Aspects of Evolutionary Psychology


The concept of evolutionary psychology refers to the theoretical framework that seeks to explain meaningful mental and psychological behaviors. That may include memory, language, and perception as the determinants of the functional products of natural selection. Charles Darwin did the theory of natural selection in his book On the Origin of Species, written in 1859. The book evaluates how organisms may alter with time due to the changes in heritable behavioral and physical features.

Darwin explored many aspects to show the world and fellow scientists how the changes would allow them to better adapt to the environment hence assisting them in surviving and having more offspring. The purpose of this paper is to research why human beings fear heights, become anxious, and show jealousy when their mates become unfaithful. The paper also justifies whether or not Darwin’s theory justifies the three phenomena.

Why People Fear Heights

Some people have a fear of heights that is a result of panic and anxiety. That can be seen more evidently when many people may not be comfortable with climbing tall buildings or any other objects, which will result in high altitude (Valge, Hõrak & Henshaw, 2021). The condition can be scientifically referred to as acrophobia. There are many theories, among them Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, that try to explain why some people develop fear. According to Darwin, certain processes such as the perception of height may be due to natural selection adaptation.

Natural selection theory has a key point on the modifications of populations in which some habits are favored in the surroundings as compared to others. The evolution of human beings might have mixed perceptions, especially on the potential for having adverse results from taller objects to human life (Schilthuizen, 2018). Thus, human life has become a treasure, and one way of being responsible for one’s life may be through keen observation of dangerous exposures. The theory can be taken as descent with modification because people try to avoid carelessness in their exposures. Therefore, high altitudes being a possible factor of risk to human life, people try to evade it.

According to what natural selection tries to convey, human beings can be transformed by many aspects. There is a possibility to have a total change in terms of how people behave, which can be passed from one generation to another for the effectiveness of the selection. Natural selection occurs when species can develop new traits, and they pass that on to new generations. For the case of fear of heights, it might be a trend that happens in a given species, which may cause offspring to get the traits of their parents. People may develop a fear of heights when subjected to a heuristic misrepresentation that comes under the adaptation to the changes in their surroundings. Any person who falls under the development of the new features may have specific alterations in their reaction to human situations.

People who fear heights are said to have been influenced by the rapid change in social matters such as globalization. For instance, the past incidents of slaves being murdered by getting thrown from towers would change people’s perception of the tall buildings. Therefore, one will have a changed notion of the relevance of having tall objects by concluding it could be more harmful than beneficial (Valge et al., 2021). In other words, natural selection makes people have heuristic availability and misrepresentation as individuals try to relate past occurrences with a possibility of occurring just because they brought more harm than positivity. In that way, some people will develop a fear of heights, and the trend will continue from one generation to another.

Why Some People Experience Anxiety

The experience of occasional anxiety may be normal in an individual’s life. However, some people experience anxiety more frequently hence resulting in intense and consistent worrying and fear in many situations that come with day-by-day human interactions. The condition of anxiety can be termed a mental disorder when people cannot maintain normal levels as per the observations (Kivinen & Piiroinen, 2018). When someone is anxious every time, they may be not settled and may face challenges of cognitive functioning in normal situations.

In Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, humans have ended up with enormous minds that have led to all sorts of strange things, among them fear and anxiety. The unpleasant feeling of anxiety has bred into natural selection, as detailed in Darwin’s theory. Due to that, individuals have evolved hence getting emotional reactions to many sources of stimuli such as the fear of strange animals and even speaking in public (Schilthuizen, 2018). Due to changes in technology and lifestyle, natural selection has caused people to have non-conducive moments such as a lack of happiness. The problem with anxiety is that it intends to guide the real issues in the world in the wrong way.

Due to the selection, people are forced to concentrate on the side that causes the anxiety cases and gets filled with fear. Natural selection has affected the modern environment to have misleading designs that may fear even talking in public. The evolution of human beings comes with transformed characters of confidence and charisma. However, some people get altered in the wrong way because they perceive that they are supposed to be respected and given standing ovations in particular events (Valge et al., 2021). People tend to expect more from situations, and the moment that may seem not possible, fear may overwhelm them, leading to unwanted anxiety.

Why People are Jealous when their Mates Become Unfaithful

Jealousy comes most of the time when people admire something, and they cannot get it while others have the chance to get the same. In most cases, jealousy can be triggered by the fear of the unknown, which leads to people worrying about situations and happenings in daily life. According to evolutionary psychology, jealousy is part of human nature (Schilthuizen, 2018). Human nature can give the sense of natural selection whereby people get offspring that may develop their traits or even advance them more. One becomes jealous when their mates become unfaithful because they do not expect that to be done to them. Therefore, there would be fear of having the incident done on someone, hence creating anxiety, which may lead to a psychological disorder.

Natural selection has burdened people with disruptive emotions of jealousy due to the evolution that comes with time. According to the logic in Charles Darwin’s theory, jealously comes as a progression due to the motivation of mate guarding, which may be a solution to infidelity issues (Kivinen & Piiroinen, 2018). The traits in evolution have increased the probability that human beings would invest in the distinct offspring rather than the one that would appeal to others, leaving them unsettled emotionally.

Reflection on Whether or Not Darwin’s Theory Justifies the Three Phenomena

As per the research on natural selection based on Charles Darwin’s theory, the content justifies the three phenomena; fear of heights, anxiety, and jealousy. The reason is that the development of traits in human behavior comes with changes in the environment and the global alteration in human interaction. The offspring’s desired selection always makes a replica of the same, especially if the features are under extreme demand in human beings. The other thing which makes the natural selection theory Darwin justify the three aspects is that human beings can adjust to the environment and give offspring from the adaptation. Through the analysis of the theory, the recent levels of globalization make natural selection an advancing concept that may be different in days to come.


Kivinen, O., & Piiroinen, T. (2018). The evolution of Homo Discens: natural selection and human learning. Journal for The Theory of Social Behaviour, 48(1), 117-133. Web.

Schilthuizen, M. (2018). Darwin comes to town. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Picador.

Valge, M., Hõrak, P., & Henshaw, J. (2021). Natural selection on anthropometric traits of Estonian girls. Evolution and Human Behaviour, 42(2), 81-90. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Aspects of Evolutionary Psychology." September 5, 2023.