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University of Guelph
PSYC 3100
Hank Davis

PSYC 3100 – Week 6 Lecture 10 – October 15, 2012 - Violence is not learned, it is biological in our species, so are sex differences - Bobby Lowe – when she and her husband were in grad school, they had a son and lived in a town with a large blue collar population and a large population of university students, her and some of her colleagues did not want her sons associating with the school crowd, thought they could keep their students pure and started a school and were strict on the curriculum, social life etc. The kids were not seeing movies, watching tv etc. The mothers thought they had succeeded in keeping the kids pure, Bobby Lowe got to school early to pick up her kids, looks across the street, sees her kid at the front, with a stick and play fighting. She could not figure out where the violence came from – the kids were in a „bubble‟. She decided that we are not creating violence etc. it is in us, it is who we are. - Little boys fight because they are human - There are contemporary hunter-gatherer societies – have not been influenced by the modern world. They have murder rates, roughly the same as Chicago etc. – the worst cities in NA, therefore we can assume murder was quite common in our ancestral world. 86% of homicides that don‟t involve relatives are by men, homicides that are part of robberies are 96% men. No known society where that sex difference is reversed. Best predictor of violence in a society is the number of unmarried men. Men kill men. When, why? Not in robberies, not over jealousy, not in domestic quarrels, not over money, its over trivial circumstances – insults, cursesc put downs. This happens 5x the rate of robberies. Our society is not at fault, it is old stuff, typical of older societies. Men compete for women and women are choosing, women are all often drawn to dominant males, violence is one way to assert dominance. Not enough females to mate – males end up competing for the diminished pool of females, women reinforce this behaviour because they are attracted to it – even though we complain about it – something sexy about a dominant man - Google Mrs. Aristocholes – play, women are left at home while the men go off to war, and the women get together and come up with a plan – when the guys come home from war the women would not have sex with them Midterm: Caveman logic – chapters 1 and 2, textbook – ch 1-7 - Cognition was evolved to respond to crucial events related to survival and reproduction - The human brain is never more efficient and impressive as when its host is at risk - Evolutionary psyc approach: categories are blurry things, all members are not equal (ex. Category – Bird: Sparrow, Chicken, Ostrich etc.) when you meet a new member of the category, what do you do? – you bring up everything you know about this category – we do a quick accurate identification of what it is – can save our lives, identify food etc. - Memory: what is the first movie you ever saw? – You don‟t. Do you remember the first telephone number you ever dialed? – No you don‟t. - Natural concepts – animals deals with some concepts better than others, pigeons were taught to make a distinction between natural objects and man-made objects in a pictures – why? Natural concepts. Evolutionary idea that your mind is not a blank slate that approaches every problem with what they have learned. – Subject can look very smart or very stupid - Logic – 30-40 years ago it was widely assumed that human logical thinking followed the rules of formal logic – all dogs are cute, chipper is a dog, therefore chipper is cute. Alice is taller than bobby, bobby is taller than Chris, therefore Alice is taller than Chris – transitive inference. Humans do not reason according to the rules of formal logic – there are shortcuts that have evolved over time. We get to an answer by simple heuristics Our ancestors were often faced with difficult choices and had to react very quickly, no room for mistakes, got it right – survive, got it wrong – you died. Shortcuts to make important decisions started here – they had minimal clues and had to get it right Lecture 11 – October 17, 2012 Deduction – Sherlock Holmes – predict guy who looks guilty to be criminal, but you will be wrong, that guilty looking man is designed to make you look stupid Induction – Know one, know all! Shortcut, but lead to errors – profiling. You know what a terrorist looks like, just look like “those people”…. few of us want to live in a world that is guided by profiling Chapter 7 – Cognition Logic: TI - We are generally clueless about rules of formal logic (we are animals), but can act as if we understand it Piaget & Inhelder vs. Byrne/Johnson-Laird - Piaget believed that the only people on the planet who could do transitive inference are adult humans or children > 7 years - Linda Segal, who worked with kids, test
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