The author hypothesizes that neurosis results from maladaptation and
leads to further maladaptation, thus creating a vicious cycle that can be
viewed as having played a significant role in human evolution. Individuals
who were less successful in the struggle for survival during prehistory
would have been more likely to become neurotic, a maladaptation that would
magnify existing genetically transmitted differences in their viability and
affect both the choice of a mate and the viability of their offspring. This
process would have accelerated human evolution by favoring the most viable.
The author relates this theory to his concepts of assortative mating and to
other theories of the role of neurosis.