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JSPES, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Winter 2011)
pp. 472-493

The Evolutionary Interpretation of Man: the Matryoshka Model

György Marosán

Budapest Business School College of International Management and Business

This article analyzes the problem of why the human being has so many varied behavioral characteristics. Based on the latest insights of primatology, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, and sociology, it reconstructs the overall trends of human evolution and identifies five main steps of human development. Every step creates a specific type of construct, each of which in turn leads to certain behavioral „programs.” These constructs are built on top of one another, creating a “Russian Nesting Doll” (also called a Matryoshka doll)-type system. The article describes what happens when a human being is confronted with an environmental challenge. The challenge triggers a matching response and thus produces a behavior that is selected from the “menu” of possible “programs.” The results encompass a broad behavioral spectrum, ranging from human ethology and the modules of evolutionary psychology all the way to rules of thumb and rational decision-making. The article also argues that in order to understand the development of different social institutions (religion, state, morality, market), one needs to reconstruct and follow these evolutionary steps.