PsychTable is a mass collaborative project devoted to classifying and evaluating the evidence for evolved psychological adaptations (EPAs) of the human mind. PsychTable has five broad purposes:

  1. To classify the observed taxa (EPAs) that have been discovered so far
  2. To aggregate both supporting and negative findings for proposed EPAs, and thus evaluate the strength of evidence for each in a more objective way than is currently available
  3. To propose empirical evidence and studies that support and challenge the existence of individual EPAs, and highlight where further research is needed
  4. To educate the general public, critics, and skeptics about the evolutionary social sciences by providing open access to information about which EPAs have been discovered and the evidence for them so far
  5. To enhance a culture of synthesis in the international research community by raising the importance of classification as a force multiplier for research breakthroughs, Web-based scientific collaboration, and interdisciplinary consilience

Scientists, educators, contributors, and the general public can use PsychTable to:

  • Explore hundreds of evolved psychological adaptations (EPAs)
  • Connect directly with a worldwide community of scientists, educators, students, contributors, and the general public
  • Propose empirical evidence and studies that support or challenge the existence of individual EPAs
  • Help compile individual dossiers that profile individual EPAs' neurolocalizations, neurochemical substrates, elicitors, outputs, and so on
  • Nominate hypothesized EPAs that may be substantiated or appear in the future via emerging research
  • Gain rapid insight into which areas of evolutionary social scientific research are open to further empirical inquiry
  • Provide a helpful Web-based study tool for students

See our Frequently Asked Questions section to learn more about PsychTable.

For in-depth information on PsychTable, please read this article, published in Volume 5, Issue 2 of Evolution: Education and Outreach.

Niruban Balachandran's 2011 JSEC article, "A Proposed Taxonomy of Human Evolved Psychological Adaptations," was the original inspiration for PsychTable.org. Click here to read the article.

Get Involved

PsychTable needs your help! In order to have a classification system of proposed EPAs, we need contributors to add citations and build our site.

Who is eligible to contribute?

Any researcher or scholar with an interest in the biological or social sciences is potentially eligible to become a curator. We need curators from a diversity of disciplines, including (but not limited to) psychology, biology, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, history, cognitive science, computer science, and linguistics. Potential curators should have an advanced degree and/or publication history in a field related to the biological or social sciences. Graduate students -- and, in some cases, undergraduate students -- are eligible, provided they can demonstrate expertise or experience with pertinent topics.

How does it work?

Our expert contributors, known as "curators," upload citations of peer-reviewed literature or scholarly books that support or challenge the existence of proposed EPAs (evolved psychological adaptations). Curators also rate the citations that they and other curators upload, on the basis of how well each one supports or challenges the existence of that EPA. PsychTable calculates evidence scores based on the citations and their ratings.

How much time does it take up to be a curator?

Contributing to PsychTable can be as small or as big a commitment as you wish. It only takes a minute to upload or rate a citation, and you can upload as few or as many as you want at any time.

Praise for PsychTable

"An intriguing project, with the promise of stimulating reflection and further research."
-Steven Pinker, Ph.D., Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

"This is an extremely ambitious and welcome venture. To catalog information not just by species and group (so to speak) but also by logic and evidence is to provide a much deeper and more valuable intellectual resource for the user. And the topic is nothing less than the evolved psychology of the human mind. It will take quite some time and skill to construct, but the project is cumulative: every advance will be useful and invite the next improvement. The authors seem well aware of the task they have set themselves and I wish them every success."
-Robert L. Trivers, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University

"An innovative and useful tool that will help integrate, organize, and jump start a promising new field."
-Gordon G. Gallup, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York

"Ambitious. An agenda that could help organize the field in a way that would provide an immense service to scholars."
-Robert Kurzban, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania and Co-Editor-in-Chief, Evolution and Human Behavior

"Open access meets open inquiry at this site where evidence for each hypothesis is critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis, free of the bias of programmatic agendas."
-David J. Buller, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Philosophy, Northern Illinois University

"The PsychTable project is a brilliant and well-conceived operation that will organize and classify the scattered data of evolutionary psychology into a coherent data base accessible to all those doing research on evolved human capacities. Instead of worthy but essentially uncoordinated entrepreneurial efforts, we can have truly cooperative testing of hypotheses against a standardized data bank. It would be a scientific dream come true and has my wholehearted support."
-Robin Fox, Ph.D., University Professor of Social Theory, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University

"One symptom of a maturing discipline is the capacity to describe all the elements of the discipline’s domain in a conceptually coherent way. The taxonomy building proposed in PsychTable is an ambitious beginning for this much needed framework. A second symptom of a maturing discipline is the capacity for the investigator community to engage in ongoing public “doubt” of claims within its domain. This relentless falsification is how we ultimately work our way to sound, bedrock consensus. PsychTable is also beautifully designed to support this second essential endeavor. We eagerly look forward to watching this locus of insight grow and develop."
-Paul M. Bingham, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology & Joanne Souza, Lecturer of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Stony Brook University

"A landmark project for the field of Evolutionary Psychology. PsychTable will allow for information on the basic human psychological adaptations to be collected and organized in one easy-to-access place. It will be a go-to source for researchers and students, and it will be a major engine that will drive future work in the field."
-Glenn Geher, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Psychology, EvoS Program Director, State University of New York at New Paltz

"PsychTable.org is the long-awaited foundation for psychology that was first envisioned by Darwin-- a catalog of each evolved 'mental power and capacity', and a Gray's Anatomy of human psychological adaptations."
-Michael Mills, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles

"There have been quite a few occasions on which I wished there were the sort of summary information that this proposed taxonomy will provide. I wish this project well."
-Donald E. Brown, Ph.D., Biosocial Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, The University of California at Santa Barbara and Author of Human Universals

"The PsychTable project is wonderful new initiative. It offers a great research tool for social scientists interested in the evolutionary origins of social behavior, and can further develop the much-needed integration between the social and biological sciences."
-Mark van Vugt, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, VU University Amsterdam and Honorary Research Fellow, The Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology (ICEA) at The University of Oxford

"This ambitious and important initiative has the potential to be a momentous endeavor in providing scholars, students and the general public with an easily accessible synthesis for advancing the study and categorization of our evolved psychology."
-Andrew C. Gallup, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, SUNY Oneonta

"PsychTable's potential to propel evolutionary psychology forward is limitless. The information that PsychTable will provide will allow researchers to allocate their time, attention, and resources in a far more efficient manner as they attempt to uncover and understand human nature."
-Barry Kuhle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, The University of Scranton and Contributor, Psychology TodayMagazine

"PsychTable fills a conspicuous lacuna in the landscape of computational biology, which does not contain any project devoted to human psychological and behavioral adaptations. Accordingly, having a shared basis in fact and theory to be found in a central data store such as will result from PsychTable will be of particular value to researchers."
-Adam M. Goldstein, Ph.D., Science Instructor, Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice

"PsychTable is a rare opportunity to develop a sustainable, collaborative, and revolutionary platform within evolutionary behavioral science. The community has been calling for it for decades, and while there have been some proposed theoretical models for creating such a network, there has never been a plan for a comprehensive, interactive way to put evidence in evolutionary psychology to the test."
-Rosemarie Sokol Chang, Ph.D., Senior Managing Director, APA Journals, American Psychological Association