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PSYB30H3 (495)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

6 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier

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CHAPTER 2 : Evolution and Human Nature
study of the person must begin with human nature (what are humans fundamentally
like?)
Christian church and many religions see human nature as flawed—we are
fundamentally bad
Rousseau – saw human nature as pure and good, but society able to corrupt us
John Locke—saw us born with a blank slate (tabula rasa)
Contemporary—understanding is based on human Evolution
Evolution:
Darwin—argued all existing living forms have evolved over time in response to their
interactions with environments
Natural Selection: a process whereby nature gradually selects those characteristics
of organisms that promote survival and reproductive success
Darwin was missing the concept of genes – (DNA) –that pass on hereditary info
genes can cause negative mutations or- positive ones (that promote success and
survival)
Richard DawkinsThe Selfish Gene – genes aim at only one thing—self-replication
William Hamilton--- elaborated the concept of Inclusive Fitness: an organisms overall
ability to maximize the replication of the genes that designed it
(results of the organism’s own reproductive success and the reproductive
success of close relatives by whom the organism shares genes )
E.O. Wilson- argues that each of universal patterns (ex. Athletic sports, etiquette, games
etc) can be traced back to hunting- and- gathering societies
these patterns being adaptive for thousands – millions of years, each
becoming a part of human nature, coded in human genes
Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness:
-life on earth emerged- 3.5 billion years ago
-mammals emerged- 200 million years ago
- human beings emerged—2-4 million years ago
Pleistocene Epoch (1.6 million years - 10,000 years ago) = Environment of
Evolutionary Adaptedness
- humans lived in groups, mainly nomadic —natural selection makes us want to be
together in groups
The Adapted Mind:
www.notesolution.com
humans survived and reproduced successfully in the EEA-- because they were
SMARTER
- outwitted competition by developing rational strategies for attack and defence,
communicating etc
- through mental activity and more they’ve carved themselves what Pinker calls a
Cognitive Niche
- human mind contains evolved cognitive, emotional, motivational mechanisms that are
targeted to solve those problems in adaptation (survival & reproduction) that have
confronted humans since the Pleistocene time
- distal (evolutionary) – motivation for sex is to replicate genes
- proximate (individual) – motivation for sex- is pleasure
Mating:
Male – advantage is to impregnate as many females as possible
Women- must invest much more time and energy (copulation, gestation, lactation) in
each birth- so can only have a few—advantage= to be choosy w sexual intercourse
– to secure a single mate to give assistance, resources etc
Sex Differences in Mating as they apply to Human Evolution:
1) Proximate factors—societal norms, values, laws, sanctions, & various cultural
practices SHAPE sexuality is many profound ways
2) Natural selection- often operates on the emotional and motivational mechanisms
behind beh. RATHER then beh.
- men typically desire/ want to engage in sexual relations w MANY
partners to a greater extent then women eg. fantasies go in that direction
even if there beh. Does not
3) Evolutionary explainastions for differences in mating strategies—are NOT moral
justifications/ rationalizations for sex differences in sexual beh.
4) Speed- males – fast/ short-lived ventures – only including copulations (reproductive
ventures)
Females—at minimum include- copulation, gestation, lactation
Evolutionary theory suggests that overall sex differences should evolve only in those
domains in which men and women faced dramatically different selevtion pressures in the
EEA—eg. in the domain of Sexual Reproduction
“Getting along & Getting ahead(2 great problems in life each must solve – Robert
Hogan
Socioanalytic Theory: asserts that humans are biologically predisposed to live in social
group that are organised into social hierarchies
being high status= advantages (first choice of food, mates, living space etc
= promotion of reproductive success
therefore it is our human nature to seek attention, status, to be liked, powerful
www.notesolution.com

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Description
CHAPTER 2 : Evolution and Human Nature study of the person must begin with human nature (what are humans fundamentally like?) Christian church and many religions see human nature as flawedwe are fundamentally bad Rousseau saw human nature as pure and good, but society able to corrupt us John Lockesaw us born with a blank slate (tabula rasa) Contemporaryunderstanding is based on human Evolution Evolution: Darwinargued all existing living forms have evolved over time in response to their interactions with environments Natural Selection: a process whereby nature gradually selects those characteristics of organisms that promote survival and reproductive success Darwin was missing the concept of genes (DNA) that pass on hereditary info genes can cause negative mutations or- positive ones (that promote success and survival) Richard DawkinsThe Selfish Gene genes aim at only one thingself-replication William Hamilton--- elaborated the concept of Inclusive Fitness: an organisms overall ability to maximize the replication of the genes that designed it (results of the organisms own reproductive success and the reproductive success of close relatives by whom the organism shares genes ) E.O. Wilson- argues that each of universal patterns (ex. Athletic sports, etiquette, games etc) can be traced back to hunting- and- gathering societies these patterns being adaptive for thousands millions of years, each becoming a part of human nature, coded in human genes Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness: -life on earth emerged- 3.5 billion years ago -mammals emerged- 200 million years ago - human beings emerged2-4 million years ago Pleistocene Epoch (1.6 million years - 10,000 years ago) = Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness - humans lived in groups, mainly nomadic natural selection makes us want to be together in groups The Adapted Mind: www.notesolution.com
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