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Lecture 11

Psychology Lecture 11.docx

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Steve Joordens

Psychology Lecture 11 (Chapter 3) Slide 1: Debate about nature (genetics) vs nurture (environmental/real life influence to your behavior) Evolution, like geologic evolution had been a talk during Darwin’s days- you can see the history and the changes in the strata of the rocks. Darwin used that idea when looking at life forms. He collected new species (endemic, distinct species that can only be found on the island), but eventually he started wondering about the reason for their traits. We could have traits because it helped in adaptation, but also because they don’t harm us. Ex: males have nipples, but they did not lose that feature in the centuries because it did not have a negative point to it (ie. It did not harm the man, or gave a disadvantage in attracting the opposite sex for mating). Evolution occurred over centuries in terms of times, and considers natural selection. An analogy is ‘survival of the fittest’ in which ‘fit’ means you’re able to survive in the environment you live in. Ex. If the only habitable place is a high place, people that can reach that place would be more fit, because they can survive in that environment. Ex: in the past, being big and strong is an asset in surviving in a past where you had to hunt and fight other beasts. Because of this, females are attracted to big and strong even today, but in the past that was attractive because a big and strong man meant they could be better protected, they had better access to food, and the offspring can become big and strong. Females were considered attractive, even on a global scale, who had a specific waist size, because those females would be able to bear children better in the past. Today, the hip-to-waist ratio is irrelevant with our medical advantages, but they are still considered the primary attractive figures. These features are irrelevant today, but they had an impact in the past, it’s just that evolution has not changed those up yet. Today, the environment is different (you could say that people with a lot of money would be more attractive) Slide 2: Darwin noticed that certain species were in certain islands, and had features that matched where they were on the island. Ex: birds had strong beaks in a place with thick nuts. Artificial selection: horse breeding, dog breeding; these were breeding that were done by people to create animals of interest. People knew that the traits are inherited from the parents, but not why. This selection showed Darwin that features can be passed down, but it was done by humans. Maybe the same gist happens in nature, but the animals cho
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