Universal Selection Theory claims that the increases in the fit of a system to its environment are achieved through a process of blind variation and cumulative selection that is analogous to evolution by natural selection. The process is proposed to occur in many domains, including the gene, behavior, cognition, and culture (meme). This paper reviews the background for the theory and explains how it may contribute to clinical psychology and psychiatry. It is suggested that the theory provides: A framework for integrating biological, psychological and cultural perspectives; an account for why problem-solving and cognitive reappraisal prove to be effective interventions; and an understanding of why psychological disorders can be resistant to change. Implications for psychological treatments, theoretical integration, and future research are discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Cognitive therapy