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How Children Invented HumanityThe Role of Development in Human Evolution$
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David F. Bjorklund

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190066864

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190066864.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 August 2021

Evolutionary Mismatches in the Development of Today’s Children

Evolutionary Mismatches in the Development of Today’s Children

(p.220) 7 Evolutionary Mismatches in the Development of Today’s Children
How Children Invented Humanity

David F. Bjorklund

Oxford University Press

Differences between modern and ancient environments sometimes cause evolutionary mismatches. Many children are following an exceptionally slow life history strategy and as a result are safer and engage in less risky behavior than in the past (safetyism), although many are more psychologically fragile and less resilient. Excessive use of social media is associated with poorer physical and mental health, including increases in depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Today’s adolescents display hyper-individualism that emphasizes personal freedom and achievement. The relative lack of social bonding in individualistic societies is associated with increases in loneliness and mental health problems and can sometimes be exaggerated by social media use. Modern schools represent a mismatch with the environments of our forechildren. Similarly, young children’s exposure to digital media may have detrimental effects on subsequent learning and psychological development. Parents and educators can identify problems associated with evolutionary mismatches and design environments that make the lives of children happier.

Keywords:   mismatch hypothesis, safetyism, social media, supernormal stimulus, hyper-individualism, discovery learning, guided play, biologically primary abilities, biologically secondary abilities, video deficit

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