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Lecture 2

Week 2

13 Pages
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Marc A Fournier

Week 2 Lecture: Human Evolution Overview of Week 2 Lectures Part I. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory Part II. The Attachment System Part III. The Rank System Overview of Part I The Evolutionary Process Products of the Evolutionary Process Personality as a Product of the Evolutionary Process The Evolutionary Process - The three basic elements of the evolutionary process: Variation the idea that organisms vary in our design features (skinnylarger, tallshort) Inheritance not all but some of these design features are inheritable; passed on to some extent to their progeny; acquired features dont pass on but the ones that have genetic bases; if environmental challenges stay the same over a long period of time, those traits that equip organisms to survive will become so frequent that they become typical of the species that virtually all members of the species will have the trait Selection the idea that design features, to a greater or a lesser extent, can influence our capacities to survive and reproduce; and if these design feature can be passed on and can contribute to our survival and reproductive success then those traits will appear in greater frequencies in future generations - The evolutionary theory traces back to Charles Darwin - Any psychological theory must be consistent with evolutionary theory if we imagine it to be correct, therefore so does any personality theories Natural Selection - Is one of two evolutionary processes that Darwin imagines - It is the evolution of adaptive characteristics bc of the survival benefits bestowed on those having them - The long neck of the giraffe is the product of natural selection pressures the longer necked giraffes had the greatest reach for food as a result survived and reproduced successively; with each successive generations giraffes with shortest necks survived and reproduces less frequently and neck length has genetic bases and over generations there was an increasing frequency of long necks and now it is characteristic of the specie - The trait is contributing to the survival of the species Sexual Selection - At the same time of working on the natural selection theory, Darwin was struggling with a troubling observation that there were traits that some species seem to have and they seem to be functional at the very least to the species but they also seemed to be selected by natural selection - Ex: Peacocks tail; why would they be selected when it makes them vulnerable to predation - Sexual selection is the evolution of adaptive characteristics bc of the reproductive benefits bestowed on those having them - They may even be selective for in spite of the fact they impact survival negatively Intrasexual Competition o e.g., stags antlers the larger the antler the better equipped to fight and the more equipped to secure mates; saying this trait is heritable then more successful males with large males will pass it on to male offspring - same sex competition - it capitalizes on the observation very frequently in the natural, members of one sex will compete with each other for access to the opposite sex - Quite frequently, we will see that it is the male of the species that are in competition for access to female - Those traits that enable one to compete successfully against ones own sex will therefore be ensured that that male reproduces more successfully and it that trait has inheritable bases then the offspring will have those traits as well Intersexual Selection o e.g., peacocks plumage - often males are competing against each other for the access of mate (intrasexual competition) while females are in the position to choose their mates - if the female population has a consensus of whats desirable in the males of the species, those males that have those traits will be chosen as mates more often and they will reproduce successfully more often and those desirable traits will be passed on
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