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Chapter 2


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Michelle Hilscher

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Chapter 2: Evolution of Emotions Naela. S • evolution- theory of how species developed, has become central concept of biology; offers insight into nature of emotions • Darwin advanced his theory of evolution by showing similarity of human emotional expressions to those of other animals Elements of an EvolutionaryApproach • In Origin of Species, Darwin described evolution in 3 processes: 1. superabundance: animals & plants produce more offspring than are necessary merely to reproduce themselves 2. variation: each offspring somewhat diff than others & differences passed on by heredity 3. selection: those characteristics tht allow better adaptation to env't are selected b/c they enable survival, & hence are passed on • 3 imp. Concepts tht shed light on evolution of emotions will be discussed below Selection Pressures • centre of natural selection are selection pressures: for humans these are features of physical & social env't in which humans evolved tht determined whether individuals survived & reproduced • some selection pressures involve threats or opportunities directly related to physical survival • to survive, individuals need to find food/water, to stay at right temp., & avoid predation, disease --> our preference for sweet foods & distaste for bitter foods, our fight and flight responses, thermoregulatory systems developed in response to these kinds of selection pressures • two kinds of sexual selection pressures determines who reproduces: 1. Intersexual competition: process in which one sex selects specific kinds of traits in the other sex (e.g. men/women prefer ppl with good character, b/c they will be generous, faithful so through selection process traits related to good character will be selected for & likely to become part of human design) • 2. Intrasexual competition: competition for mates within a sex (e.g. stags lock horns & engage in battles to find who is dominant & thus has access to mates) --> those traits whether they be strength, beauty, cunning,emotional intelligence, or humor tht allow some to prevail are more likely to be passed on to next generations • Nesse argued tht fitness- likelihood of surviving & reproducing successfully- is increased for those who are preferred by others as social partners in same way tht fitness is increased for those preferred as sexual partners --> we're ultra-social species who's chances of survival rest on upon evolutionary influenced capacities to form strong relationships Adaptation • adaptation- genetically based traits tht allow organism to cope well with specific selection pressures & to survive & reproduce • Table 2.1 -Examples of adaptations Problem/pressure Adaptation Avoid eating toxins Distaste for bitterness Find healthy mate Perceive facial symmetry as beautiful Share costs of raising offspring Preference for male w/ status, resources Find fertile mate Preference for mate w/ youthful appearance Protect offspring Emotional response to baby-like cues • humans have 10,000 taste buds; preference for sweet tastes help identify foods of nutritional value; when you eat turnip/cabbage you're getting sub-lethal dose of such toxins --> distaste for bitter foods helps us to avoid toxins • reproducing w/ healthy mates who're likely to help produce & care for offspring makes these offspring more likely to be healthy, to survive, & to reproduce themselves --> as a solution to finding a spouse tht will have healthy offspring, humans find symmetrical faces more attractive than asymmetrical ; facial symmetry= gives us mates who have been resistant to parasites • we believe ppl who are physically attractive also have good character • women report attraction to--> men of higher status, have more resources --> woman are child-bearers & have to devote more resources in raising children than men • men are attracted to --> physically attractive women (full lips, youthful skin, hourglass figure) & child-bearing age • Chivers (2010): found tht men's attraction to pictures of naked woman & of intercourse correlated w/ their physiological responses (measured blood flow in genitals) • pressure for woman to be choosy, to wait for mates with status/resources , may reflect in this tendency to base less of their sense of attraction on their physical response • final example of adaptation is human preference for baby-like cues found in facial features of stuffed animals, anime figures, & other humans • important determinant of whether one's genes are passed on is survival during infancy; human babies are vulnerable --> evolutionary theorists have argued tht our responses to baby-like cues ensure tht parents help their offspring reach age of viability • love parents feel for offspring, in response to baby-like features (large forehead, bug eyes, small chins), their smiles, laughs, softness of skin overwhelms the costs of raising & increases chances tht genes will be passed • some human traits/behaviours are not adaptations; they serve no evolutionary function --> they are called by-products: snoring, leg jiggles • evolution is tinkerer, & often provides old anatomical & behavioural features w/ new functions --> a trait tht acquires a new function like this= exaptation -->Andrew used this principle to show how facial expressions in primates & humans were developed from reflexes: --> many animals have reflex of flattening their ears (original function was to protect ears) when they are startled/ are feeling friendly --> humans can't retract their ears, but raising eyebrows, which occurs when ppl approach one another during greeting, flirting Natural Design for Gene Replication • from parents you inherited 23 pairs of chromosomes, which contain genes made up of DNA • altogether humans have 25, 000 genes: responsible for creating proteins in ur cells to help form hands, fingers, facial muscles, circuits in brain, branches of your peripheral nervous system etc. • Modern evolutionary genetics – our genes pass themselves on to next generation; genes copy themselves & copies become genetic code for making structure of plants/animals they will inhabit in next generation • for genes: plants, animals, including humans, are vehicles they use to pass themselves on • as genes vehicles humans are robots, programmed to behave in certain ways & by naturals election have ↑ chances of survival --> technologies of housing, medicine have enhanced our abilities to be really good robots --> our socially based adaptation (which helps genes survive) involves us being decent to each other + altruistic • genes program us --> by our EMOTIONS • humans are good vehicles: --> through emotion of fear- we protect bodies by avoiding dangers so genes will be safe --> being emotionally drawn to food tht is nutritious, sweet & repelling repelling bitter-tasting toxins, we build our bodies --> interest in sex, love, lust- enable genes to pass themselves on to next generation --> by being decent to each other we create societies in which our children can grow up • issue: some instances our genes program emotions so closely tht when certain events occur we respond in reflex: -->the fear response seen in Darwin's jumping back from striking snake, is best example of his principle tht modern human emotions derive from ancestors who lived if diff ways than we do • many of simple/automatic elements of emotions mite be thought of in same fashion-- soothing touch of parent in response to child's distress calls, disgust in response to bad smell, reflex-like arousing of male sexual organs • programming of our emotions/desires by our genes has a range: --> one end is the reflex- e.g. Darwin's leap back when snake struck --> other end, are attractions and urges – tht our culture, ourselves can modify --> closely coupled end: genes command us --> in the middle are emotions like anger, fear which are sometimes compelling but which we can sometimes modify • genes can program us by our emotions: these effects can occur unconsciously- unconscious effects- outside our immediate will & occurring for reasons about which we find it difficult to reason- can affect us as emotional biases, impulses, instinctual urges Three Social Motivations and OneAntisocial Motivation • humans are social: --> we are mammals which are characterized for being born live (not from eggs) & this is time when we can't take care of ourselves thus we are given milk & nurtured by parents --> we are hypersocial: live in families, in societies tht have developed cultures --> key to most human emotions is tht they involve others • Aristotle -idea tht emotions are evaluations of events in relation to goals (motivations) --> three primary social motivations & one antisocial motivation Attachment • attachment- Bowlby: psychological accompaniment of the physiological fact that as babies we are nurtured with milk • imprinting- Lorenz: described how shortly after hatching from their eggs, goslings learn to recognize & follow the first moving, sound-making object in their env't which is usually the mother goose --> in his study Lorenz removed mother and soon after they hatched the goslings imprinted on him! They thought he was the mother & didn’t recognize other geese • attachment is human version of imprinting: -->its function is to protect & care for infant; infant cannot survive without caregiver --> early childhood is most vulnerable period of life: before threat was predators, now parents worry about germs, busy streets etc • Bowlby also proposed idea of mother as secure base: when baby starts to move about, he or she can explore the features in new env't when mother is present • Ainsworth: studied babies and mother in Uganda where she observed # of behaviour patterns young children showed when they were with their mothers but did not show with anyone else --> Table 2.2 shows her list of attachment behaviours – these attachment behaviours serve function of keeping close to mother & keeping her nearby so she can protect you from any threats • Bowlby: attachment relationship of infancy creates stage for later intimate relationships, called affectional bonds --> Bowlby said:Affectional bonds & subjective states of strong emotion tend to go together .As every novelist & playwright knows. Many of the most intense human emotions arise during formation, maintenance, disruption & renewal of affectional bonds-also called emotional bonds --> formation of bond described as falling in love, maintaining bond as loving someone & loosing a partner as grieving over someone • Darwin supposed infant pattern of holding/being held is elaborated in adult caressing Assertion • assertion or power : human beings live in status hierarchies • dominance hierarchies among lobsters (fight & whoever wins becomes dominant) & other animals involves competition tht gives preferential access to sexual partners, food, & other resources • most societies, power for most ppl is carefully regulated, by fear of revenge, possibility of danger to one's personal reputation, & modern times, the law • power= responsibilities: --> parent to care for children; police to protect public; employers to pay & maintain benefits for employees • assertion- motivation to move upward in social hierarchy & resist challenges form those who bring us down -->motivation of competition & conflict --> shame is social emotion of having one's social status diminished Affiliation • third social motivation : affiliation, also called affection • affiliation & warmth important in human development, but involve diff processes than those of protection • Fox & Davidson: found tht babies seeing their mothers approaching with open arms showed joy & activation of left side of frontal cortex (which is part of affiliation) • MacDonald & Goldberg: hypothesized tht separate systems of attachment & affiliative warmth can be differently prioritized in diff cultures --> affiliation/warmth built on positive reward, closely associated w/ system of touch (we touch, hug those to whom we feel affectionate) • ppl express more emotions in relationships tht are communal (caring relationships) • assertion is motivation to compete--> affiliation is motivation to cooperate • Dijikic & Oatley: explained the evolved motivation of sexuality combines all the other motivations • human sexual partners often cooperate to raise children --> evolutionary terms it is likely tht elaboration started w/ joining affiliative warmth system to reproductive one, according to male provisioning hypothesis: --> Lovejoy argued evolutionary moves occurred when humans began to walk upright & infants could no longer cling to their mothers as ape babies do & at same time males started to make contribution to rearing of specific infants --> in humans, long-lasting sexual relationships between specific females/males began: pair-bonding, which is rare among other primates • human family- woman, her offspring, male partner- are bound together by emotions of affection • demands of raising offspring, group living more generally, often require cooperation with non- kin as well Emotions in the Space of Three Social Motivations • can thi
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