Biological evolution: Changes that take place in the genetic and physical characteristics of a
population or group of organisms over time. Darwin's theory that is not he primary
explanation of the origin of life.
Adaptive significance: The effectiveness of behaviour in aiding organisms to adjust to
changing environmental conditions.
xNovelty seeking: the tendency to engage in behaviours that lead to new experiences.
xPsychologists might research how past environmental conditions favoured novelty seeking
over more conservative reactions and how immediate environmental influences day-to-day
Ultimate causes: Evolutionary conditions that have slowly shaped the behaviour of a species
Proximate causes: Immediate environment events and conditions that affect behaviour.
Evolutionary psychology: The branch of psychology that studies the ways in which an
organism's evolutionary history contributes to the development of behavioural patterns and
cognitive strategies related to reproduction and survival during its lifetime. Help understand
evolution of culture.
Culture: The sum of socially transmitted knowledge, customs, and behaviour patterns
common to a particular group of people.
xPsychologists look at how thinking and behaviour shape cultural adaptations to changing
xAlfred Russell Wallace: theory of natural selection same time as Darwin, yet Darwin's work is
Artificial selection: A procedure in which animals are deliberately mated to produce
offspring that possess particularly desirable characteristics.
Natural Selection: The consequence of the fact that, because there are physical and
behavioural differences among organisms, they reproduce differently. Within a given
population, some animals and survivors will produce more offspring than will other animals.
Any animal that possesses a characteristic that helps it to survive/adapt to changes in the
environment is likely to live longer and produce more offspring.
xIndividuals show variation within a population, and environments ability to sustain a
population is limited-producing competition.
Reproductive success: The number of viable offspring an individual produces relative to the
number of viable offspring produced by other members of the same species.
xVariation and competition are critical factors that determine whether any particular animal
and offspring enjoy reproductive success.
Variation: The differences found across individuals of any given species in terms of their
genetics, biological (size, strength, physiology), and psychological (intelligence, sociability,
behaviour) characteristics. Genotype and phenotype are factors responsible for variation
Genotype: An organism's genetic makeup. Differs in all individuals (except identical twins)
Phenotype: The outward expression of an organism's genotype; an organism's physical
appearance and behaviour. Produced by interaction btw genotype and environment
Competition: A striving or vying with others who share the same ecological niche for food,
xOther hominid species lived before us.
xArdipithecus ramidus (4.4 million yrs ago in Africa)
xAustralopithecus anamensis and Australopithecus afrensis, exhibited bipedalism (the ability