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Lecture 10

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Carolyn Ensley

MIDTERM 2 -- MARCH 7 ----- CHAPTERS 3, 8, 9  Iclicker questions:  Getting a gene doesn't mean you'll get a disorder   More issues on sociobiology  Men "should" be more jealous but aren't  Should be concerned about whether or not their resources are going to their actual offspring  Also, the idea that we have "evolved" gender roles is problematic because people have changed  The Fred Flintstone Problem  Humans have changed since we may have had an advantage if we were promiscuous males and picky females  Smell, taste, bone structure changed, maybe when we started with agriculture  Also, we currently know a lot more people than we did 11, 000 years ago, so social factors are different  Shouldn't assume that evolutionary theory can explain mate selection in 2013  Genes and Behaviour  The nature/nurture issue isn't clear  One other applied example of the debate b/w nature and nurture is the issue of language  Behaviourists and Language  In early 20th century, behaviourists presumed that all language was LEARNED  Reinforced for using it correctly  Getting needs met (primary reinforcer)  Praise (secondary reinforcer)  Parents would correct incorrect use of language  Could use primary or secondary punishers  Our Human Heritage: Language  Language  System that combines meaningless elements such as sounds or gestures to form structured utterances that convey meaning  Surface structure: way sentence is spoken  Deep structure: how sentence is to be understood  Evidence Supporting Chomsky  Children in different cultures go through similar stages of linguistic development  Children combine words in ways that adults never would  Adults don't consistently correct their children's syntax, yet children learn to speak correctly anyway  Children not exposed to adult language might invent a language of their own  Infants as young as 7 months can derive simple linguistic rules from a string of sounds  Learning and Language  Other scholars argue environment plays larger role in language (not all innate)  Computer neural networks: mathematical models of the brain that can "learn" some aspects of language  Other arguments: major differences in acquisition, parents recast sentences rather than corrections, children imitate recasts and expansions  Heritability  High number means genes explain variability  Doesn't mean that genes CAUSE variability  Very important point  When environments are very similar then heritability goes up  VARIATION can't be explained by environment anymore  As genes become less variable the impact of the environment becomes a better explanation of variability  Heritability is all about variation  Inheritance is all about the lack of variation  When psychologists talked about heritability what they're talking about is almost entirely useless to us! END CHAPTER 3 START CHAPTER 8: BEHAVIOUR IN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT  Psychosocial?  Mohammed Atta was described as religious and concerned with social justice  Helped carry out 9/11  Hutu nuns helped with Tutsi genocide in Rwanda  Eichman who was a high ranking Nazi claimed he was "not a monster"  All were likely influenced by social factors  Social and cultural psychology attempt to explain what social and cultural issues can influence behaviour  Roles and Rules  Norms  Rules that regulate social life, including explicit law and implicit conventions  Role  A given social position that's governed by set of norms for proper behaviour  Social roles shaped by culture  Norms  Law: you can't beat up other people except in self defense  Social understanding: self defense includes defending one's honour in some cases  Implicit understanding: don't sing in public  People are more likely to break norms if they other people doing so  Broken rules in dirty street with graffiti  People are more likely to follow rules if they see others doing it  Towel recycling study; more people reused when they saw a sign that said "more than 50% of people reuse towels"  Culture and Roles  Culture  Program of shared rules that govern the behaviour of people in a community/society  Set of values, beliefs, and customs shared by most members of that community  Ex., cultural differences in conversational distance  Norms and Conformity  People tend to conform  We NEED to obey rules, we couldn't function as a group w/o them  People tend to use their cultural norms wherever they are  What makes people conform and obey?  Stanley Milgram wanted to know and created a famous set of experiments to study it  The Obedience Study  Milgram designed series of studies to test whether people would obey an authority figure when directly ordered to violate their ethical standards  Learner = confederate  Teacher = participant  Experimenter = authority figure  Task involved teacher giving "electric shock" to learner when incorrectly answered word pair questions  Milgram found that most people were far more obedient than anyone expected  Every single participant administered some shock to the learner when told to do so  2/3 of participants shocked the learner to the maximum level (labelled 450V or XXX)  Recent research has replicated these results even
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