Open Access, Peer-reviewed

ISSN 2005-7571 (Online)
Volume 29, Number 1 (1/2022)
Original Article <page. 1-8 >
DOI : 10.22857/kjbp.2022.29.1.001

Evolutionary Model of Depression as an Adaptation for Blocked Social Mobility

Hanson Park, MD, PhD; and Sunyoung Pak, PhD

Department of Anthropology, College of Social Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Objectives : In regard to the social competition hypothesis, depression is viewed as an involuntary defeat strategy. A previous study has demonstrated that adaptation in microenvironments can result in a wide range of behavioural patterns including defense activation disorders. Using a simulation model with evolutionary ecological agents, we explore how the fitness of various defence activation traits has changed over time in different environments with high and low social mobility.

Methods : The Evolutionary Ecological Model of Defence Activation Disorder, which is based on the Marginal Value Theorem, was used to examine changes in relative fitness for individuals with defensive activation disorders after adjusting for social mobility.

Results : Our study examined the effects of social mobility on fitness by varying the d-values, a measure of depression in the model. With a decline in social mobility, the level of fitness of individuals with high levels of defense activation decreased. We gained insight into the evolutionary influence of varying levels of social mobility on individuals' degrees of depression. In the context of a highly stratified society, the results support a mismatch hypothesis which states that high levels of defence are detrimental.

Conclusions : Despite the fact that niche specialization in habitats composed of multiple microenvironments can result in diverse levels of defensive activation being evolutionary strategies for stability, decreased social mobility may lead to a decrease in fitness of individuals with highly activated defence modules. There may be a reason behind the epidemic of depression in modern society.


Key words : Evolutionary ecology;Social mobility;Defence activation disorder;Agent-based simulation.

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