Korean J Biol Psychiatry.  2017 May;24(2):45-51. 10.0000/kjbp.2017.24.2.45.

The Evolutionary Psychological Aspects of Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ks2485@empas.com


Anxiety is one of the basic human emotions. From the evolutionary psychology point of view, it is a necessary factor for survival and prosperity of human beings that had been developed throughout time with the history of human survival and development. Anxiety plays the role of protecting one from social or physical threats. In reality, lacking of anxiety showed lots of examples of maladjustments. But the result of over-adjustment, which is overanxious disorder, is definitely disturbing one's survival and growth, and it can lead to anxiety disorder that needs to be treated. Anxiety from the evolutionary psychology point of view, started as a primary adjustment form and it evolves into various types of anxiety disorders that relates to the modern society's characters. Therefore, having the grasp of evolutionary psychology, which can be the base of treating anxiety and anxiety disorders, is very important. So from now on, studies for this aspect would need to be done as integrated and multidisciplinary studies not only by psychiatrists, but by including epidemiologists, psychologists, ecologists, biologists, and neuropsychologists. In this article, the author tried to review and explore the idea of anxiety and anxiety disorders from the evolutionary psychology point of view.


Evolutionary psychology; Anxiety

MeSH Terms

Anxiety Disorders*
Hand Strength
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