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Ch 2 Theoretical Perspectives.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2075
Corey Isaacs

Theoretical Perspectives 10/3/2012 1:38:00 PM Chapter 2 Evolutionary Perspectives  These perspectives use principles from evolutionary biology to explain why certain patterns of social behaviour and psychological mechanisms have evolved in animals and humans  Sociobiology – the idea that some behaviours are a result of evolution  Natural selection – the process by which evolution occurs, how individuals who are best adapted to their environment are more likely to survive, reproduce and pass on their genes to the next generation o Physical attractiveness:  Sociobiologists say we choose mates based on physical attractiveness – physique and complexion can be indicators of the individual’s health and in turn probably related to the person’s reproductive potential\  Natural selection favors individuals preferring mates who have maximum reproductive success, so our concern with physical attractiveness could be a product of evolution o Survival success  Obstacles in reproductive success:  Infant vulnerability – unhealthy baby  Maternal death – external dangers to the mother  Two mechanisms that help conquer the obstacles in reproduction success are:  Pair-bond – between mother and father, father wants to protect the mother  Attachment – between infant and parent  Parents are most interested in the survival and reproductive success of their genetic offspring, achieved by parental investment  Sexual selection – differences in traits affecting access to mates o Consists of two processes:  Competition among members of one gender (usually males) for mating access to members of the other gender  Preferential choice by members of one gender (usually females) for certain members of the other gender  Evolutionary Psychology o Evolutionary psychology – focuses on how natural selection has shaped psychological mechanism and processes rather than on how it has shaped sexual behavior directly o Sexual strategies – according to this theory, males and females face different adaptive problems in short-term, long- term mating and reproduction  These lead to different strategies designed to solve these proble
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