OU welcomes a center for evolutionary psychological science

Autumn Page, Marketing Director

Oakland University recently unveiled their new Center for Evolutionary Psychological Science (CEPS), making the campus one of three in the nation. 

The Evolutionary Psychological Science focuses on identifying how our evolutionary past shaped our modern psychology and behavior. 

Evolutionary psychology applies Darwinism to human psychology and behavior. Evolutionary psychologists propose that the evolutionary processes that shaped the human body also influenced the development of the human mind.

“The Center’s founding sends a powerful message that OU is a place for those who are interested in research and dialogue on evolutionary psychology,” Todd K. Shackelford, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Psychology said.

The mission of CEPS is to promote and support evolutionary psychological research and education, to recruit and retain outstanding evolutionary psychological scientists, to facilitate collaborative evolutionary psychological research projects and to develop gift, grant and contract support for evolutionary psychological science research programs, graduate and undergraduate training and core facilities and equipment. 

 The CEPS will provide a plethora of knowledge about our evolutionary past to improve lives in the present and future.

The Center will also have collaborative research within and across colleges and schools at OU. Faculty and students at other universities, both nationally and abroad, will also contribute. 

“It’s [evolutionary psychology] a perspective that’s focused on information processing of the mind but it draws clearly from biology, medicine, law and all these different fields, there’s a home for everyone in this discipline,” he said. 

He continued saying that having people from different fields and areas can provide unique perspectives and bring the communities together.

It is similar to the conference that has been held yearly for the past six years, pre-COVID-19, by the psychology department at OU. 

It’s an interdisciplinary international conference held at Meadow Brook Hall where panelists present on whatever research they chose from the overall topic of the conference. 

CEPS has two advisory boards, internal and external. 

The internal advisory board is composed of OU professors from several departments — including psychology, philosophy, biological science and linguistics. 

The external advisory board has members from all over the world. 

There are members from different parts of the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Portugal, Singapore and many other countries. 

“Part of the reason we have such a broad range of people involved with the center is because of how broad evolutionary psychology is,” Shackelford said. 

CEPS wants to be involved within the community and will establish educational and financial partnerships with local and regional businesses, and publishers of academic journals and books.  

“We wanted to make it a formal commitment that we’re not just an academic group, we want to reach out and want to share what we’ve learned about the human mind with the rest of the community,” he said. 

CEPS will also develop educational opportunities such as weekend seminars, summer camps, an academic minor and a certificate program. 

While CEPS is still in the process of building and getting their feet on the ground, anyone interested in being a part of this can email Shackelford at [email protected]

Shackelford also recommends anyone interested in being a part or wanting more information go to the Center website.