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Review Article

SRP. 2021; 12(3): 788-794

Psychological Adaptation after the COVID-19 Pandemic through the Lens of Evolutionary Biology

Piwat Suppawittayaa, Tanakrit Busarakulb, Tarosh Wangwongwirojc, Pratchayapong Yasrid.

Despite its explainability in biological sciences, evolutionary biology has been used to explicate social phenomena through the disciplines of economics and social sciences. This study further extends the usefulness of the theory to understand psychological adaptation of human traits and preferences after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is believed that almost all aspects of life are disrupted by this mechanism of “natural selection”, and thus those who are adaptive to sudden changes are more likely to “survive” regardless of their field of expertise; whereas those who remain static are prone to become “extinct”. Based on the existing literature, three psychological characteristics are considered as adaptive traits: grit, resilience, and emotional agility. While grit helps sustain a powerful motivation to achieve any life goals, resilience allows ones to recover quickly from difficulties, given the global pandemic as an example. Furthermore, emotional agility is a self-management strategy to help people rapidly alleviate stress, adaptively tackle problems, and constantly improve performance. This paper therefore concludes that these psychological traits are necessary both in personal and educational aspects, thus more emphasis needs to be given to help equip our next generation to be capable of adapting to any changes that may come.

Key words: Evolutionary biology; grit; resilience; emotional agility; COVID-19 pandemic

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