ventricle. Medical Hypotheses, 74, 735-740.
  • Irons, C., & Gilbert, P. (2005). Evolved mechanisms in adolescent anxiety and depression symptoms: The role of the attachment and social rank systems.
  • Keller, M.C. & Nesse, R.M. (2005). Is low mood an adaptation? Evidence for subtypes with symptoms that match precipitants. Journal of Affective Disorders, 86, 27-35.
  • Keller, M.C. & Nesse, R.M. (2006). The evolutionary significance of depressive symptoms: Different adverse situations lead to different depressive symptom patterns. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(2), 316-330.
  • Kennair, L.E.O. (2007). Fear and fitness revisited. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 5(1-4), 105-117.
  • Longley, A.J. (2001). Depression is an adaptation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, 1085-1086.
  • Marks, I.M., & Nesse, R.M. (1994). Fear and fitness: An evolutionary analysis of anxiety disorders. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 247-261.
  • McLoughlin, G. (2002). Is depression normal in human beings? A critique of the evolutionary perspective. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 11, 170-173.
  • Nesse, R.M. (2000). Is depression an adaptation? Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 14-20.
  • Nesse, R.M. (2009). Explaining depression: Neuroscience is not enough, evolution is essential. In C.M. Pariante, R.M. Nesse, D.J. Nutt, et al. (Eds.), Understanding Depression: A Translational Approach (pp. 17-36). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nettle, D. (2004). Evolutionary origins of depression: A reviews and reformulation. Journal of Affective Disorders, 81, 91-102.
  • Nettle, D., & Bateson, M. (2012). The evolutionary origins of mood and its disorders. Current Biology, 22, R712-R721.
  • Paanksepp, J., & Watt, D. (2011). Why does depression hurt? Ancestral primary-process separation-distress (PANIC/GRIEF) and diminished brain reward (SEEKING) processes in the genesis of depressive affect. Psychiatry, 74(1), 5-23.
  • Price, J., Sloman, L., Gardner, R., Gilbert, P., & Rohde, P. (1994) The social competition hypothesis of depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 309-315.
  • Price, J.S., Gardner, R., & Erickson, M. (2004). Can depression, anxiety and somatisation be understood as appeasement displays? Journal of Affective Disorders, 79, 1-11.
  • Price, J. (2009). Darwinian dynamics of depression. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(11), 1029-1037.
  • Raison, C. L., & Miller, A. H. (2012). The evolutionary significance of depression in Pathogen Host Defense (PATHOS-D). Molecular Psychiatrydoi:10.1038/mp.2012.2
  • Rodgers, R. J., Cao, B.-J., Dalvi, A., & Holmes, A. (1997). Animal models of anxiety: An ethological perspective. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research30(3), 289-304.

  • Stein, D.J. & Bouwer, C. (1997). A neuro-evolutionary approach to the anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 11(4), 409-429.

  • Sturman, E.D. & Mongrain, M. (2005) Self-criticism and major depression: An evolutionary perspective. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 505-519.
  • Vicedo, M. (2010). The evolution of Harry Harlow: From the nature to the nurture of love. History of Psychiatry, 21(2), 190-205.
  • Watson, P.J., & Andrews, P.W. (2002). Toward a revised evolutionary adaptationist analysis of depression: The social navigation hypothesis. Journal of Affective Disorders 72, 1-14.
  • Watson, P.J. (2004) Response to Nettle 2004 [Letter to the editor]. Journal of Affective Disorders.
  • Watson, P.J. (2008). Social navigation hypothesis of major depression: Predictions. http://biology.unm.edu/biology/pwatson/public_html/SNH_predictions1.html
  • Watt, D.F., & Panksepp, J. (2009). Depression: An evolutionarily conserved mechanism to terminate separation distress? A review of aminergic, peptidergic, and neural network perspectives. Neuropsychoanalysis, 11(1), 7-51.
  • Wilson, D.R. (2001). Depression is an adaptation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, 1086-1087.
  • Wolpert, L. (2008). Depression in an evolutionary context. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 3, 8-10.
  • Glass, D. J., & Arnold, S. E. (2012). Some evolutionary perspectives on Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis and pathology. Alzheimer's & Dementia,8(4), 343-351. 
  • Nesse, R. M. (1988). Life table tests of evolutionary theories of senescence.Experimental Gerontology23(6), 445-453.
  • Williams, G. C. (2001). Pleiotropy, natural selection, and the evolution of senescence. Science's SAGE KE2001(1), 13.

Eating Disorders 

  • Abed, R.T. (1998). The sexual competition hypothesis for eating disorders. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 71, 525-547.
  • Guisinger, S. (2003). Adapted to flee famine: Adding an evolutionary perspective on Anorexia Nervosa. Psychological Review, 110, 745-761.


  • Brüne, M. (2003). Erotomanic stalking in evolutionary perspective. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 21, 83-88.

 Huntington's Chorea 

  •  Eskenazi, B. R., Wilson-Rich, N. S., & Starks, P. T. (2007). A Darwinian approach to Huntington’s disease: Subtle health benefits of a neurological disorder. Medical hypotheses69(6), 1183-1189.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 

  • Abed, R.T. & DePauw, K.W. (1998). An evolutionary hypothesis for obsessive compulsive disorder: A psychological immune system? Behavioral Neurology, 11(4), 145-150.
  • Boyer, P. & Liénard, P. (2006). Why ritualized behavior? Precaution systems and action parsing in developmental, pathological and cultural rituals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29, 1-56.
  • Brüne, M. (2006). The evolutionary psychology of obsessive-compulsive disorder: The role of cognitive metarepresentation. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 49(3), 317-329.
  • Evans, D.W., & Leckman, J.F. (2006). Origins of obsessive-compulsive disorder: Developmental and evolutionary perspectives. In D. Ciccheti & D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology (2nd ed.). 
  • Feygin, D.L., Swain, J.E., & Leckman, J.F. (2006). The normalcy of neurosis: Evolutionary origins of obsessive-compulsive disorder and related behaviors. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 30, 854-864.
  • Kaminer, D. & Stein, D.J. (2004). An evolutionary perspective on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. CNSForum. Retrieved October 25, 2011, from http://www.cnsforum.com/clinicalresources/articles/annualreviews/ocd_evolution/
  • Leckman, J.F., Mataix-Cols, D., & Rosario-Campos, M.C. (2005). Symptom dimensions in OCD: Developmental and evolutionary perspectives. In J.S. Abramowitz & A.C. Houts (Eds.), Concepts and controversies in obsessive-compulsive disorder (pp 3-25). New York: Springer.
  • Leckman, J.F., & Bloch, M.H. (2008). A developmental and evolutionary perspective on obsessive-compulsive disorder: Whence and whither compulsive hoarding? American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(10), 1229-1233. 
  • Polimeni, J., Reiss, J.P., & Sareen, J. (2005). Could obsessive-compulsive disorder have originated as a group-selected adaptive trait in traditional societies? Medical Hypotheses, 65, 655-664. 
  • Rapoport. J.L. & Fiske, A. (1998). The new biology of obsessive-compulsive disorder: Implications for evolutionary psychology. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 41(2), 159-175.
  • Saad, G. (2006). Sex differences in OCD symptomatology: An evolutionary perspective. Medical Hypotheses, 67(6), 1455-1459.
  • Saad, G. (2006). Universal sex-specific instantiations of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29(6), 629.
  • Stein, D.J. & Bouwer, C. (1997). A neuro-evolutionary approach to the anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 11(4), 409-429.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Cantor, C. (2009). Post-traumatic stress disorder: Evolutionary perspectives. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(11), 1038-1048.

Personality Disorders 

  • Mealey, L. (1995). The sociobiology of sociopathy: An integrated evolutionary model. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18, 523-599.
  • Pitchford, I. (2001). The origins of violence: Is psychopathy an adaptation? Human Nature Review, 1, 28-36.
  • Seto, M.C., Khattar, N.A., Lalumiére, M.L., & Quinsey, V.L. (1996). Deception and sexual strategy in psychopathy. Personality and Individual Differences, 22(3), 301-307.
  • Davey, G.C.L. (1995). Preparedness and phobias: Specific evolved associations or a generalized expectancy bias? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18, 289-325.
  • Hofmann, S.G., Moscovitch, D.A., & Heinrichs, N. (2002). Evolutionary mechanisms of fear and anxiety. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 16(3), 317-330.
  • Marks, I. (1988). Blood-injury phobia: A review. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 145(10), 1207-1213.
  • McNally, R.J. (1995). Preparedness, phobias, and the Panglossian paradigm. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18, 303-304.
  • Merckelbach, H., & de Jong, P.J. (1997). Evolutionary models of phobias. In G.C.L. Davey (Ed.), Phobias: A handbook of theory, research and treatment (pp. 323-347). Chichester, UK: Wiley.
  • Öhman, A., & Mineka, S. (2001). Fears, phobias, and preparedness: Toward an evolved module of fear and fear learning. Psychological Review, 108, 483-522.
  • Öhman, A. (2009). Of snakes and faces: An evolutionary perspective on the psychology of fear. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 50(6), 543-552.

Relationship Counseling 

  • Kerber, K.B. (1994). The marital balance of power and quid pro quo: An evolutionary perspective. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 283-297.


  • Abed, R. T., & Abbas, M. J. (2011). A reformulation of the social brain theory for schizophrenia: the case for out-group intolerance. Perspectives in biology and medicine54(2), 132-151.
  • Allen, J.S. & Sarich, V.M. (1988). Schizophrenia in an evolutionary perspective. Perspectives in Biological Medicine, 32, 132-153.
  • Allen, J.S. (1997). At issue: Are traditional societies schizophrenogenic? Schizophrenia Bulletin, 23(3), 357-364.
  • Barrantes-Vidal, N. (2004). Creativity and madness revisited from current psychological perspectives. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 11, 58-78.
  • Berlim, M.T., Mattevi, B.S., Belmonte-de-Abreu, P., & Crow, T.J. (2003). The etiology of schizophrenia and the origin of language: Overview of a theory. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 44(1), 7-14.
  • Brüne, M. (2004). Schizophrenia--an evolutionary engima? Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, 28, 41-53.
  • Burns, J.K. (2004). An evolutionary theory of schizophrenia: Cortical connectivity, metarepresentation, and the social brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27(6), 831-885.
  • Crow, T.J. (1995). A theory of the evolutionary origins of psychosis. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 5, 59-63.
  • Crow, T.J. (1997). Is schizophrenia the price that Homo sapiens pays for language? Schizophrenia Research, 28, 127-141.
  • Crow, T.J. (2000). Schizophrenia as the price that Homo sapiens pays for language: A resolution to the central paradox in the origin of the species. Brain Research: Brain Research Reviews, 32(2-3), 118-129.
  • De Bont, R. (2010). Schizophrenia, evolution and the borders of biology: on Huxley et al.'s 1964 paper in NatureHistory of Psychiatry, 21(2), 144-159.
  • Feierman, J. R. (1982). Nocturnalism: An ethological theory of schizophrenia.Medical Hypotheses9(5), 455-479.
  • Feierman, J.R. (1994). A testable hypothesis about schizophrenia generated by evolutionary theory. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 263-282.
  • Huxley, J., Mayr, E., Osmond, H., & Hoffer, A. (1964). Schizophrenia as a genetic morphism. 
  • Jarvik, L.F. & Deckard, B.S. (1977). The Odyssean personality: A survival advantage for carriers of genes predisposing to schizophrenia? Neuropsychobiology, 3, 179-191.
  • Keleman, O., & Kéri, S. (2007). Schizophrenia and evolutionary psychopathology [article in Hungarian]. Psychiatria Hungarica, 22(5), 333-343.
  • Ledgerwood, L.G., Eward, P.W., & Cochran, G.M. (2003). Genes, germs, and schizophrenia: An evolutionary perspective. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 46(3), 317-348.
  • Moskowitz, A.K. (2004). 'Scared stiff': Catatonia as an evolutionary-based fear response. Psychological Review, 111(4), 984-1002.
  • Nesse, R.M. (2004). Cliff-edged fitness functions and the persistence of schizophrenia (commentary on Burns, 2004). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 862-863.
  • Polimeni, J., & Reiss, J.P. (2002). How shamanism and group selection may reveal the origins of schizophrenia. Medical Hypotheses, 58, 244-248.
  • Polimeni, J., & Reiss, J.P. (2003). Evolutionary perspectives on schizophrenia. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 48, 34-39.
  • Polimeni, J., & Reiss, J.P. (2004). Evolution and schizophrenia. In J.A. Pletson (Ed.), Progress in Schizophrenia Research (pp. 1-21). Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science.
  • Shaner, A., Miller, G., & Mintz, J. (2004).  Schizophrenia as one extreme of a sexually selected fitness indicator.  Schizophrenia Research, 70(1), 101-109.
  • Shaner, A., Miller, G., & Mintz, J. (2007).  Evidence in a latitudinal gradient in age at onset of schizophrenia.  Schizophrenia Research, 94, 58-63.
  • Sullivan, R. J., & Allen, J. S. (1999). Social deficits associated with schizophrenia defined in terms of interpersonal‐Machiavellianism. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica99(2), 148-154.
  • van Dongen, J., & Boomsma, D. I. (2014). The evolutionary paradox and the missing heritability of schizophrenia. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 162(2), 122-136.


  • Hagen, E.H., Watson, P.J., & Hammerstein, P. (2008). Gestures of despair and hope: A view on deliberate self-harm from economics and evolutionary biology. Biological Theory 3(2), 123-138.

 Somatization Disorder

  • Price, J.S., Gardner, R., & Erickson, M. (2004). Can depression, anxiety and somatisation be understood as appeasement displays? Journal of Affective Disorders, 79, 1-11. 

Substance Use/Abuse/Addiction 

  • Chick, J. (2002). Evolutionary psychobiology: Any relevance for therapy? Addiction, 97, 473-474.
  • Dudley, R. (2002). Fermenting fruit and the historical ecology of ethanol ingestion: Is alcoholism in modern humans an evolutionary hangover? Addiction, 97, 381-388. 
  • Gerald, M.S. & Higley, J.D. (2002). Evolutionary underpinnings of excessive alcohol consumption. Addiction, 97, 415-425.
  • Hagen, E.H., Sullivan, R.J., Schmidt, R., Morris, G., Kempter, R., & Hammerstein, P. (2009). Ecology and neurobiology of toxin avoidance and the paradox of drug reward. Neuroscience, 160, 69-84.
  • Hall, W. (2002). Taking Darwin seriously: More than telling just so stories. Addiction, 97, 472-473.
  • Hill, E.M. & Chow, K. (2002). Life-history theory and risky drinking. Addiction, 97, 401-413.
  • John‐Smith, S., McQueen, D., Edwards, L., & Schifano, F. (2013). Classical and novel psychoactive substances: rethinking drug misuse from an evolutionary psychiatric perspective. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental28(4), 394-401.
  • Nesse, R.M. (1994). An evolutionary perspective on substance abuse. Ethology and Sociobiology, 5-6, 339-348.
  • Nesse, R.M. & Berridge, K.C. (1997). Science, 278, 63-66. Psychoactive drug use in evolutionary perspective.
  • Nesse, R.M. (2002). Evolution and addiction. Addiction, 97, 470-471.
  • Panksepp, J. Knutson, B., & Burgdorf, J. (2002). The role of brain emotional systems in addictions: A neuro-evolutionary perspective and new “self-report” animal model. Addiction, 97(4), 459-469.
  • Smith E.O. (1999). Evolution, substance abuse, and addiction. In W.R. Trevathan, E.O. Smith, & J.J. McKenna (Eds.), Evolutionary Medicine (pp. 375-405). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Smith, T.G. & Tasnádi, A. (2007). A theory of natural addiction. Games and Economic Behavior, 59, 316-344.
  • Sullivan, R.J. & Hagen, E.H. (2002). Psychotropic substance-seeking: Evolutionary pathology or adaptation? Addiction, 97, 389-400.
  • Sullivan, R.J., Hagen, E.H., & Hammerstein, P. (2008). Revealing the paradox of drug reward in human evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275, 1231-1241.


  • de Catanzaro, D. (1980). Human suicide: A biological perspective. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 265-290. 
  • de Catanzaro, D. (1995). Reproductive status, family interactions, and suicidal ideation: Surveys of the general public and high-risk groups. Ethology and Sociobiology16(5), 385-394.
  • Tanaka, M., & Kinney, D. K. (2011). An evolutionary hypothesis of suicide: Why it could be biologically adaptive and is so prevalent in certain occupations. Psychological Reports, 108(3), 977-992.

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