I'm a non-psychologist so would appreciate any guidance from this community.

I've heard arguments that people have overconfidence, probability matching tendencies, etc, because that is chosen by evolution.

Those theories are elegant but clearly prone to "theory fitting". What are some methods people have used to test/reject such theories? Are there general methods or are the tests all theory-dependent?

  • $\begingroup$ I would say that one necessary (but probably not sufficient) component to invoking fitness as a cause of some psychological phenomenon is to show how that phenomenon could have evolved subject to pressures for fitness. I think I've also seen arguments that, if something evolves over and over again in unrelated lineages, it probably is more than an accident, but rather serves some important function, i.e., improves fitness in some way. $\endgroup$ Jul 23, 2016 at 1:14
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question because it is too broad. I think the methods would greatly depend on the specific theory and argument in question. But, in general circumstances, when you would like to disprove a(n evolutionary) theory, you search for circumstances/details that that theory cannot explain. $\endgroup$ Jul 23, 2016 at 13:07


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