18 January 2011
Psych 178 – Lecture 5
The Person as a Machine – mechanical/physical sciences.
Sociobiology – Personal Experience
The theory is much better at the subhuman level because there are many phenomena which are contrary to
the sexual survival theory: homosexuality, suicide, declining birth rates…
• The deceit for men is that they are more caring than they actually are and women’s deceit is that “sexual
favours will come later”
• One girl’s parents found out her brother was homosexual and started giving her all the resources so that
she can have children and pass on the genes.
o Why homosexuality has survived has been theorized to be due to the fact that the gene for
homosexuality is connected to a gene that provides protection against some illness – like sickle cell
• Grandparents are more likely to try to have more children if they have a lot of daughters.
• Hugh Hefner marrying the 24 year old – makes sense socioblologically because he is a wealthy high status
Ultimate determinant of behaviour – genetic survival (distal)
• We eat so we can survive and then reproduce.
• We go to school, get a good job (more resources), attract a mate and then reproduce.
There is no real proof for this but there are many inferences from observations of behaviour.
Physical Sciences – Proximal Determinants of Behaviour
• How much do you eat?
• How do you predict a grade point average?
• What do you have to know to predict whether a person will go eat?
o Hunger level
o How good of a friend they are/nature of relationship
o How good the food is/food quality
o Activity in progress/alternatives (what he is already doing)/Prior plans
o Cost/Who is paying?
• First separate the determinants of behaviour and then calculate their influence mathematically.
o Motivation = hunger x incentive –(cost + other plans)
o Motivation = a x b – (c + d)
Spinach vs. Ice Cream
• Children are expected to run 3 miles an hour for spinach if they have not eaten for 3 hours.
• Children are expected to run 10 miles an hour for spinach if they have not eaten for 9 hours.
• Children are expected to run 13 miles an hour for ice cream if they have not eaten for 3 hours.
• Children are expe