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Lecture 8

01:830:338 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Inclusive Fitness, Human Nature, Inductive Reasoning

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Professor Lyra Stein

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Chapter 8
Evolutionary Perspectives on Personality
Chapter Outline
Evolution and Natural Selection
ď‚·All humans today come from an unbroken line of ancestors who accomplished two
tasks: They survived to reproductive age, and they reproduced
We carry adaptations that led to our ancestors’ success
ď‚·Human nature and human personality are made up of a collection of evolved
ď‚·Before Darwin, two features of evolution were recognized: Change over time and
apparent adaptation to environment
Natural Selection
ď‚·Darwin revolutionized biology by proposing a theory of the process by which
adaptations are created and changes take place over time—natural selection
ď‚·More offspring produced than can survive and reproduce
ď‚·Changes or variants that better enabled an organism to survive and reproduce
lead to more descendants
Descendants inherit variants that led to their ancestors’ success
ď‚·Thus, successful variants are selected and unsuccessful variants are weeded
ď‚·Over time, successful variants come to characterize entire species
ď‚·Adaptations; inherited solutions to survival and reproductive problems posed
by hostile forces of nature
Sexual Selection
ď‚·Darwin noticed that many mechanisms seemed to threaten survival, such as
the peacock’s elaborate plumage and the stag’s large antlers
Darwin proposed evolution by sexual selection as solution—these traits
evolved because they contributed to an individual’s mating success
ď‚·Two forms of sexual selection
ď‚·Intrasexual competition: Members of the same sex compete with each
other for sexual access to members of the other sex
ď‚·Intersexual competition: Members of one sex choose a mate based on
their preferences for particular qualities in that mate
Genes and Inclusive Fitness
Gene—packet of DNA inherited by children from parents; smallest discrete
unit inherited without being broken up
ď‚·Discovery of the gene as a unit of inheritance led to key discovery, that
natural selection and sexual selection are different forms of the same process
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