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.
N Novelty seeking: the tendency to engage in behaviours that lead to new experiences.
N Psychologists 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.
N Psychologists look at how thinking and behaviour shape cultural adaptations to changing
N Alfred 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.
N Individuals 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.
N Variation 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,
N Other hominid species lived before us.
N Ardipithecus ramidus (4.4 million yrs ago in Africa)
N Australopithecus anamensis and Australopithecus afrensis, exhibited bipedalism (the ability
www.notesolution.com to walk upright on two feet)3.8-3 million yrs ago (shows ape-like ability to climb trees)
N 3-2 million yrs ago, hominid line split into 2. Genus: Paranthropus (strong jaw) and
N 2.5-1.8 million yrs ago Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis (handy man--created stone tools)
Encephalization: Increase in brain size. Requires more metabolic energy.
N Hominids left Africa 1.8million yrs ago.
N Homo erectus was found in China and Java. Chipped off pieces of stone to make hand axe
N Homo heidelbergensis created stone tools by prepping the core of the stone. More
N Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals) and Homo sapiens evolved from the above.
N Our species originated in Africa 150,000-200,000 yrs ago.
N Encephalization correlated with size of social group
o Allowed for: memorizing/recalling actions, manipulating symbols, linguistics ability,
planning: the capacity to anticipate future events--organization of huts, social
customs/events (weddings), planting/harvesting crops.
N Language: warning others of danger, communicating important info to others, reinforcing
N Agricultural revolution: 10,000 yrs ago.
N Industrial revolution: 150 yrs ago
N Technological revolution: 50yrs ago
Cultural evolution: The adaptive changes of cultures in response to environmental changes
N Capacity for learning has evolved because: a more flexible/rapid method of achieving
reproductive success, allows groups of ppl to take advantage of novel opportunities within a
generation without waiting for genetic mutations.
Genetics: The study of the genetic makeup of organisms and how it influences their physical
and behavioural characteristics. How they are transmitted from one generation to another
and how they operate in populations.
Heredity: The sum of the traits and tendencies inherited from a person's parents and other
N Mendel (Austrian monk) worked with pea plants and uncovered basic principle of heredity
Genes: Small units of DNA that direct the synthesis of proteins and enzymes.
Genome: The total set of genetic material of an organism.
N There are no genes for behaviour, only for physical structures and physiological processes
that relate to behaviour.
N Novelty seeking is associated with higher levels of a brain chemical called dopamine
Enzymes: Proteins that regulate the structure of bodily cells and the processes occurring
within those cells. Genes direct the synthesis of enzymes.
N Sperm and ova are produced through reproductive process called meiosis: the
chromosomes within the cell are randomly rearranged so that new sperm and ova contain
23 individual chromosomes, or half of those found in other bodily cells.
Chromosomes: Rod-like structures in the nuclei of living cells; contain genes
Sex chromosomes: The chromosomes that contain the instructional code for the dev of
male/female sex characteristics. Female: XX Male: XY. The 23rd pair of chromosomes
Autosomes: The chromosomes that aren't sex chromosomes.
Alleles: Alternative forms of the same gene
Dominant trait: The trait that is exhibited when an indiv