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PSYC18H3 (275)
Chapter 2

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Michelle Hilscher

Understanding Emotions –3 Edition Chapter 2 – Evolution of Emotions - Evolution – the theory of how species developed - Darwin – some expressions can hardly be understood, except under the belief that man once existed in a lower and animal-like condition Elements of an Evolutionary Approach - Darwin describe evolution in terms of three processes: o Superabundance: animals and plants produce more offspring than necessary to reproduce themselves o Variation: each offspring is different than others, differences are passed on by heredity o Selection: characteristics that allow for better adaptation to the environment are selected - Selection Pressures o Features of the physical and social environment that determined whether individuals survived and reproduced o Some pressures involve threats or opportunities directly related to physical survival o Genes are passed during reproduction onto successive generations o Intersexual competition: where one sex selects specific kinds of traits in the other sex o Intrasexual competition: competition for mates within a sex o Fitness – the likelihood of surviving and reproducing successfully – is increased for those who are preferred by others as sexual partners, as well as social partners - Adaptation o Genetically based traits that allow an organism to cope with specific selection pressures, and to survive and reproduce o Tsukiura and Cabeza – activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex was increased by attractiveness and ratings of goodness of an action  Preferences for attractive people are bolstered by inferences that they are of good character o Some traits or behaviours serve no apparent evolutionary function and are thought of as by-products o Exaptation – an old trait that acquires new functions - Natural Design for Gene Replication o Genes help build physiological and anatomical systems that are engaged in emotion o Genes pass themselves on to the next generation; our bodies are their means of passing themselves on o Genes are potentially immortal, but they cannot survive on their own – they need the body of a plant or animal to contain them and enable their reproduction o Genes program us to behave in certain ways (i.e. like robots) o Housing and medicine technologies enhance our abilities to be good “robots” o Genes program us by our emotions – e.g. with fear, we protect our bodies from danger, with love for our children, we take good care of them o Sometimes our genes program our emotions so closely that we respond to certain events in reflex o Unconscious effects affect us as emotional biases, impulses, and instinctual urges Three Social Motivations and One Antisocial Motivation - Humans are hypersocial – we live in families in societies that have developed cultures - Human emotions enable us to live social lives - Attachment o John Bowlby – theory of attachment o Conrad Lorenz – theory of imprinting; shortly after hatching, goslings learn to recognize and follow the first largish, moving, sound-making object in their environment o Attachment – human form of imprinting which functions to protect and care for the infant o Bowlby – idea of the mother as a secure base; a baby can explore new environments when their secure base is present so that they can retreat to her if necessary - Assertion o Human beings live in status hierarchies o Dominance hierarchies are structures of competition that give preferential access to sexual partners, food, and other resources to those high in the hierarchy o Status and power are important amongst humans, but is carefully regulated in most societies by fear, peril and the law o Assertion – motivation to move upward in the social hierarchy, and to resist challenges from those who would move us downward o Shame is the emotion of having one’s social status diminished - Affiliation o a.k.a affection o Affiliation and warmth are fundamentally important in human development o Attachment occurs among all primates, but only some species form affectional bonds based on warmth o System of affiliation and warmth is built on positive reward, associated with the system of touch o People express more emotions in relationships that are communal o Assertion is the motivation to compete, affiliation is the motivation to cooperate o Motivation of sexuality is a state in which sexual partners can love each other o Male provisioning hypothesis: males started to make a contribution to the rearing of specific infants o Pair bonding – long-lasting sexual relationships between specific females and specific males, rare in other primates o The human family is bound together
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