Lookup NU author(s): Professor Daniel Nettle
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. In environments that are harsh and unpredictable, people are typically more vigilant, act more impulsively, and discount the future more. In this paper, we argue that these behaviors reflect a present-orientation produced by biological adaptations, despite potential harm to health and wellbeing. We review recent studies showing that people in stressful environments have a stronger preference for immediate over delayed rewards, have children at a younger age, and develop enhanced cognition for dealing with threat and rapidly changing conditions, compared with people from supportive environments. Moreover, people from supportive environments, when exposed to harsh-unpredictable environmental cues, shift toward a present-orientation. These findings underscore the benefits of integrating evolutionary and developmental psychology.
Author(s): Frankenhuis WE, Panchanathan K, Nettle D
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: Current Opinion in Psychology
Print publication date: 01/02/2016
Online publication date: 22/08/2015
Acceptance date: 01/01/1900
ISSN (print): 2352-250X
ISSN (electronic): 2352-2518