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PSYC18H3 (274)
Chapter 2

PSYC18 Chapter 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Gerald Cupchik

PSYC18 Chapter 2  Darwin used a theory fo emotional expression to dethrone humans as unique creations in the image of god  Expressions as vestiges Elements of an evolutionary approach to emotions  Super abundance = when animals and plants produce more offspring than necessary merely to reproduce themselves  Variation = each offspring are somewhat different from others and these traits are passed on by heredity  Natural selection = ya...  Selection pressures  Features of the physical and social environment in which humans evolved that determined whether or not people survived and reproduced  Many of our innate systems (thermoreg. Fight and flight, preference for food taste etc) are developed in response to selection pressures  Sexual selection pressures = intrasexual competition and intersexual competition  INTRA = within a sex for access to mates. Battles to gain access to mates  INTER = when one sex selects for specific traits in the other sex for a mate  Social selection pressures may account for evolution of moral emotions like gratitude, anger, compassion  Adaptation  Genetically based traits that allow organism to respond well to selection pressures, survive, and reproduce  Preference of symmetry because it = good health  Love we feel for baby like features that overwhelm costs of raising one and ensure genes are passed  Emotions good for evolution  Some behaviours are biproducts; and serve no evolutionary function  De novo = to meet survival and reproduction related problems and opportunities  A trait that acquires a new function is called exaptations  Genes provide potentialities for behaviour – inherited start up programs Emotions serve functions  Emotions enable rapid orientations to events in the environment interrupt ongoing processes and direct attention to significant threats and opportunities  People might believe emotions are destructive for the mere fact that they interrupt ongoing processes to reorient us  Emotions like fear and anger can shut down ongoing physiological processes like eating, digestion, or sexual response.  Emotions coordinate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, different muscle groups, and facial expression and experience  Maybe emotional states are sometimes overwhelming because they are informative about specific social events or conditions that need to be acted on  Anger = series of coordinated responses that help restore just relations with the other  Blushing and embarrassment = appeasement  Compassion = help the socially harmed  Autonomic response associated with any emotion prepares us for specific types of action  Some do not have action tendencies  Non verbal communication of emotions conveys where we are at, to others and elicits complementary or reciprocal emotions in them  Sometimes these actions do not accurately portray the emotion they serve because the way in which we react to that emotion calms us down, personally.  Informative, evocative, incentive Emotions are species characteristic patterns of action  Species characteristic pattern = goal directed, not consciously accessible  Every object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well  Innate releasers triggers species characteristic patterns (deviation from some goal triggers behaviour)  Sometimes unnatural stimuli (super-normal stimulus) do better than normal stimuli as a trigger  Easily triggered, but less easily modified by the individual  Three components: output of genetic makeup (script), trigger (innate releaser), motivation to restore  Coincides with argument that emotion
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