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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Roshan Singh 101807 Mr. Joordens PSYA01H3 Chapter 3 Notes Biological evolution Changes that take place in the genetic and physical characteristics of a population or group of organisms over time. It stands as the primary explanation of the origin of life. Adaptive significance The effectiveness of behaviour in aiding organisms to adjust to changing environmental conditions. Novelty seeking is the tendency to engage in behaviours that lead to new experiences. Individuals with high score on novelty seeking tests are referred to as impulsive, exploratory or excitable whereas individuals with low score are seen as reflective, stoic and slow tempered. In order to answer which one is better, we must consider 2 main things: What events and conditions in a persons lifetime might contribute to a tendency to seek or to avoid novelty; what function does novelty seeking serve in helping people adapt to the changing circumstances of life? What events and conditions in the evolution of our species favoured or punished novelty seekers; what functions has novelty seeking served in the history of humankind? A complete understanding of novelty seeking requires that we understand both the past and present conditions that influence it. Ultimate causes Evolutionary conditions that have slowly shaped the behaviour of a species over generations. Proximate causes Immediate environmental events and conditions that affect behaviour. We behave as we do because we do because we are members of the human species (ultimate cause) and because we have learned to act in special ways (proximate cause). Both biology and environment both contribute to our personal development. Evolutionary psychology The branch of psychology that studies the ways in which organisms evolutionary history contributes to the development of behavioural patterns and cognitive strategies related to reproduction and survival during its lifetime. Culture The sum of socially transmitted knowledge, customs, and behaviour patterns common to a particular group of people. Psychologys contribution to this understanding will be an explanation of how thinking and behaviour shape cultural adaptations to changing environmental conditions. Captain Robert Fitz Roy was looking for an unpaid naturalist and travelling companion during a five year voyage on the HMS Beagle. The beagles mission was to explore and survey the coast of South America and to make hydrographic measurements worldwide. Darwin collected creatures and objects which were later sent back to England as they were viewed by other naturalists all over from Europe. Artificial selection A procedure in which animals are deliberately mated to produce offspring that possess particularly desirable characteristics.
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