About this Research Topic
An outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the disease that it causes (COVID-19) has resulted in social and economic upheaval at a level unseen, and almost unimagined, in the past century or more. The psychobehavioral consequences of the pandemic are of major interest to researchers and the general public. Evolutionary approaches to human behavior, which acknowledge the biological forces shaping human psychology and behavior, are uniquely positioned within psychology to offer insights into responses to and outcomes of the pandemic.
In this Research Topic, we aim to invite researchers from the evolutionary human sciences to contribute psychological and behavioral research that addresses individual- and population-level questions on the coronavirus pandemic. We invite interdisciplinary submissions either within psychology or between psychology and other fields (e.g., immunology, epidemiology, biology, public health, and psychoneuroimmunology) to contribute manuscripts that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Evolutionary approaches to individual and group differences in psychobehavioral responses to the pandemic;
• How the behavioral immune system operates during the COVID-19 pandemic and in its aftermath, including approaches that link the current pandemic with the evolutionary selection pressures that have shaped human cognition and behavior for pathogen avoidance;
• Changes in sexual selection and mate choice during the COVID-19 pandemic and in its aftermath;
• Evolutionary and/or psychoneuroimmunological approaches to mental health under COVID-19 threat and in its aftermath;
• Host factors and their association with COVID-19 disease severity and outcomes (e.g., host genetics, immunological, physiological, and psychobehavioral variability).
Further, we welcome discussions on the merits and drawbacks of various areas of psychology in addressing the psychological repercussions of the pandemic. Submissions that address the following questions can include adversarial collaborations with researchers from various fields of behavioral science, psychology, and/or sociology:
• As an interdisciplinary biobehavioral science, is evolutionary psychology uniquely positioned within psychology to address the psychological consequences of the coronavirus outbreak?
• What essential elements, if any, might evolutionary approaches be prone to overlook?
• How might other fields benefit from adopting an evolutionarily informed approach to COVID-19 research?
As this is a multidisciplinary Research Topic, we ask the authors to choose an appropriate Topic Editor for sections upon submission. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this Research Topic, researchers from different fields with an interest in human evolution and/or the human behavioral immune system in the COVID-19 context are welcome to contribute to this Research Topic. Submissions are accepted in the following article types: Original Research, Review, Mini Review, Brief Research Reports, Clinical Trial, Perspective, Hypothesis and Theory, Conceptual Analysis, and Opinion.
**Please note that to be considered for this Research Topic, manuscripts should explicitly address one or more of the following themes: 1) evolution, 2) behavioral immune system, and/or 3) psychoneuroimmunology.
***Given the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19-related research in this Research Topic. Please note that manuscripts need to be submitted by the deadline, 31 December 2020.
Image credits: Yohann Libot (Unsplash)
Keywords: Coronavirus, behavioral immune system, evolutionary psychology, immunology, public health, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, individual differences, sexual selection, mate choice, psychoneuroimmunology, mental health
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.