March 7, 2016
Evolution and Human Behavior
- Our ancestors were chimpanzees or other modern apes
o Chimpanzees and humans are two divergent branches of anthropoid
lineage which evolved from a common ancestor
- Human evolution represents a ladder, with a series of steps directly leading
from an ancestral anthropoid to Homo sapiens
o Human evolution is marked by many phylogenetic branches, with
some dead ends and several different species co-existed
- Several human characteristic such as an enlarged brain and upright posture
evolved in unison
o Different characteristics evolved at different times
• How does natural selection shape mate preferences?
• What do men and women look for in a mate?
• Why are male’s preferences different from female preferences?
• Brain affects behavior
• Natural selection shapes brain size and abilities
• Natural selection can shape behavior via the brain
Evolution Predicts Mate Preferences
- Traits are adaptive and variable
- Sexual selection
- General trend was that males were broad and females were choosy
- Evolution predicts mate preferences
- As age progresses fertility decreases
- Before fertility engineering and healthcare, they ensures that kids were
produced before a certain age
- Female limiting factor is resources
o Should favor males who can provide resources
- Male limiting factor: females
o Should favor healthy, fertile females
- Women, pregnancy is costly, which makes the females more selective
regarding their mates and fewer partners
- Males are not selective
• How is human culture different from other animals?
• Are humans still evolving? What is Culture?
- Information acquired by individuals through some form of social learning
- Different social norms
- Is culture in nonhumans common?
o Seen in different animals, who will pass on lessons to they young
o Mothers will invest time in teaching things such as how to hunt, hide
- But, humans have regular cumulative culture
- Humans are able to refer to the transmission through social learning (face, to
- Culture is broadly, information that humans acquire through limitation,
teaching and learning
- Culture is a derived trait in humans
- Non-genetic transmiss