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PSYC 101 Lecture Notes - Richard Dawkins, Sociobiology, Haplodiploidy

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PSYC 101
Catherine( Cathy) Rankin

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Sept 19, 2011
PSYC 101
The Selfish Gene
By Richard Dawkin
- One of the realizations that grew out of Sociobiology was the importance of getting more of
your genes in to the next generation. This could be accomplished in ways other than having your
own offspring (i.e. by taking care of siblings).
- *Unit is important not gene
Social Insects
- Hymenoptera wasps, bees, ants (all social insects except termites are in this order)
- Haplodiploidy unfertilized eggs become males and are haploid, fertilized eggs become females
and are diploid.
- Degree of relationship determines behaviour
Degree of Relatedness
- Ma Pa Sis Bro Son Dau. Nephew/niece
Fem ½ ½ ¾ ¼ ½ ½ 3/8
Male 1 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ¼
* “You’re better off helping your mom raise more sisters so you pass on more of your gene.
- So females benefit from raising their sisters more than from having their own daughters! Males
benefit from raising their brothers and sisters. (for Haplodiploidy)
- Notion of “inclusive fitness”
Issues in Sociobiology
- Parental Investment
- Parent-offspring conflict
- Get as much as you can from your parents before they cut you off
- Parents’ job is to continue making kids, therefore, she has to invest into her next
- Sibling rivalry
- (i.e. Baby birds in nest they fight each other for the food)
- Will beat up each other for the resources
- “Mine, mine, mine…”
- Altruism kin selection and reciprocal altruism
- Early Hominids lived in small groups (20-30) probably related to everyone in the group
so it’s like saving your own genes
- Reciprocal Altruism - Strangers: “If I help you, you’ll help me in the future.”
- Cheaters gather all the help and not be there when others need help
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