Mapping Human Consciousness Via The Justification Hypothesis | 12529
Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
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Human self-consciousness and the rapid evolution of culture remain unexplained phenomena in evolutionary biology
and there is a concomitant explanatory gap between the natural and social sciences. To fill this gap in understanding, the
Justification Hypothesis (JH) has been proposed, which the idea that the evolution of language created the adaptive problem
of social justification and this in turn drove the evolution of the human self-consciousness system. Analyzing human selfconsciousness
as a reason giving system provides an insight that integrates many different domains. In this presentation, I will
articulate the idea and explain how the JH: a) matches the design features of the human self-consciousness system to a unique
adaptive problem faced by our hominid ancestors; b) integrates and illuminates a broad range of phenomena in psychology,
and c) provides a framework for understanding the rapid evolution of human culture in a way that aligns with a multitude of
theoretical and empirical investigations in the social sciences. Stemming from the framework provided by the JH, a new map of
human consciousness has been developed, specifically one that divides human consciousness up in three different domains. This
map will be shared and the implications of this map for mental health, including conditions like depression, anxiety and autism
will be articulated.
Gregg Henriques is Director of the Combined Clinical-School Doctoral Program at James Madison University. He graduated with his Ph.D. in Clinical
Psychology from the University of Vermont and completed his postdoctoral training and the University of Pennsylvania. His main focus is on the
conceptual unification of psychology and psychotherapy as described in his recent book, A New Unified Theory of Psychology (Springer, 2011). As
a clinical psychologist, he has expertise in integrative psychotherapy and the treatment of depression, personality disorders, and suicidal behavior.
He is an expert blogger on Psychology Today.
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