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Lecture 1

PSYB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Paternal Care, Neoteny, Pair Bond

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Marc A Fournier

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Personality Psychology
** Study for final exam more than term tests
Lecture 1
Emerging adult: the middle of childhood and adulthood
Scientific Theories:
Constructs (define)
Rules (linked)
Hypothesis (test)
Non-scientific Theories:
Astrology: system of personality theories (characteristics people should
Palmistry: hand reading
Our implicit personality theories: trying to understand oneself
o Implicit but can be formalized and made into a explicit theory
Dependency is unhealthy an example of formalizing an informal theory
Construct: observing cues to come up with construct
Rules: linking health and well being
o Well being consists of: positive affect, negative affect, life satisfaction
The more you show of dependency the less you show of well
Hypothesis: the more you show of dependency the less you show of well
being, these are tested through scales
Statistical Concepts
Variation extent of spread in a series of values
o Variance: expected value any observation is likely to have (average
square difference from the mean)
o Standard deviation: square root of the variance (how many
differences on a measure)
Co-variation reflects the likely hood that two variables go together
o Correlation coefficients (r): standardized index of how two variables
relates to one another (the number ranges from -1 to +1
+1: variables are related to one another (one factors goes up
the other goes up_
-1 coefficient: one variable geos up the other variables goes
Effect Size & Statistical Significance:
o Effect size: r=0.1 (small), r=0.3 (medium), r=0.5 (large)
o Statistical significance: should produce p values less than 0.5 (no
more than a 1/20 chance)
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Reliability & Validity Coefficient
o Reliability coefficient: test with itself
Consistency of measurement (consistent value)
0.7 0.9 (reliable about 0.7)
o Validity coefficient: test with criterion
Accuracy of measurement (does the test predict what it is
supposed to)
For something to be valid you need to have reliability
The more reliable a test is the more likely you are to show the validity
Criteria to judge theories
All tests need to have these criteria’s:
Coherent, testable and empirically valid
Comprehensive and parsimonious (simplicity)
Useful and generative (discussion, debate, data)
Lecture Two:
Part I. Evolutionary Theory
The Evolutionary Process:
Darwin three words of evolution
Variation (in design)
o All organisms are different
o Passing certain features onto offspring (heritable)
o Our designs impact our rate of reproduction
o Differences in design create differences in reproduction
Evolutionary Processes: Natural Selection
Natural selection: evolution of adaptive characteristics because of the survival
benefits bestowed on those who have them
Natural selection = survival
Examples: giraffe and their neck’s
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Evolutionary Processes: Sexual Selection
Sexual selection: the evolution of adaptive characteristics because of the reproductive
benefits bestowed to those who have it
Intrasexual competitioncompetition within the same sex in the same species
o Members within the same compete with one another to get time and access
with the other sex (mostly males compete for females)
Example: stags on an antler used for fighting with the other males
(reproductive advantage not a survival benefit)
Intersexual selection between different sexes in the same species
o The more a attribute is attractive the more frequency of the attribute will
be seen
Example: the colourful feathers of the peacock
In spite of survival benefit there is a reproductive one
Products of the Evolutionary Process
Adaptations (evidence by special design) design properties selected and
coordinated towards solving recurrent problems in the environment encountered
by the ancestors within the species
o Species-typical (universal): typical of the species; universal shared by
every member of the species
o Suspiciously functional: attributes that certain species have that they
need, evidence of special design, have a function and are designed for
that function
o Condensed records of ancestral condition: the adaption that we carry
today are a testimony to the environment in which our ancestors
Example: long neck of giraffe, antlers of the stag
Spandrels by-products design property that does not directly
contribute to adaptation but is linked to an adaptive property
o Incidentally incorporated into the design
o Example: the human ear are adaptations, ear lobes are attached to the
ear; neither contributed to survival or reproduction
Random Effects design properties are neutral
o Random variation
o Variation in ear lobe size
Adaptation ≠ Optimal Design
Constraints on optimal design
o Time lags: when a problem appears in the environment and when the
evolutionary process creates a solution is very different in time
o Local optima: only takes the step forward to what is adaptive; not a
conscious process and can not plan ahead; local peaks of optimization
o Insufficient variation: limited by alteration and modifications
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