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Week 19 Lecture Note.docx

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PSYC 100
Erica Refling

Evolutionary Psychology - What is Evolutionary Psychology? o Assumes:  Psychological phenomena arise out of biological processes  Biological processes shaped by evolutionary forces  Many aspects of human behaviour can be understood in terms of their adaptive functions (cognition and emotion) o Does NOT:  Deny that environment also plays an important role  Imply that group differences (e.g. sex differences) always trump individual variation within groups  Provide “moral justification” for problematic behaviour - Sex Differences o Relationship Selection and Maintenance  Many differences between men and women  Differences in the adaptive value of varying strategies for men and women - Relationship Selection o Sociosexual Orientation  Unrestricted sociosexual orientation  pursuit of short-term casual sexual relationships  Restricted sociosexual orientation  pursuit of long-term committed sexual realtionships  Do men and women differ?  Sex Differences  Self-report studies suggest women are more restricted  Field studies produce similar results o Evolutionary Psychology Explanation  Minimal obligatory parental investment  Human females incubate young and are thus required to make more substantial investments to care for young  Thus, women are more cautious and choosy regarding romantic partners  Men have less substantial investments  Thus, an unrestricted strategy of as many partners as possible is more advantageous for men o Partner Characteristics  Sex differences in partner characteristics that people look for:  Women tend to look more for status and access to resources than men  Men tend to value physical attractiveness more than women - Evolutionary Theory and Mate Selection o Mating is a selective process  Men prefer physically attractive, younger women  Women look for men with higher socio-economic status, offering earning potential and stability - Evolutionary Psychology Explanation o Female fertility peaks in early to mid 20’s and drops off substantially after 35, some physically attractive features may be markers of physical health and fertility o Thus, men may be drawn to women displaying markers of sexual maturity and youth o Male reproductive potential is not as constrained by fertility as it is ability to provide resources o Thus, women may be attentive to cues signaling a man’s status in the social hierarchy and the ability to provide resources for her and her offspring - Relationship Maintenance o Infants are helpless and slow to develop, both parents help in the infant’s survival o Human mating arrangements vary across cultures, but all have some sort of long-term relationship for caring for children o Long-term relationships serve social affiliation and child-rearing functions that enhance reproductive success o Thus, there is adaptive value in developing relationship maint
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