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In Wikipedia's article on evolutionary psychology, two of six given key premises of EP are as follows:

  • Different neural mechanisms are specialized for solving problems in humanity's evolutionary past.

  • The brain has evolved specialized neural mechanisms that were designed for solving problems that recurred over deep evolutionary time, giving modern humans stone-age minds.

I am neither a professional psychologist nor a professional biologist, but I am very curious as to where I could (preferably in a freely available paper, website, etc.) find a list of the aforementioned "problems in humanity's evolutionary past."

Assuming that Wikipedia's claim that we still have stone-age minds is correct, I would like to know which tasks we performed during the stone age that shape the tasks that we can perform effectively today. For example, did some task of hunter-gatherers (like gathering berries and hoarding them) eventually translate into going grocery shopping at a supermarket and buying 75 items? (I can't think of any better examples, unfortunately.)

Thanks for any help you can provide. I glanced at this page, but couldn't find a good list of EPMs.

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closed as too broad by Christian Hummeluhr, AliceD, Josh de Leeuw, user7759, Krysta Apr 23 '15 at 13:21

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Anything beyond the genetic evolution of neural pathways into modern upper level Hippocampal developments and the functions of the lower order animalistic instincts in the basal ganglia would be speculation. Possible observation of the processes of evolution can be seen in the conception to birth biological development process however behaviors in the womb are highly limited. $\endgroup$ – user7046 Nov 11 '14 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to cogsci.SE Philip, and interesting question! As a bit of an EP skeptic, I'll be very curious to see what answers you get. $\endgroup$ – Krysta Nov 11 '14 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! I am thinking about asking a separate question about evolutionary psych in general, as I think it's very fascinating but am also unsure of how to evaluate its veracity. (At least it's not Freud.) $\endgroup$ – Philip Nov 11 '14 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ That could be a very interesting question also--although might be hard to avoid being too broad. $\endgroup$ – Krysta Nov 11 '14 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, having read more on EP and approaches to psych in general, I'm leaning towards agreeing with the first comment, which I would accept as an answer, if posted as such. Upon reflection, I am starting to think that EP is sort of quackery--about as bad as Freud. I guess I was wrongly intrigued by the fact that it has the word "evolutionary" in it...but it doesn't seem to present a ton of testable hypotheses. This is the same criticism I have of Freud. $\endgroup$ – Philip Nov 12 '14 at 3:22

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