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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 2: Evolution and Human Nature
On Human Nature: Our Evolutionary Heritage
Principles of Evolution
Darwin- all existing living forms have evolved over time in response to their interactions with
environments
Natural selection: process whereby nature gradually selects those characteristics of organisms that
promote survival and reproductive success
Two different ways that persons can promote likelihood of replicating in next generation those genes that
are responsible for their very design and existence:
oGenerate and promote ones own biological offspring
oPromote reproduction and well-being of those individuals who share the same genes
Hamilton- inclusive fitness: overall ability to maximize replication of genes that designed it
oPart of total includes results of organisms own reproductive success, but part also includes
reproductive success of close relatives, with whom organism shares genes
The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness
Pleistocene world within which human beings lived and evolved environment of evolutionary
adaptedness (EEA)
oLived as foragers
Humans live in groups
Participation in daily functioning of small cooperative groups may have been principal survival strategy
of early humans
Advantages in EA
oCould better defend themselves against predators and other threats by living together in
collectives
oLooking out for one another in times of danger
oConsolidating resources, skills
Disadvantage- searching for same food and attracted to same mates
Human groups tend to be organized in hierarchical way
The Adapted Mind
Human brain evolved, producing complex behavioural patterns and mental programs
Human beings survived and reproduced because they were smarter
Pinker- cognitive niche in evolutionary landscape
oPrimary mode of adapting to challenges of EEA was and continues to be use of human mind’s
extraordinary cognitive powers
Human mind contains evolved cognitive, emotional, motivational mechanisms specially targets to solve
problems in adaption that have confronted human beings since time of Pleistocene
Darwin- survival problems under headinghostile forces nature
oFood shortages, harsh climate, disease, parasites, predators, natural hazards
Buss- classes of reproductive problems: page 41
Formulate goal- directed tactics and strategies that aim ultimately to ensure survival and reproductive
success
Distal (evolutionary) reason for human sexual activity is to replicate genes, but proximate (individual)
motivation for engaging in sexual activity is that it feels good
Mating
Prime reason for mating is producing offspring, who will carry their genes in next generation
Male- advantage of his genes to impregnate as many females as possible
Female- must invest a great deal of time and energy in each birth and can have only very limites number
of offspring
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Description
Chapter 2: Evolution and Human Nature On Human Nature: Our Evolutionary Heritage Principles of Evolution Darwin- all existing living forms have evolved over time in response to their interactions with environments Natural selection: process whereby nature gradually selects those characteristics of organisms that promote survival and reproductive success Two different ways that persons can promote likelihood of replicating in next generation those genes that are responsible for their very design and existence: o Generate and promote ones own biological offspring o Promote reproduction and well-being of those individuals who share the same genes Hamilton- inclusive fitness: overall ability to maximize replication of genes that designed it o Part of total includes results of organisms own reproductive success, but part also includes reproductive success of close relatives, with whom organism shares genes The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness Pleistocene world within which human beings lived and evolved environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) o Lived as foragers Humans live in groups Participation in daily functioning of small cooperative groups may have been principal survival strategy of early humans Advantages in EA o Could better defend themselves against predators and other threats by living together in collectives o Looking out for one another in times of danger o Consol
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