Evolution Lecture No. 32: Social Interactions I
Friday November 30 , 2012
EVOLUTION & HUMAN HEALTH:
Fever In Chickenpox:
-If acetaminophen lowers the onset of fever (a symptom of chickenpox), does it result in more
symptoms? In chickenpox patients that took acetaminophen, itching due to chickenpox was prolonged,
suggesting that there may be a benefit to having fever-like symptoms (inconclusive due to statistically-
Fever During A Cold:
-Cold medication seems to prolong symptoms in the common cold as well, but perhaps through
affecting the immune system and not necessarily through fever reduction (either reducing fever or
-Evolutionary theory predicts parents to invest more in genetic offspring than step offspring. The data
shows the behaviours of the father (either parenting genetic or step offspring) and that he interacted
way more with genetic offspring (consistent with hypothesis).
-Do interactions depend on the length of association? In 14 homes where the father had genetic and
step offspring, the percent interaction (whether positive of agonistic) is dependent upon genetics, and
not the length of association between parent and offspring.
-Are there any health consequences of being a step child? Well, step children were recorded to have
higher incidences of the long-term stress hormone cortisol than genetic offspring and as a result of this,
missed more school (were ill more often). Other factors that may have influenced this such as
socioeconomic status were taken into consideration).
-In terms of the long-term effects of being raised as a step child, both males and females that were
raised as without a step parent matured to have a higher amount of offspring (higher reproductive
success). Other factors to consider could be the fact that from 1974-1983, there was an increased risk in
Canada for children to be killed by their step parent.
Types Of Social Interactions:
-There are 4 major kinds of behaviours between individuals in terms of costs and benefits to the actor
and recipient of the interaction: cooperative (both actor and recipient benefit), selfish (the actor
benefits but the recipient is harmed), altruistic (the recipient benefits but the actors is harmed), and spiteful (both actor and recipient are harmed). In nature, the order of social interactions in the order
that they frequently occur is as follows: self