Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

My entry on the evolution of play will be added to the massive Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Posted 24 Jul 2018 / 0

Crusher 1 1500pxI have been in a bit of a publication lull for the last few years. It isn’t that I haven’t been engaged in a variety of scholarly activities, it is just that it has been awhile since any of them have reached the publication phase. I am hoping that things will begin to pick up in 2018, and here’s the first sign of that change: an entry that I wrote on the “Evolution of Play” was just published in the Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological ScienceThe formal publication date for this massive volume is June 2019, but it has been “published online“; what that means in terms of people being able to actually access it I am not sure.

Writing these sorts of entries is not exactly the most presigious academic commission that one could receive, but I was nonetheless excited to be asked to write this entry. I have to figure that my history teaching an Evolution of Play course got me this gig. As I haven’t taught the course in several years I had to do some reading to catch up with the field, which was fun. There’s a lot of amazing play research being done these days, and I think that it is very appropriate to have an entry on this subject in a collection on evolutionary psychology: humans are such a playful species, and it’s really impossible to understand our evolved psychology without giving significant consideration to the evolved roles of play behavior.

A downside to publishing in this sort of venue is access: although I don’t know what the individual entry will cost you (or even if you can buy individual entries from this encyclopedia), I do know what the full collection costs (more than $5000!), and that cost means that only people with access to a major academic library are ever going to see my writing. That’s a bummer, but indicative of my academic caste: if you don’t have funding to publish open access, you are stuck publishing in venues that are closed access.

If you want a sneak peek at the entry, you can find it here.

A Major Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Communication, Cooperation, Emotion, Empathy, Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, MSCI-261, The Evolution of Play, My publications, Periodicals, Play, Psychological Adaptation

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