ASM 104 Lecture 7: ASM 104 - Module 7 - The Evolution of Human Behavior

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In this module, we will discuss the evolution of behavior. The evolution of behavior differs from the evolution of other characters in two important ways. First, much behavior involves the interaction of different individuals, and this leads to new selective processes like sexual selection and kin selection. Second, much behavior is learned and this creates a more complex relationship between selection and phenotype. This is especially true for humans because we depend heavily on cultural learning. In this module, we begin be examining the new selective processes that shape behavior in the context of non-human primate. We then discuss how natural selection shapes learning and other forms of cognition, and finally apply these ideas to understand the evolution of human behavior and culture. We will see that sometimes human behavior can be understood using the same ideas as other primates, but other times culture profoundly changes how we behave.

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