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Psychology (9,549)
PSYC18H3 (274)
Chapter 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michelle Hilscher

Chapter 2 Elements of an evolutionary approach to emotions The engine that drives evolution has three parts. The first of these Darwin called superabundance: animals and plants produce more offspring than necessary merely to reproduce themselves. The second is variation; each offspring is somewhat different than others, and differences are passed on by heredity. The third is natural selection: characteristics that allow the individual to be adapted to the environment are selected for; disadvantageous characteristics are selected against. Selection pressures At the core of natural selection are selection pressures. For humans these are features of the physical and social environment in which humans evolved, that determined whether or not individuals survived and reproduced. Some selection pressures involve threats or opportunities directly related to physical survival. To survive, the individual needs to find food and water, to stay warm but avoid extreme heat, to avoid predation and disease. Many systems such as our preferences for sweet foods and aversion to bitter foods, our thermoregulatory systems, our fight and flight responses, developed in response to these kind of selection pressures. Intrasexual competition occurs within a sex for access to mates. In many species there is intense and continual struggle of this kind, often most pronounced among males. Within intrasexual competition, those traits, whether it be strength, beauty, cunning, emotional intelligence, or humour, that allow 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 humans this is seen in the preference women report for males of higher status. Preference men show for youth and beauty, because many cues of youth and beauty - full lips, youthful skin, an hourglass figure, for example are physical signs of optimal reproduction age. Adaptation Adaptations are generally based on traits that allow organism to respond well to specific selection pressures, and to survive and reproduce. Consider our dietary likes and dislikes. The typical human has 10 000 taste buds, each with 50 short hair-like structures that convert food particles to an electrochemical signal, and eventually to our experience of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes. The preference for sweet tastes helps us to www.notesolution.com
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