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PSYC100 13/14 Week 19.docx

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PSYC 100
Rana Pishva

Week 19: Heritability and Evolutionary Psychology Pearson Online: Genetics - Developmental psychology o Concerned with the environmental variance component  The prenatal and postnatal environmental influences affecting individuals - Evolutionary psychology o Concerned with the design of human nature, all human behavioural characteristics that are the product of natural selection in ancestral environments - Behavioural genetics o Concerned with the partition of individual differences into genetic and environmental variance components Natural Selection - Evolutionary fitness o The probability that the line of descent from an individual with a specific trait will not die out - Genetic load o The reduction in overall evolutionary fitness for a population compared to what the population would have if all individuals had the most favoured genotype Evolution: Common Misconceptions - Naturalistic fallacy o The belief that characteristics produced by evolution are either natural and good or unnatural and morally bad rather than amorally selectionist - Genetic deterministic fallacy o The belief that genes determine behaviour independently of environmental influences Types of Behaviours - Facultative o Determined by the immediate environment, regardless of cultural and environmental differences - Obligate o Develop to a large degree independently of variations in environmental context Adaptation - Must meet four criteria: o Obviously designed to accomplish some biological purpose o Operates in a similar manner over cultures and time o Plausibly related to reproductive and survival success in ancestral environments o Not more simply explained on other grounds  I.e. as a by-product of another characteristic or adaptation Sexual Preference - Male sexual interest is tuned to signs of reproductive capability o Young, average-weight, prototypical female waist-to-hip ratios, absence of genetic or developmental anomalies o Infants spend more time looking at faces adults think are attractive Parental Investment Theory - Parental investment cost o Consists of the energy, time, resources, and opportunity cost associated with producing offspring - Mating opportunity cost o Effort and costs acquired in securing and preserving mating opportunities - Sex that has higher potential reproductive rate (lower minimum parenting costs) is under greater selection pressure to compete for access to members of the opposite sex - Polygyny o Some males have multiple female reproductive partners, while others have very few or none at all - Sex differences o Males more likely to exhibit risky behaviour due to greater reproductive variance in members of their sex  Behaviour related to competition for status, resources, and mates o Also hormonal (ie. sex/steroid hormones) o Jealousy  Men focus on sexual fidelity  Women focus on emotional commitment o Desires
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