LECTURE 1: SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2012
TOPIC: GENETIC CONTRIBUTIONS
➔ We are now using edition 6 for the textbook
➔ Corrections to course outline: Chapter 1 → OK, Chapter 2 → genetic contributions, Chapter 3
→ physiological arousal, Chapter 7 → Hedonism and additional lecture material on genetic
➔ Review corrected syllabus
➔ Christina TA → last nameA-L andAshley is M-Z
➔ Genetic Contributions: Summary of Evolution-Motivation Relationship
➔ 1) Evolution: changes and adaptations beneficial to personal and genetic survival →
personal survival (based on individual), Charles Darwin, genetics *(reproductive success)*,
genetic survival is based on reproductive success to carry genes into the next generation
➔ 2) Motivation: patterns of behavior in the service of needs both physical and
psychological → physical needs can be aspects like hunger (motivated to address this need, so
we develop ways of obtaining this), food, sex, sleep, thirst, safety and security, temperature
control (hot & cool) (protective and restorative functions) –Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (p.
335). The need to belong and derive: warmth and security for our psychological survival and
not just physical. Warmth → belonging, attachment, need to embrace what others offer
(affection, a bond). We have homeostatic mechanisms in the body that apply to hunger, sleep,
warmth and so on. Physiological needs and safety are more physical while belonging, esteem
and self actualization are more psychological.
➔ We may have evolved a disposition for self-protection under certain circumstances therefore
causing us to use aggression fight or flight reaction.Aggression is a result of an interplay
between heredity and environment, between nature and nurture, genes and experience. Cannot
say it is exclusively in the genes and biological because it is also the result of social aspects.
Darwin's theories about species caused people to believe aggression was biological. But
anthropologists show that aggression across cultures is not fixed therefore it can be seen as the
result of social conditioning.
➔ Margaret Mead → her studies of New Guinea tribes → two tribal groups where one was
aggressive and the other passive. Both are a part of the human species so therefore aggression is
not because of genes but based on conditioning and experience. One group men and women
were aggressive and the other they were peaceful. Children in the aggressive group were taught
to be that way at a young age (child rearing), the peaceful parents used indulgence on their
children (nurtured them). In born dispositions that interact with the environment (play together
→ formation, inhibits → less likely to manifest). Example: height may be genetically
influenced but the kind of health can create children taller than their parents. Genes interact
with environment. Mead located the disposition by looking at how the children were reared.
➔ Chapter One page 5 → Rat Study (Operante conditioning chamber (rat is motivated to press
lever to get pellet of food, spends more time in area where food can be received, pays attention
to stimuli in the vicinity of the pellet, rat realizes there is a relationship between what I do and
what I get. Learns which responses are related to a reward and which are connected to
punishment→ operation definitions → what the organism does in a particular situation.
Understanding behavior → helps us to form a simpler prototype of it (control and manipulation
experiments). Systematically manipulate variables to see what happens → form hypotheses and
start to think of pride and courage and so on differently because we can now apply theories.
Stimulus in this study is 48 hours of food deprivation (can be observed and manipulated). Deprivation → withholding food (operation). Response → start box to goal box. Rat is
motivated to learn the maze an has a need. Response (observe rat run through maze). 48 hours
food deprivation → rat learns quicker than if it were only 5 hours of deprivation. OR at 48
hours the rat may be weak and the rat deprived 15 hours may be quicker at learning. Deprived
too much → too weak to learn, not deprived enough → not motivated to act.
➔ Biology reduced to DNA, chemistry to elements, physics to atoms → Hypothetical Constructs
➔ Physical survival → reproductive survival
➔ 3) Relationship between evolution and motivation: a. evolved motivational patterns act in
the service of primary life processes, b. metabolism and reproduction are fundamental life
processes that assist in the survival of the organism and its continuance through genetic
➔ 4) Thus, the evolution of fundamental life processes act in concert with evolved
motivational dispositions to assist the organism in personal and genetic survival. Processes
that benefit the organism and species tend to be preserved and are genetically transmitted
over time benefit future offspring generations → these patterns are repeated because they
serve our well-being (i.e. habits). Habit develops and is preserved because it serves us well and
is therefore repeated.
➔ Serve our best interest, fulfill fundamental, physic