Class Notes (811,659)
Canada (494,847)
Psychology (3,199)
PSYC 332 (199)

PSYC 332 - Intro to Personality

8 Pages
Unlock Document

PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

Personality Lecture 6: January 19, 2011 Group Life & Evolution of the Brain Questions of the Day: • Has the human brain evolved specifically to be able to process complex social information? (answer = yes) • Do other social animals show evidence of evolved capacities reflective of a predominantly social brain? (answer = yes) Sources for the Lecture • Cheney & Seyfarth (2007) o Baboon metaphysics: The evolution of a social mind • Gazzaniga (2008) (skip) o Human: The science behind what makes us unique Relates to Chap 2 discussion of the evolution Why is the human brain so large? • 7X larger than mammal our size (4X larger than other primates) • Particular brain area that is enlarged o Development of frontal cortex (involved in consciousness and thinking) • Functional brain scans when thinking of people o Frontal cortex highly activated at these times • Other primates; brain size; frontal cortex and group size o Association btwn size of frontal cortex and the size of the groups among the species lives o Quite possible brain and frontal cortex evolved and developed bc of a need to process info to living successfully in larger groups TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. 1 Comparison of Relative Brain Sizes • Humans brain is 2% weight of body, for cats and dogs its only .72% QuickTimeª and a TIare needed to see this picture. Examples of the social mind • Goleman’s observations in Social Intelligence (2007) o Default activity  For almost all humans, when were not on task with something else the default activity is to be thinking abut relationships o Speed of processing and judgment  Experiments where they see how quickly they can make judgments, making social judgments comes faster than making other sorts of judgments • E.g. Of default activity – random thoughts while at the YMCA o Cant stop from noticing the other people at YMCA o And thinking about their relationships o Noticed a really fit woman who did an incredible work out called her “the fit girl” she always came with a fit guy o After 2 or 3 years fit girl came and the guy wasn’t there anymore o Speculated what happened etc, and then 2 years later the guy came back with her o Another example of YMCA – guy comes in at 9, goes on treadmill, reads o Natural to think about other ppl and their relationships to other people • Developmental indicators o Infants orient toward: (they are prepared to process social information)  Human Speech  Human faces 2 o 3 year olds’ knowledge – have a good understanding of the relationships of the play group or preschool o 6 year olds’ knowledge  Example of Sophie, was with her friend Catalina, and she asks Sophie how did you like it at Narnia? She reflected the question and just asked how she liked it, and then she just agreed with her Why primates have larger brains” • “Primates may be pushed into large groups thanks to predators or to patchy sources of food like fruit trees. As their numbers grow, natural selction may favour social intelligence. The primates form long-term alliances with each other and compete with rivals. They begin to keep track of a large and larger social network.” • A boost in social intelligence can lead to an evolutionary edge for primates Baboon Metaphysics (philosophical study of the understanding of life) The two researchers… • Their conclusion, based on many painstaking experiments, is that baboons’ minds are specialized for social interaction, for understanding the structure of their complex society and for navigating their way within it o By studying what baboons understand we can learn more about how the human mind evolved as well The everyday life of baboons  Baboons are old apes, live mostly on land, spend a lot of time grooming each other  Live in very large groups  by staying together in troops, they can alert each other and defend each other better The social life of baboons • Size of troop o Usually around 80 or 90, consists of 8 or 9 families o Each family has a rank, which is passed on from the mother to the children o The rank of the females is highly stable o The rank of the famiy matters, as they have access to resources (food, good spot to stay in) • Kinship – matrilineal and ranked o Passed on through the mother o Rank which is highly stable • Hierarchies – alpha males o Males enter from outside of the troop o When they enter the new troop they fight for their rank or status, struggle to determine if they will become the alpha baboon of the troop o Male ranking is very unstable o Average time a baboon can function as the alpha is only about 8 months o When there is a battle for status it causes a lot of stress in the group o Particularly among females who have young children, new baboons come 3 into the troop, find that females are lactating and not in a state of sexual readiness and they can foster this by killing the young infants o Females who have children do certain things to protect themselves (find older baboons they can rely on) • Transient relationships o Relationships they will form when they have a need to do so • Social Support o Helps them cope with stress o They do mutual grooming – seems to lower their stress levels • Communication: o Production of sounds – grunting, sounds have a clear meaning (threat, indication of submission) only can communicate one thing at a time o Comprehension of sounds  Surprisingly good and complex The Dangers  not always mellow  many dangers in the rainy seasons  suggestion: living in a group and community that provides more eyes and ears to identify potential danger, have others around you to protect you  50% of young baboons who die, not bc of predators but bc of infanticide  tigers, lions, snakes, aligators Predation & Infanticide Data Collection • Demographic events o Keep track of births, deaths, when a new baboon enters the troop o Keep track of who is the alpha baboon etc o Keep track of status changes • Systematic observed social behaviour o Can see who spends time with who • Collection of vocalizations: single sounds (tape record vocalizations, and use them as stimuli in very interesting play back experiments) o Greeting grunts o Threat grunt and response scream o Females sexual “whoop” – you know when a female has made it o Males competitive “wahoo” cry – when they struggle to decide who is higher in rank in the male groupings (power
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 332

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.