Chapter 2 – Evolution and Human Nature
Natural selection: key to evolution, a process whereby nature gradually selects those
characteristics of organisms that promote survival and reproductive success. Certain
characteristics may promote survival of organism within the environment
Inclusive fitness: An organism’s inclusive fitness is its overall ability to maximize the
replication of the genes that designed it. Part of that total includes the results of the
organism’s own reproductive success, but part also include the reproductive success of
close relatives, with whom the organism shares genes.
Environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA): The Pleistocene world within which
human beings lived and evolved.
Lived as foragers, gathering fruits and vegetables and hutting prey to supply bodies with
calories required for life
Move from one hunting and gathering region to another
Humans lived in groups
Cooperation was necessary for survival
Theory of mind: a basic understanding that other people have minds filled with desires
and beliefs. Without theory of mind people would have difficulty interacting with each
other in social groups
Cognitive niche: Particular position that human beings have evolved to occupy in the
evolutionary landscape, whereby their main adaptive advantages center on the
computational powers of the human mind.
Socioanalytic theory: Robert Hogan’s broad theory of personality that blends an
evolutionary understanding of the person with perspectives from Freud and sociological
role theories. This theory asserts that human beings are biologically predisposed to live in
social groups that are variously organized into status hierarchies.
Sociosexuality: Extent to which an individual will or will not insist on closeness and
commitment in an interpersonal relationship before engaging in sexual intercourse.
Character structure: Our ways of displaying the self to expected audience, which are
usually the parents in childhood.
Role structure: the characteristic ways in which we display ourselves to a larger
audience, such as society. But the earlier character structure does not go away. Identity
conflicts in adulthood may turn on the discordance between unconscious character