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Emotions ch 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michael Inzlicht

Emotions ch 2 -darwin dethroned human being from their place as unique creations in the image of God -Darwin’s evidence was the similarity of human emotional expressions to those of lower animals -his broader theory of evolution would change how scholars think about emotions Elements of an evolutionary approach to emotions The engine that drives evolution has 3 parts:  Superabundance: animals and plants produce more offspring than necessary merely to reproduce themselves  Variation: each offspring is somewhat different than others differences are passed by heredity  Natural selection: characteristics that allow the individual to be adapted to the environment are selected for; disadvantageous characteristics are selected against Selection pressures -selection pressures: these features of the physical and social environment that determined whether or not individuals survived and reproduced -two kinds of sexual selection pressures determine who reproduces:  Intrasexual competition: occurs within a sex for access to mates. Traits that allows some to prevail over others are more likely to be passed on to succeeding generations  Intersexual competition: refers to the process by which one sex selects specific kinds of traits in the other sex. In the preference women report for males of higher status males seek out mates who are fertile -our capacity to cooperate is a powerful determinant of who reproduces and who survives -we are more likely to succeed at these endeavors when we behave in cooperative fashion Adaptation -they are genetically based traits that allow the organism to respond well to specific selection pressures and to survive and reproduce -humans have been designed by evolution to meet specific problems and opportunities -humans have evolved preferences for potential mates who show signs of fertility and reproductive readiness -exposure to parasites early in development is associated with facial symmetry -not all human traits or behaviors are adaptations they are byproducts -evolution is a tinkerer and often endows old anatomical and behavioral features with new functions. A trait that acquires new functions is called an exaptation - a brief raising of the eyebrows, lasting a fraction of a second, occurs when people approach one another during greeting and in flirting, human universal -natural selection is based on genetic variation and selects for genetically based traits that help certain individuals meet selection pressures -genes provide potentialities for behavior Emotions serve functions -emotions serve functions was not much accepted in western thought until recently, it was more typical to portray emotions as disruptive and harmful influences resulting in destructive behavior -emotions are adaptations -emotions enable rapid orientation to events in the environment -emotions interrupt ongoing processes and direct attention to significant threats opportunities -organization where emotions coordinate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems the different muscles groups and facial expressions and experience, this coordination enables more adaptive response to events in the environment -anger is more, it is a set of coordinated responses that help restore just relations with others -compassion enhances the welfare of vulnerable individuals especially when they have been harmed -emotions related feelings are informative about specific social events or conditions that need to be acted upon -hypothesis is that they reflect important functional relationships with the environment -emotons are states of readiness to act -the autonomic physiology associated with different emotions prepares for specific kinds of action such as fighting or flight or soothing, this is not true for certain physiological responses -emotinos are communicated in facial expression -emotional expressions communicate information about current emotions, intentions and dispositions -not every emotion will reveal the functions it evolved to serve -evolutionary approach looks for the ways in which on average emotions brought reliable specific benefits to individuals within the environment in which we evolved Emotions are species characteristic patterns of action -speciies characteristic pattern is goal directed, it involves brain derived procedures that have been shaped by evolution -when discrepancy form the goal is perceived, goal directed plan like se of actions brings the errant, until the goal state is reached -for some species characteristic pattern an unnatural stimulus does better than a natural one and is called a super-normal stimulus -we can be attracted even though efforts we make toward such stars would be useless and though they can mean nothing to us personally -the third component of species characteristic pattern is motivational without this the action pattern does not occu -easily triggers but less easily modified by the individual -emotions are species characteristics patterns whose start up features are programmed by our genes - emotions have biological bases that include patterns of the autonomic and central nervous activity recognizable facial expression particular gestures and specific vocal tones Origins of human emotions -an important concept is the environment of evolutionary adaptedness an abstract description of the social and physical environment in which the human species evolved during the six million years since the human line branched off from the line that led to chimpanzees and bonobos -the story of human emotions is really a story of our intensely social lives The social lives of our living primate relatives -evidence of our relatedness to other animals is now extensive -closest to our animal relatives are chimp
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