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“If It Ain’t Broke”: Wylie ’22 Presents at Northeastern Evolutionary Psychology Society Conference

Ike Wylie attended the Northeastern Evolutionary Psychology Society conference (NEEPS) in Pittsburgh, PA from April 21-24th. NEEPS was established in 2007 as a society dedicated to the advancement of evolutionary behavioral sciences. They welcome scholars from all fields that focus their research and scholarship of furthering our understanding of human behavior within an evolutionary framework. Wylie presented a poster based on a theoretical paper titled, “If It Ain’t Broke: Comparing Adaptive and Dysregulative Concepts of Human Suffering.” In the paper, Wylie challenges the popular assumption by modern mental health practitioners that mental illness is an emergent property of a functionally dysregulated brain. In this paper, he explores questions surrounding implications of this kind of clinical science. As a response, Wylie asks what are the implications of clinical science models that subscribe to the idea that suffering is adaptive? Through a thoughtful analysis, Wylie demonstrates the confines of a broken brain hypothesis in a clinical practice setting. Additional themes center around depathologization, psychopharmaceutical practice, the evolutionarily informed therapeutic relationship, and highlight the tendency in modern psychology to try to fix the brain, rather than appreciating it as a well-functioning organ.

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I am currently a 4th year psychology student at Antioch College. In the future, I intend to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology. My interests including minorital experience, behavioral neuroscience, philosophical tradition, and the cognitive sciences.

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