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Lecture 8

PSY220H5 Lecture 8: Lecture 8

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Lecture 8: Genes, Culture, and Gender Thursday, March 9, 2017 12:10 AM – 3:00 PM  Reading on Altruism will not be covered in class, but will be on the test  This lecture is on the test Today (Slide 2)  Evolutionary Psychology  Cultural Differences  Gender Differences Scenario 1 - Living in a barren place with 2 children, 1 is 5 years old and one is 1 year old, and there's a life destroying hurricane coming that will kill everything in its path. You have a special box that you can climb into and save yourself. You can only fit yourself and one child, can't put two children in and you have to be in the box to operate it so can't put the two children in there. You can also stay out of the box and all die.  I would pick the 5 year old with me and leave the 1 year old Scenario 2 - Same as scenario 1 but you have one daughter that's 20 years old and one is 40 years old  I would pick the 20 year old to come with me Why are people's answers predictable? - same findings of what the overwhelming majority will pick every time  Anecdotal evidence (so powerful because it's our experience, but can't be completely wrong because it's not a large enough sample)  Evolution (we're working on this all the time, without awareness, but it's still happening) - moves all living things o Survival (of you) o Survival of the species o Evolutionary psychology says people will pick the 5 year old and 20 year old - being moved by forces that make want to continue our own survival and survival of our species  Better chance of procreating the species o Behaviour doesn't have fossils - so we have to make a lot of inferences  Have to keep in mind for any universal behaviour that we see - there's some historical/evolutionary reason why we all do it Evolutionary Psychology (Slide 3)  Humans (and all animals) are gene-producing machines with the basic motivation of perpetuating their own genetic pool o Don't wake up thinking "lets keep human being alive today"  Out genes predispose us to act in ways that enhance their chances or surviving and spreading o That never shuts down o More than doubled our population in a short period of time - beyond successful in propagating our species (dramatically overpopulated and our presence is dramatically effecting our planet)  Human beings are special/unique in some way amongst all species  Use of language, adaptability, etc  This fundamental motive underlies all behaviour o Procreating, perpetuating our species (whether you're aware of it or not) o The drive to procreate the species and for self survival isn't perfect/without exception, but it drives us all to some level o Ex: Study of women and what they wore to go out  When women were ovulating they wore much more revealing clothing  Without being aware of it (simply because they're ovulating and more fertile) - your unconscious is moving towards this goal without your knowledge  Whether they want kids or not this was the case o Why is makeup attractive?  Enhances how the face looks when approaching orgasm  Cheeks become much more red (blush), pupils become much more dilated (eyeliner), lips become more red and plum (lipstick)  All of them mimic the sex flush  Not that you're thinking about it when you're applying makeup o Sexual desire (whether you're having sex or masturbate) - your want to have sex (powerful drive)  Natures way to make sure we procreate  Once you have children - you're still not done (we're continuously moved) Evolution of Social Anxiety (Slide 4)  Fear of social or performance situations where one believes there's potential to be judged or evaluated badly by others o Performance anxiety, test anxiety, social anxiety  What underlies all of these is the fear of being negatively evaluated  Pressure becomes overwhelming  Social anxiety is an ancestral fear of social isolation (Hunter/Gatherer tribes) o In social situations we want to be accepted (no one wants to be rejected) o Ancient fear of rejection (shunning/ostracism can result in loss of tribe)  Access to resources  Social dominance hierarchy o Dependence we had on our tribes (us vs. them)  Tribes battling other tribe (want to be with the strongest tribe)  Serious life and death consequences of being shunned. It's the same today? o Isn't the same today o In Canada there's only one poisonous snakes, but you probably still will have a fear of them (in present day it's really not the biggest thing people will die from, but that doesn't stop you from fearing them) o Doesn't stop us from having that internal fear to avoid us from being isolated  Evolution of dreaming o Every human being and a lot of animals dream (every night - even if you don't know you dream)  There's no way you can't dream - you might not remember them o Stop someone from going into the REM cycle is very difficult  Body naturally goes into the REM stage and the more you try to stop the body the more your body will try to go into REM sleep  Can't stop it for more than a couple of night - we start to fall asleep while we're awake  Sleep is so important (if you don't sleep you die) - REM stage is critical (memory consolidation and dreaming) o Dreaming must be really important - what is the evolutionary explanation? (fundamentally profound impact on our ability to survive)  Contribute to sexual reproduction  Genitals become engorged with blood (like when we're sexually aroused)  Just going into the REM stage you will have a "check of the pipes"  Sometimes we dream about sex, but most of the time we don't  If you suffer from erectile dysfunction - they ask "are you waking up with an erection?" o Evolutionary view why human being dream  Virtual reality testing center - we can practice behaviours in life-threatening situations (that we couldn't practice in real life)  Often got killed by wild animals, falling, drowning, starving - the ones that you could learn to deal with is getting chased by animals  1/3 of children's' dreams about being chased by animals (will take many years for that fear to evolve away)  Have two kids way back - one of them dreams (about being chased by lions) and one doesn't  Shock (fear paralysis) when you encounter is - not very adaptive (you're easy pray)  Very common dream - you trying to overcome fear paralysis  The second time you dream the same thing you've habituated it - like a firefighter gets use to walking into the fire after several times  Two kids notice a pack of lions at the same time - the one kid who doesn't dream is going to die and not pass his genes on because he's fear stricken  Our ability to practice this in our dreams allows us to pass on our genes  Predatory send less time in REM sleep o Craving for light calorie foods (why we crave it so much) - we've come to crave it for specific reasons  In the past when you've stumbled upon something that's high calorie you would binge on it  Ex: Putting sugar into products to make them more addictive  We're born to be addicted and crave this high calorie foods from evolutionary standpoint - but we have an exponential amount of access to it now as oppose to our ancestors  Companies are taking advantage of that  Leads to higher child obesity, youth diabetes, etc o Evolution occurs on a staircase basis (the traits that allow us to survive are the ones that we pass on) Evolutionary Gender Differences (Slide 5/6)  Mate Selection - mating perpetuates genetic pool o We can look at difference in mate selection (what we find attractive/unattractive) - result of evolutionary differences in our ability to procreate  Women (25) - Select a mate to help in child rearing o Women have a set number of eggs  Once you start ovulating you start loosing those eggs - you don't get them back (eggs age with you)  Record of number of children had is 67 children (27 independent births) o Slightly older, more resources (financial), industrious o Ambition, education, status (synonym for money, power and resources)  Requires different strategy when looking for mates - find someone who will help you raise those few children  Monogamy is the most popular strategy for child rearing (raise those children until they were old enough to have children of their own)  Men (billions) - Simply choose females who can bear children o Not limited in the number of sperm that they have  Record was 888 children o Younger (more likely you are to procreate), physically attractive (proxy-measure of health), vivacious  Spread your seed far a wide and spread your genes as far as you can to as many women as you can  Intelligence level study o Prejudged to be similar in attractiveness - offer to have sex with people  Guys got 0% of people to agree  Women weren't interested in having sex with a stranger  Women got almost 100% of people to agree o What would be the level of intelligence for someone that you would be in a relationships with  Women would require average and above average vs. Males said the same  Women said the guy would have to have higher intelligence if they were to just have sex with him vs. Men's' standards went down (if you were just having sex with them)  Jealousy o Emotional vs. Physical indiscretion  Scenario - Affair can be a one time encounter and never see/encounter them again vs. An emotional affair (never any touching/kissing) but it's like a real relationships  Women overwhelmingly pick the one time sexual affair and men will always pick the emotional affair  Sharing of resources (attention, time, money, etc) for women  For men - paternity uncertainty  They don't care about the emotional affair  Evolutionary psychology predicts these result Life's Illusory Goal (Slide 7) Timothy Miller (1995) "How to Want What You Have" - Quest for happiness  The overwhelming unconscious drive for reproductive success underlies the constant human striving for wealth, status, and love o Wealth gives you access to greater mating (more people will want to sleep with you) o Largest drivers that we have love or money  Striving for these things is the problem  The fundamental problem is that (from an evolutionary perspective) there's no such thing as enough reproductive success o There's never enough children that you're going to stop wanting to procreate (even if that means just having sex/masturbating) o The more money people get the more they want  We're instinctively driven to continue striving for more wealth, success, and love regardless of how much we have already achieved o So we can show everybody how great we are and will have access to a vast variety of
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