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Lecture 12

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PSYC 2600
Chris Motz

Lecture 12—Ch.8- Evolution Thursday, February 10, 2011 - End of midterm material today - After Ch. 8, Ch. 10 (as beginning of final exam material) - Sociometer theory o Relational value o Self-esteem serves as a gauge or meter to indicate whether or not we think other people value us o Leary’s Sociometer Theory study: participants told that they’re going to interact with another participant, they write up information about themselves and read about the other participant (this is pretence) o This participant receives information indicating whether this other participant wants to interact with him/her and will give evaluation. o 2 bits of information: gets information from hypothetical other—does he want to interact or not, and overall evaluation o Results:  Self-esteem was lowest when participant received information was negative evaluation and when participant was rejected  Not low when they are evaluated positively and rejected  Can still be rejected as long as there’s positive evaluation—does not have negative impact on self-esteem  Support for Sociometer theory o Conclusion:  Relational value (value to group) is important component of the self - We’re testing hypotheses based on evolutionary theory - Buss & Bennett o Give series of scenarios, figure out how they’re going to respond o Imagine you discover significant other has gotten involved with someone else. Choose A or B  Dilemma 1—which would distress you more? • B  Dilemma 2 • B  Dilemma 3—which would be more difficult to forgive? • B  Dilemma 4—for which action would you be more likely to break up? • A - General theory—evolutionary - Specific theories—theory of parental investment and sexual selection - Hypotheses—females looking for male commitment and males looking for mate loyalty - Predictions—males and females are differentially sensitive to cues of infidelity - **It’s a lot of investment to raise a child (especially when they depend on parents for such an extended amount of time, particularly on the mom) - Evolutionary psychology talks about our behaviour today—we’ve come from many generations of ancestors whose behaviours were shaped by evolutionary factors—either working for or against - For us today, we are the product of those many generations that led to natural/sexual selection success - Men and women faced different evolutionary challenges to successful reproduction o For women, the decision to have a child put them at risk—required a lot of investment (wouldn’t be as good when running away from predators) o For men, producing offspring wouldn’t be a problem, but producing viable offspring was harsh—no shelter, security, food source—required time, energy, resources o Women: concerned with male staying and investing for child o Men: ensuring that when they do stick around and invest resources, want to make sure that child is their offspring (uncertainty of paternity—women don’t have this) - Sex differences o Different adaptive challenges o As a result, should see difference in approach to mating, and a difference in response to partner’s infidelity - *Women- mate commitment (investment in resources, help raise offspring) - *Men- mate loyalty (ensuring that the offspring is yours) - Differently sensitive to cues of infidelity - Jealousy o Some men may not be vigilant, wouldn’t watch so closely o At risk for investing in offspring that isn’t theirs o Others who are vigilant are more likely to invest in offspring that is their own o Such a minute difference builds up o Now, men should have greater jealousy o Women should become more distressed over emotional infidelity - Results o Men find it more difficult to forgive a sexual infidelity o Men are more likely to end a current relationship following sexual infidelity than emotional infidelity o Vice versa for females o Percentage of same that agreed that sexual infidelity was more upsetting  61.9% males  22% females o Consistent with hypothesis - Making sense of results o More males than females expressed jealousy towards sexual infidelity o We’re really just looking at difference between the percentage o Because there are other factors involved—the size will diminish depending on the questions and such, but the difference must stay there o *But we are not just mindless slaves to our genes/id impulses o There is some level of self-control, we have the ability to exert contorl over urges o But the basic hypothesis is still supported - Same pattern emerges regardless of how we phrase the questions—different positions vs. falling in love o 49.6% of males following hypothesis—but it’s not even 50% o There’s still 50.4% going in the other direction o There certainly are other factors going on that we do have conscious control over o However, the prediction of a significant difference is still supported - More difficult to forgive sexual infidelity over emotional o Males- 65.1% o Females- 52% o This is the smallest gap, but still statistically significant - Conclusion o Still finding evidence in support of the predicitons o But remember that we’re not mindless automatons o We’ll get into consciousness and free will with other domains - Clark and Hatfield o Found some evidence in favour of their theory and stopped running this line of research o But it was interesting o Based on very similar derivative theory from larger theory of differences in sexual behaviour o Interest in sexual variety—gender differences due to evolutionary forces o Females: engaging in sexual behaviour was a big burden—something to be quite controlled o Males: have multiple strategies  Buss and Bennet study follows on one strategy—committing to and provi
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