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Lecture 3

PSYC18 - Lecture 3.docx

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Michelle Hilscher

PSYC18 – Lecture 3 Prof’s Speech - Purple Slide 10 – What is the origin of Life? - Depends who you ask th - Christians in 16 century Europe: o Special creation: God created the universe and all life - Special creation Implies: immutable species - Fossil records question special creation - Yet, the fossil record reveals: o 1. Species change o 2. Speciation o 3. Extinction – some plants/animals lost over time Slide 11 – Early Evolutionary Theories - E.g. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) - Transmutation of species was explained by principle of inheritance of acquired characteristics - Transmutation – how species changed ove r time o Modifications to the physical body of a particular organism was due to the increased or decreased use of the body part o Changes were then passed onto offspring o E.g. weightlifter – offspring of weightlifter would be born with muscles o E.g. blind birds – taped bird’s eyes and offspring then born blind - Oversight: soft heredity, phenotype vs. genotype - Soft heredity – mistaking phenotype for genotype – not what heredity is now - Assumed behaviour and emotions are genetically based Slide 12 – Non-evolutionary Precursors to Darwin - Charles Lyell (1797-1875) - Key problem that he addresses… - Lyell addresses that the Earth is thought to be young, but fossil records show changes happen very gradually – if the Earth is young there would not have been enough time to observe the changes - Principles of Geology: he looked at the layers of the Earth and found that the Earth is actually much older - Earth older than originally thought - 100 million years, not 2000-3000 years - Meaning - there is enough time for species change Slide 13 – Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) - English political economist - Population growth rate > food growth rate o Population grows more quickly than food - Inevitably… creates a struggle for existence o Because the rates are not equal, there will be a struggle, survival of the fittest - Fittest organism favoured - What determines fitness? o The fittest is the best adapted to the environment – included physical, emotional, behavioural characteristics Slide 14 – Darwin and The Voyage of the Beagle - Charles Darwin (1809-1882) - Voyage of the Beagle (1831-1836) o Darwin boarded the Beagle because the captain of the ship thought he would go mad from boredom - Gentleman’s companion of captain - Observations o Observed that there are many different species in existence o A single species has many differences within it/between individuals  i.e. size of beak o Islands differed in food provided  Dominant food: big nuts, small seeds – which was relevant to the size of the bird’s beak Slide 15 – Darwin’s Natural Selection - Results from: - Natural selection relies on a combination of 3 things  Need for within species competition  There has to be many individuals vying for food, shelter materials, mates  Heritable variation  Phenotype tied to genotype  There has to be physical, behavioural, emotional characteristics that are genetically based, varying across individuals  Otherwise they would be identical and the stage would not be set for natural selection  Conditions that favour heritable variations  i.e. peppered moths o physical characteristic o before the industrial revolution – white moths were more numerous than black moths o with the industrial revolution – change was induced  Coal was being burnt, poached bark of birch trees turned black, white moths were then getting predated more o Spotted moths then prospered  The white moths had to go where they was no burning coal – no change to birch trees and therefore no change in white moths  i.e. phototropism o psychological trait; preference o moth in T.O. – one subspecies likes light (phototrophic), the other dislikes light o introduction of patio warmers in T.O. – light source that is hot; environmental condition that selects for particular psychological condition o phototrophic moths go to light, get zapped Slide 16 – Sexual Selection - Making it to sexual maturity = basic survival o Natural selection lets us reach the age of sexual selection o Attracting a mate may go against the trait naturally selected for - Sexual prowess = a different thing altogether - Self-preservation vs. self-propagation o The pressure to reproduce brings emotion into speculation  Emotions serve functions in life that help with self-preservation and self- propagation o Direct vs. indirect propagation of genes  Direct: have babies to pass genes onto  Indirect: helping with kin of others (i.e. siblings) - Might they interfere? - Which behaviors and emotions o Help us survive? o Help us to reproduce? o Help us pass our genes to the next generation? - To ask this question we presume that emotions serve functions: orienting (identifying that there is a problem), organizing (organizing a response), interacting Slide 18 – Darwin’s Study of Emotional Expressions - The expression of emotions in man and animals (1872) - How are emotions expressed in the face? - What noises do animals make when emotional? - Darwin observed his children - Compared the facial expression of actors to the mentally-ill, where the actors had posed expressions and the mentally-ill had spontaneous ones - Expression = face + vocalizations and also body (tension, posture) + movements o Emotional expression is not only about the face, but also the body – how you hold the body, move limbs Slide 19 – Emotional Expressions as Adaptations - Emotional expressions were thought by Darwin to be an adaptation - Emotional expressions: o Actions that are used to directly aid with survival  E.g. cat’s ears, wolves mouthing o And at that time, performed in conjunction with felt emotion  E.g. anger, happiness and gratitude Slide 20 - Emotion expression is an intention movement – it suggests what actions may follow – telling others what you may do; what may happen depending on how the organism is feeling o E.g. violence, submission - Emotion expressions happen all the time - As such, emotional expressions may save organisms from carrying out elaborate suite of actions themselves; saves organisms from going through conflict o Expression is a better survival guarantee - Eventually, expression occurs even in situations where the action is useless or unnecessary Slide 21 – Darwin, Antithesis, and Overflows - Antithesis principle – about the fact that when you want someone to approach you, you don’t want them to think you are in a poor mood - Not adaptive if happy cat is mistaken for sad cat - Approach is the opposite of avoid - Approach and avoid signals need to be distinctive - Overflows – puzzling gestures, vocalizations o Certain gestures, vocalizations don’t make sense o When you feel a particular emotion, nervous system is creating too much energy, leading to engagement in undirected behaviour - Have no function, but are release of pent-up energy Slide 22 – Criticisms of Darwin - 1. Anthropomorphic o Darwin ascribes human qualities to animals, i.e. emotions - 2. Anecdotal o Darwin’s work is anecdotal, but his work is still supported - Even so, a wealth of modern evidence supports Darwin: o Facial expression research  Cross-cultural and cross-species  With children o Neural and endocrine research Slide 23 – Facial expression research - Some level of universality across cultures, species and in children – suggests innate qualities - 6 basic emotions are recognized and expressed o Fear, anger, disgust, happy, surprise, sadness - Suggests: nature not nurture drives emotional expression - Emotional expressions are a product of evolutionary past, not immediate environment or socialization Slide 24 – Neuroendocrine research briefly - Emotions are products of the body involving: o Brain and spinal cord, sensory and motor nerves – give rise and shape emotions o Central and peripheral nervous system processes o Neurochemical and hormonal states o Similarity across individuals, artificial induction  Similarity at level of the nervous system in expression of emotion  Sadness is accompanied by a particular suite of bodily and brain activity o Emotion = innate, not acquired Slide 25 – Evolution and the Body - Different ways the human body causes emotions and responds to the world - Different
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