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Lecture 7

PSYC 3100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Fallacy, Chromosome, Determinant

Course Code
PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

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Lecture 7: Kinship
The Problem of Altruism
Altruism: An act that decreases the fitness (differential reproductive success) of an actor in order
to increase the fitness of the recipient.
- Persistent, reoccurring thing
Altruistic organisms are selfless from the individual perspective, but selfish from the perspective
of the gene.
- The gene is selfish because through acts of altruism it is propagating the reproduction and
survival of the gene in other individuals
- In order for the gene to be selfish, those who are benefitting must be kin and share the
gene (See Hamilton’s Inclusive Fitness)
The problem: if a non-altruistic individual invades the population, it will have higher
reproductive success because it is not expending energy to help others while the altruistic
individuals are
Hamilton’s Inclusive Fitness
- Genes can pass on copies by two means:
o Direct Fitness: reproductive success of current body
o Indirect Fitness: reproductive success of other bodies that carry that gene
- Inclusive fitness = direct fitness + indirect fitness
Hamilton’s Rule
The conditions under which altruism spreads and evolves:
- rb > c
o r = level of relatedness between the actor and recipient
o b = fitness benefit to the recipient
o c = fitness cost to the actor
Reproductive Value
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