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Lecture 7

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY230H1
Professor
Maja Djikic
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 7- Evolutionary Approach ( pg.299-345) Evolutionary -The behavior patterns we see today are patterns that survived in Perspective our ancestors because they were more likely to ensure survival and reproduction Domain The premises of evolutionary psychology Specificity -Domain specificity (very few behaviors that will benefit across diff domains) -Adaptations are presumed to be domain-specific in the sense that they are designed by the evolutionary process to solve a particular adaptive problem -Evolution tends to fashion specific mechanisms for each adaptive problem. Numerousnes -Human mind contains a large number of psychological s mechanisms that have helped humans survive and reproduce -For example, common fears and phobias: snakes, heights, darkness, spiders, cliff edges, snakes -It is because the number of hazardous, hostile forces in nature has been so large- so we had to evolve to stay alive -We are likely to have psychological mechanism for selection of mates, the detection of cheaters in social exchanges, the favoring of habitats, the rearing of children, and formation of strategic alliances. Functionality -The notion that our psychological mechanisms are designed to accomplish particular adaptive goals ex. certain behaviors don’t make sense till you think of them in adaptive behavior -So, we can’t understand our preferences, without inquiring about the function of such preferences. The Big Five -“the most important features of the social landscape the humans have had to adapt to.” (Buss, 1995) Dominance vs. submission? -Who is likely to rise in social hierarchy, and hence gain access to status and position in the social hierarchy -Very apt at describing it and perceiving it in words? Perception of willingness to cooperate? -Who is likely to be a good cooperator and reciprocator, and who will be a loyal friend or romantic partner? -Agreeableness.. Recognition of reliability, trust? -Who will be reliable and dependable in times of need and work industriously to provide resources?- Conscientiousness…. Appreciating another’s expertise? -Who can I go to for sage advice? -Openness Stability in interaction? -Who will be a drain on my resources, encumber me with their problems, monopolize my time, and fail to cope well with adversity?- Neuroticism.. Hard to think of it in terms of evolution -We don’t know how they could have been adaptive in the past Need to -Hogan (1983) argued that the most basic human motivators are belong status and acceptance by the group (Baumeister -This is the origin and function of social anxiety - a distress or &Leary, 1995) worry about being negatively evaluated in social situations -You’re worried about you and your status in society- need to belong is very intense -Intense fear of rejection is based on people who were socially rejected simply perished -Why important (why we’re selected to care what people think) 1) Protection (outside of group, don’t have protection) 2) Finding mates (outside of group, no mates for you) 3) Sharing food, information, etc (psych study where computer program when throwing ball– if you get ball less, pain system activated) 4) Groups contain concentration of kin, allowing opportunities to receive altruism and invest in genetic relatives -Social rejection and exclusion are mediated by components of the physical pain system. -The fact people use words such as “hurt, wounded, damaged” when socially excluded reflects this -Ancient form of punishment - exile, exclusion from the group Universal -Emotions are signaling systems that tell you where you stand in Emotions relation to your goal -Emotions are interpreted in the same way across cultures (Ekman)- we have gotten used to manipulating others with our emotions -Emotions guide persons toward goals that would have conferred fitness in ancestral environments (e.g. pleasure one feels having one’s status rise in the group) and away from goals that would have interfered with fitness (e.g. getting beaten up or abused) -“Manipulation hypothesis” - emotions are designed to exploit the psychological mechanisms of other people Sex -Males and females will be the same or similar in domains in Differences which the sexes have faced the same or similar adaptive problems -(e.g. similar temperature regulation mechanisms, similar taste preferences, similar adaptations to thermal regulation, etc.) -Evolutionarily -predicted sex differences - the sexes will differ in precisely those domains where women and men have faced different sorts of adaptive problems- men and women face different problems when they mate Sex -Long evolutionary history of violence Differences in -Ancient skeletal remains with cranial and rib fractures, with Aggression weapon fragments sometimes found lodged in skeletal rib cages -Most violence against men is committed by other men- because of reproductive ceiling -Most homicides - committed by men (86%), with victims also men (80%) Ceiling for -Ceiling for men is so much higher reproduction -The difference between haves and have nots, are greater for M is higher for than for F males -Among males, a few males will produce many offspring, whereas some will have none at all - his is known as effective polygyny -The greater the variance in reproduction, the more ferocious the competition within the sex that shows greater variance. -Poor women could have kids but men couldn’t? -The more intense effective polygyny, the more sexually dismorphic the species (highly different in size and structure) oHuman species are mildly sexually dismorphic (with males 12% larger than females) oChimpanzee males are twice as large as females- often are alpha males oElephant seal males are four times as large as females oThe larger males have gotten larger through sexual compeition -If some males gain more than their fair share in reproduction, others are shut out entirely, banished from contributing to the ancestry of future generations -Effective polygyny selects for risky strategies, including those that lead to violent combat with rivals and those that lead to increased risk taking to acquire the resources needed to attract members of the high-investing sex- men will attack alpha male even if high risk of death -Men are the victims of aggression because it is other men who block any given man’s access to women Sex -Fertilization is internal (unseen) - thus, men have risked Differences in investing in children who were not their own. jealousy -On the other hand, the fact that the woman’s mate is having sex with another woman is not risky to her reproductive success - only if she lost her mate’s resources, time, commitment, and investment, all of which could be diverted to another woman Imagining -Men are far more distressed than women when imagining their partner partners having sexual intercourse with someone else emotional -Their heart rate goes up 5 beats per minute (which is like bond or sex drinking 3 cups of coffee at one time) -their skin conductance increases, their frown response is visible -Women are more distressed when imagining their partners becoming emotionally involved with someone else -Separating sexual and emotional aspect of infidelity -Sexual aspect of the infidelity more upsetting (63% M & 13% F) -Emotional aspect of infidelity more upsetting (87% F & 37% M) Alternatives -Different ‘beliefs’ about sexual and emotional involvement to (DeSteny & Salovey, 1996) evolutionary -‘Double shot of infidelity’ different for men and women (women Perspective think that having an emotional relationship will lead to sex, men think passionate sex will lead to emotional attachment) Sex -Clark & Hatfield, 1989 conducted a study in which experimental differences in confederates approached people of the opposite sex. After desire for introducing themselves, they said, sexual variety -“Hi, I’ve been noticing you around campus lately, and I find you very attractive. Would you go out on a date with me tonight?” -A different group was asked: “Would you go back to my apartment with me tonight?” -And a third group was asked: “Would you have sex with me tonight?” -Women less likely to just have sex without getting anything in return -In the sex condition, the women approached were insulted, the men approached were flattered Sex -Men focused more on physical appearance (cues to fertility) differences in -Women focused more on financial resources and the qualities mate selection that lead to such resources -Data: Ranking 1-10 (1- most desirable characteristics) -physical attractiveness (M- 4.04; F-6.26) -earning potential (M-9.92; F-8.04) -Survival v. potential based systems -Ex. do you want a high paying job or a job that you enjoy Limitations of . We can not go back in time and determine with absolute evolutionary certainty what the precise selective forces on humans have been perspective? 2. Evolutionary scientists have just scratched the surface understanding the nature, details, and design features of evolved psychological mechanisms 3. Modern conditions are undoubtedly different from ancestral conditions, so what was adaptive in the past might not be adaptive in the present - selection pressures have changed 4. It is easy to come up with different and competing evolutionary hypothesis for the same phenomena 5. Some evolutionary hypotheses have been framed in ways that are too vague to be of much scientific value. 6. It cannot hypothesize about a large variety of behaviors that fall entirely outside its underlying hypotheses (use of contraception, homosexuality). Biological -The study of the physical basis of personality can be divided into Approach three different approaches: -Anatomical (how anatomical structures affects behavior) -Biochemical (biochemical basis of personality; or how neurotransmitters and hormones affect behavior) -Genetic (gene-transmitted temperaments and behaviors) Anatomy of -The overall function of animal and human brain seems to be personality about the same – they both control perception and behavior -Basic anatomy shows striking consistency of design across widely diverse species -Human brain appears to be three brains in one: Reptilian brain, Mammalian brain, Uniquely human brain Reptilian -The core of human brain, the basic structure around which the brain rest of the organ is built -Called reptilian because the structure is not much different from that of the brain of a lizard Reptalian brain includes: Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Amygdala, Pons, Cerebellum -Reptiles can: Seek food, Defend territory, Establish dominance hierarchies, Court mates, Migrate -However, the complex behavior in reptiles are generally made up of instincts or “fixed action patterns” that are inborn rather than learned ex. reptile eating fly– can’t tell diff between real fly and paper fly -These are rigid and inflexible, in contrast to more flexible behavior of mammals Paleomammal -The second, “paleomammalian” brain is wrapped around outside ian (limbic) the reptilian brain Brain -It’s structures are newer, and made of extra cortex, or outer tissue -The cortical tissue is believed to provide mammals with their greater flexibility and ability to learn, compared to reptiles -When the two brains, the reptilian and paleomammalian, are taken together, they look like the brain of a typical nonhuman mammal, such as a cat, a dog, or a rat. -In humans, these two portions of the brain make up most of the limbic system -The limbic system is believed to be the basis of: emotion, motivation, appetite, fear, curiosity, learning, memory, etc. Neomammalia -Part of the brain that is uniquely human- things only humans do n Brain -‘Neomammalian’ brain, which is wrapped around the other two parts is the cerebral cortex -It is a thick outer layer of tissue held to be the seat of planning, language, self-awareness, cognitive functions of which only humans are capable -The cerebral cortex contains large areas of tissue that do not seem necessary to receive inputs from sensory organs, but are necessary to interpret sensory inputs -These areas are called the association cortices -Their function is assumed to involve combining inputs from the various
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