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The Evolutionary Perspective Notes

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University of Pittsburgh
PSY 0160

9/24 The Evolutionary Perspective Evolution • Natural Selection: gradual, non-random process by which biological processes become more or less common by increasing or decreasing rates of offspring survival o Sexual Selection: applies to processes that affect natural selection o Inclusive Fitness: in order to pass on genes, you need to survive, reproduce  Genetic Similarity Theory: we are more attracted to people who are like us; we help those who are like us pass on their genesaltruism Evolutionary Psychology • How did certain behaviors increase the rate of survival and reproduction of our ancestors? o Helps to explain species-typical adaptations • What about individual differences? o Sex Differences  Occur in areas where males and females faced different adaptive problems  Ex. Jealousy—men are more jealous of sexual infidelity and women are more jealous of emotional infidelity. This reflects the idea that men want to procreate more and women want a man who is emotionally invested in her and her children.  Ex. Men value looks while women value financial resources—men have a desire to mate with the most fertile women while women have a desire for a mate that can support them Evolution and Individual Differences • All differences are due to environmental influences o Maybe we are all really similar, evolution changes us o This theory has been debunked—there is a genetic component 9/24 • Maybe differences are a non-adaptive side effect of reproduction • May reflect strategies for increasing inclusive fitness o People have different approaches for passing on genes  Want to invest in a relationship  Want to invest in many relationships  Want to be a very good father **All result in the same number of offspring o Differences are a product of evolving in different environments  Some areas were more densely populated than others, had a limit of people that could survive o Maybe it is adaptive (in any environment) to have variability in personalities  Ex. different personalities don’t clash, each niche can help one another Domain Benefits Costs Extraversion Mating success; social Physical risks; family allies; environmental stability exploration Neuroticism Vigilance to dangers; striving Stress & depression, with and competitiveness interpersonal & health consequences Openness Creativity, with effect on Unusual beliefs, psychosis attractiveness Conscientiousne Attention to long-term fitness Missing of immediate fitness ss benefits; life expectancy and gains; obsessionality; rigidity desirable social qualities Agreeableness Attention to mental states of Subject to social cheating; others; harmonious failure to maximize selfish interpersonal relationships; advantage valued coalitional partner 9/24 Behavioral Genetics and Personality • The extent to which individual differences in behavior are inherited • Twin Studies o Compared pairs of monozygotic twins to dizygotic twins o Correl
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