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Lecture 2

Lecture 2.docx

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Marc A Fournier

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PSYB30 Lecture 2
The Structure of Evolutionary Theory
- Variation
- Inheritance
- Selection
- Differences in our design impact our reproductive
success property of design can have effect ton rates
of reproduction
- Evolutionary Processes:
1. Natural Selection evolution of adaptive
characteristic of survival benefits of those having
2. Sexual Selection evolution of adaptive
characteristics b/c reproductive benefits bestowed
on those having them
Intrasexual Competitions (i.e. stags’ antlers) within a given sex
Intersexual Selection (i.e. peacocks’ plumage) between sexes
- Products of Evolutionary Process
1. Adaptations (“Evidence of Special Design”)
Species-Typical bone is white is NOT adaptive,
the property is a spandrel b/c of Ca in them =
strength and durability, incident correlate =
adaptive form strength as organisms
“Suspiciously” Functional
Condensed Records of Ancestral Conditions
shows how are species confronted past
problems to produce current selves
Adaptation DOES NOT EQUAL Optimal Design
Constraints on Optimal Design
1. Time Lags - hedgehog curls up into little
ball when scared (in historical
environments) but not cars
Adaptation works only if present situation
is similar to past situation
2. Local Optima example of climbing a mountain
3. Insufficient Variation The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (EEA): The
ancestral conditions and selection pressures under which an adaptation evolved. The
human EEA ~ the Pleistocene Epoch (1.6 m.y.a 10,000 y.a)
Life in the Pleistocene
2. Spandrels (“By-Products”)
- The Attachment System:
Hypothetical behavioural system
that facilitated our ancestors’
survival by encouraging them to
seek out caregivers under
conditions of threat and to explore
the social environment under
conditions of safety
Bowlby’s Attachment Theory
imaginary string with
appropriate distance in safe and
scary situation
The Infant’s Ties to its
1. Mother as “secure base”
(exploratory behaviour)
2. Mother as “safe haven” (proximity-seeking)
The Attachment System internal model (parental neglect vs. loving family)
1. An evolved, goal-directed, behavioural system
2. i.e. a “mommy stat” or “proximity-stat
Working Models
1. Internal representations of infants’ early experiences of parental support or parental neglect
- Individual Differences in Attachment
Ainsworth’s Strange Situation: Parent and infant enter the Strange Situation
1. Infant explores
2. Introduction of stranger
3. Parent leaves infant with stranger first
4. Parent returns, strangers leaves quietly first
5. Parents leaves infant along in room second
6. Stranger returns, initiates play with infant
7. Parent returns, stranger leaves quietly
second reunion
NOTES: Infants are 12-20 months, each episode is
~3 minutes
Childhood Correlates: Mother-Child Interaction
4 inter-correlated dimensions:
1. Maternal Sensitivity
2. Acceptance (vs. Rejection)
3. Psychological Accessibility
4. Cooperation
- Mothers of SECURE children are high on all 4
- Mothers of RESISTANT children are
- Mothers of AVOIDANT children are inaccessible
and rejecting
Continuity to Adulthood
Waters et. Al (2000):
50 middle-class infants (21 m, 29 f)
1. Seen in Ainsworth Strange Situation at 12
2. Re-contacted 20 years later and
interviewed using Berkeley Adult
Attachment Interview
72% of infants received same secure vs.
insecure attachment classification. IN early
childhood, (-) life events were an important
contributor to change in attachment
1. Parental psychiatric disorder
2. Loss of parent or parental divorce
3. Life-threatening illness of parent or child
4. Physical or sexual abuse by family member
- Romantic Love as an Attachment Process
Romantic Love as an Attachment Process (Hazan & Shaver, 1987)
620 people responded to following newspaper survey question: Which of the following
paragraphs bests describes your feelings about being emotionally close to other people
(relatively easy SECURE-56%, somewhat uncomfortable=-AVOIDANT-25%, others are
reluctant to get as close as I would like-AMBIVALENT-19%)
Difference in EARLY ATTACHMENT HISTORIES: Secure adults differ from insecure adults by
recollection of childhood (mother is respectful and not demanding, fathers as loving)
Differences in LOVE EXPERIENCES: Secure adults had higher levels of happiness, friendship,
and trust
Conclusions: Provide circumstantial evidence that working models of attachment
potentially have implications across the life span (romantic love is experienced differently
across individuals as function of their different attachment histories)