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Lecture 19

Lecture 19.docx

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PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

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3100- Lecture 19 March 19, 2013 Individual Differences Preamble: Person vs. Situation? - Fundamental Attribution Error: attributing behavioural variability to others’ personality rather than the situations they’re in. - Power of the situation relative to personality. - Nevertheless, there are consistent individual differences o Humans- personality o Non-humans- behavioural syndromes - What causes these individual differences?—they are consistent Individual Differences at Different Levels of Analysis - Proximate psychological mechanisms: how do the brains and emotional responses differ? o There has to be something different about their brains!  All behaviour comes from the brain/CNS—no longer controversial that brain causes behaviour. Therefore, logically, if two individuals behave different in exact same situation, this must mean something different happening in their brains.  Experience changes your brain.  Right now professor is changing our brain, and we are changing his brain in some way - Developmental causes: what caused those brain differences? What differs among people... Genes? Environments? Gene/environment interactions? - Ultimate/ Functional Causes: why do these differences persist? Why respond those ways to the environment. Why are there any Differences between people? - Shouldn’t the best strategy out-compete other strategies? - Recall: o You receive $1 if raise hand, and $0 if don’t raise your hand  Cleary everyone would raise their hand—payoff higher  Why do people not raise their hand? - What about continuous traits? o Shouldn’t stabilizing selection make everyone at or close to the optimum?  Should expect people to stabilize at optimum if there is one—natural selection will select against those at the tails.  Any universal adaptation will be possessed by everyone and any variation will be errors Potential Functional Causes of Individual Differences - Developmental differences: how differences have come about during individual’s lifetime. o Malfunctions, pathologies, errors o Something causing changes in the brain—very possible cause of individual differences o Facultative responses to environment—individuals will differ in their response based on situation they find themselves in—based on circumstances  If big, be aggressive; if small, be conciliatory o This can be:  Conditional yes/no strategy (e.g. if dad is present...)  Differential learning: (e.g. Do I attract mates?)  Always in same situation (e.g. high/low status, married to someone of higher mate value & jealousy)  Niche selection  There are different social roles/positions that one could take within a group. Better to not compete with roles that are already taken—better to differentiate from the others. - Heritable differences: difference between individuals due to different genes o Reactive heritability is when a single-design psychological mechanism uses other heritable qualities as input to determine one’s strategy (it’s a facultative response), e.g. ‘if big, be aggressive...’  i.e. body size—differences in genes? This difference in size changes people’s behaviour as well. o Hair colour—most variability due to genetic make-up and some due to environment (hair dye)—Variability in heritable= HIGH o Differences in number of arms globally—in this case due to environment (war, landmines, amputations)—Variability in heritable= LOW - Potential causes of heritable differences: o Low selection pressure (i.e. selectively neutral) o Changing selection pressures  If environments change, that means new selective pressures o Migration and mixing of populations  Skin colour—due to mixing genetics, or because of the sun  Behaviour—poor quality to attribute behaviour due to genes/ethnicity—no good date on heritable ‘race differences’ in behaviours, nor do I expect any. o By-products of something else that is adaptive and heritable  Imagine there were heritable difference in tendency to pursue ST/LT mating strategies—what would happen?  People more inclined to purse ST strategies would behave different- go out for often. Where as those in LT would behave different  This could result in differences in musculature that arise from differences in inclination (by-product of something else!) o Frequency-dependent selection  Payoff depends on if trait is common or rare in population  Game theory—raise hand and get $1 for every hand
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