David Bjorklund

Developmental Evolutionary Psychology Lab
  • Professor
  • Department of Psychology
  • 561-297-3367
  • dbjorklu@fau.edu
  • Boca Raton - Behavioral Sciences (BS-12), Room 112


David F. Bjorklund is a Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University where teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in developmental and evolutionary psychology. He served as Associate Editor of Child Development (1997-2001) and is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (since 2007). His books include The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology (with Anthony Pellegrini), Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development (edited with Bruce Ellis), Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young: Immaturity in Human DevelopmentChild and Adolescent Development: An Integrative Approach (with Carlos Hernández Blasi), Psychology (with Peter Gray), and Children's Thinking: Cognitive Development and Individual Differences (with Kayla Causey), now in its sixth edition. His current research interests include children's cognitive development and evolutionary developmental psychology.
Vita, Awards, Publications (pdf.), Books (pdf.)


  • B.A. (Psychology), 1971

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

  • M.A. (Psychology), 1973

University of Dayton                                               

  • Ph.D. (Developmental Psychology), 1976

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  • Honorary Doctorate (Doctor philosophiae honoris causa)

University of Bern, Switzerland, 2015                                                          


Evolutionary Developmental Psychology 

Evolutionary developmental psychology is the application of the basic principles of Darwinian evolution, particularly natural selection, to explain contemporary human development. It involves the study of the genetic and environmental mechanisms that underlie the universal development of social and cognitive competencies and the evolved epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. It assumes that not only are behaviors and cognitions that characterize adults the product of natural selection pressures operating over the course of evolution but so also are characteristics of children's behaviors and minds. It further proposes that an evolutionary account would provide some insight into not only predictable stages of development but into specific differences between individuals as well. Such a perspective suggests that there are multiple alternative strategies to recurring problems that human children would have faced throughout our evolutionary past and that individual differences in developmental patterns aren’t necessarily idiosyncratic reactions, but are predictable, adaptive responses to environmental pressures.