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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes.doc

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G Cupchik

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PSYC18 Chapter 2 – Evolution of Emotions - Darwin: Similarity of human emotional expressions to those of lower animals Elements of an evolutionary approach to emotions - Engine that drives evolution has three parts: o Super abundance: Animals and plants produce more offspring than necessary o Variation: Each offspring is somewhat different than one another o Natural Selection: Characteristics that allow individuals to adapt will survive - Selection Pressures: Often related to physical survival, two kinds of sexual selection: o Intrasexual competition: Access to mates, proving own worth o Intersexual competition: Selecting mates, which one’s worthy - Adaptation: genetically based traits that allow organism to respond well to specific selection pressures o E.g. Avoid toxins: distaste for bitterness, pregnancy sickness o E.g. Find healthy mate: Facial symmetry as beautiful o Not all traits have evolutionary reason o A trait that acquires a new function is called exaptation o A human universal Emotions serve functions - more typical to portray emotions as disruptive, and harmful influences resulting in destructive behaviour, to be mastered by rational thought - 1) Adaptation: Emotions enable rapid orientation to the events in the environment, those who can sense threats is at an advantage to survive and reproduce - 2) Organization: Emotions coordinate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, muscle groups, facial expression and experience - Anger: restore just relations, Embarassment: Appeasement, Compassion: unyielding inclination to help - Why do we experience our emotional states as powerful and at times overwhelming? o Emotion-related feelings are informative about specific social events or conditions that need to be acted upon - What about emotion-related physiology? Heart rate increase, blood flow, respiration, etc? o However, not true for certain physiological responses like blushing or just feeling happy that does not seem to lead to an obvious action tendency - What about communication?: The gaze, voice, posture, touch, etc o Emotional expressions communicate information about current emotions, intentions, etc. Emotions are species-characteristic patterns of action - Lorenz: Showed the genetic basis of instincts by showing that they are characteristics of species (like anatomical features) E.g. Greylag geese - Fixed action pattern (aka species-characteristic pattern) o 1) Goal-directed, outline scripts for important functions like maternal caregiving, mating, aggressive conflict, etc. PSYC18 Chapter 2 – Evolution of Emotions o 2) Innate releaser/sign stimulus: perceuptual pattern that triggers the species- characteristic process (superr-normal stimulus: when an unnatural stimulus does bett
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