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PSYC18H3 (274)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 text book notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michelle Hilscher

Chapter 2 - evolution of emotions Elements of an evolutionary approach to emotions • expression - Darwin - involuntary changes of face, voice, and posture that are observable signs of an emotion • evolution - species developed by small modifications according to three principles o superabundance - production of more offspring than are needed merely to maintain numbers of a population o variation - random production among offspring of variations that can be inherited o natural selection - selection of certain traits because some variations enable individuals to survive and reproduce better than others • selection pressures - features of the physical and social environment in which humans evolved, that determined whether or not individuals survived and reproduced; threats or opportunities directly related to physical survival o intrasexual competition - occurs within a sex for access to mates; intense and continual struggle; most pronounced among males o intersexual competition - process by which one sex selects specific kinds of traits in the other sex; preference women report for males of higher status o evolutionary theorists - capacity to cooperate is powerful determinant of who reproduces and who survives; more likely to succeed at endeavours when behaving in cooperative fashion, mindful of others’ needs • adaptation - modification of characteristics of a biological organism to fit an environmental niche o preference for sweet tastes helps identify foods of nutritional value; plants contain toxic compounds that deter predators - bitter-tasting and pungent-smelling o humans have evolved preferences for potential mates who show signs of fertility and reproductive readiness; facial symmetry guides toward potential mates who have been raised in healthy environments o survival of offspring in infancy; increases chances that genes will be passed from one generation to the next o many human traits serve no apparent evolutionary function and are thought of as by-products; not all human traits emerged to meet survival and reproduction related problems and opportunities (de novo) o exaptation - trait that acquires new function o Andrew - facial expression in primates were developed from reflexes; flatten their ears when startled to protect the ears (raising eyebrows in humans) www.notesolution.com o Eibl-Eibesfeldt - brief raising of the eyebrows, lasting a fraction of a second, occurs when people approach one another during greeting and in flirting o human universal - characteristics shared by all human beings o genetic variation - genes only influence human behaviour in relation to particular environments; potentialities for behaviour Emotions serve functions • influenced by theory of evolution; emotions functions in ways that increase the chances of survival and reproduction; adaptations • rapid orientation to events in the environment - interrupt ongoing processes and direct attention to significant threats and opportunities • organization - coordinate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, the different muscle groups, and facial expression and experience; more adaptive response to events in the environment • anger - more than facial expressions or patterns of neural activation; set of coordinated responses that help restore just relations with others • embarrassment - more than blush or desire to hide; form of appeasement • compassion - more than lump in throat, inclination to help; enhances welfare of vulnerable individuals • informative function of emotions - emotion-related feelings are informative of specific social events or conditions that need to be acted upon; challenges assumption that emotions have no rational basis • emotion-related physiology - emotions are states of readiness to act; autonomic physiology associated with different emotions prepares for specific kinds of action; not true for blushing, contentment, or amusement • communication - facial expression, voice, gaze, posture, and touch; coordinates social interactions; current emotions, intentions, and dispositions; complementary and reciprocal emotions in others that help individual respond to significant social events Emotions are species-characteristic patterns of action • James - every object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well • Lorenz - genetic basis of instincts are characteristic of species like anatomical features; maternal care giving in greylag geese o species-characteristic pattern (fixed action pattern) - extended pattern of goal- directed behaviour acquired genetically and characteristic of a species; not at the consciously accessible level; scripts www.notesolution.com o perceptual pattern (innate releaser or sign stimulus) - unnatural stimulus does better than a natural one (super-normal stimulus) o motivational - without this, action pattern does not occur • empirical research - start-up features programmed by genes; having biological bases that include patterns of autonomic and central nervous activity, recognizable facial expression, particular gestures, and specific vocal tones; should be universal; found in similar forms in all cultures Origins of human emotions • environment of evolutionary adaptedness - hypothetical environment, probably of nomadic scavenging and gathering in small social groups, to which evolution human beings were fitted during most of the past six million years o social lives of our living primate relatives - anatomical and behavioural correspondences provide qualitative indications; analyses of proteins, immunological reactions, and genetic material have allowed quantitative estimates Goodall - documented chimpanzee emotions and emotional displays De Waal - how primates reconcile following conflicts, how they share food, and how they come to the aid of other chimps in distress care giving - intensely distressed when other group members are harmed; take care of vulnerable individuals hierarchical social life - enable group members to decide how to allocate
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