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Chapter 2

PSY 290 Chapter 2.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
John Yeomans

Chapter 2 October 8, 2013 2:48 PM Species - group of organisms that is reproductively isolated from other organisms Conspecifics - members of the same species Chordates - animals with dorsal nerve cords - large nerves that run down the center of their backs (dorsum) Phyla - 20 categories of animal species Vertebrates - chordates that spinal bones to protect their dorsal nerve chords (vertebrae) Amphibians - fish that evolved to be able to be out of water for periods of time - developed so larval form must be in water but adult form can live on land Reptiles - branch of amphibians that evolved to be able to lay shell covered eggs and have dry scales to reduce reliance on watery habitats Mammals - evolved from a line of small reptiles that fed their young from mammary glands; eventually stopped laying eggs and produced offspring in womb inside mother until mature enough to survive outside of womb (spending first stage of life provided high survival value); Primates- hominines- Australopithecus Brain stem - involved in regulating reflex activates critical for survival (heart rate, respiration, and blood glucose level) Cerebrum - (cerebral hemispheres) involved in learning, perception, and motivation Convolutions - fold on the cerebral surface Dichotomous traits Rene Descartes - Cartesian Dualism- argued the universe is composed of 2 elements which is still viewed today o Physical matter - which behaves according to the laws of nature; which can be studied o Human mind - (soul, self, spirit) lacks physical substance, and obeys no natural laws ; which cannot be studied John B. Watson - Nature/nurture - how much of human behaviour is inherited and how much is learned?  instinctive behaviours - behaviours that occur in all members of a species; emphasized role of nature and inherited features All behaviour is a product of interaction between 3 factors  The organisms genetic endowment (produced through evolution)  Its experience  Its perception of its current situation Charles Darwin - natural selection - heritable traits associated with high levels of survival and reproduction are most likely ones to be passed on to future generations and leads to evolution of a species  Fitness - the ability of an organism to survive and contribute genes to the next generation  Documented evolution through progressively more recent geographical layers  Described structural similarities between living species  Pointed to major changes that had been caused by selective breeding and direct observation of rapid evolution in progress Scientific theory - and explanation that provides the best current account of some natural phenomenon based on the available evidence Social Dominance - males of a species establish a hierarchy of social dominance through combative encounters with other males; in some of the species the more dominant male copulate more than the no dominant male; effectively passing dominant characteristics down through the next generation; also the more dominant female is more likely to produce healthier offspring Courtship display - males approaches the female and signals interest followed by the female responding or not responding to his signal, if the 2 continue to exchange signals copulation will occur, but if one of the 2 do not respond appropriately copulation will not occur  A new species branches from an existing species when a barrier discourages breeding in a subpopulation and remainder of an existing species. Causing the subpopulation to only copulate between themselves and creating different set of dominant characteristics, changes will continue until the original species and subspecies are no longer to copulate and create offspring.  Evolution does not proceed in a single line, there is no preordained perfection; evolution also does not always proceed slowly/ gradually  humans a have little reason to claim supremacy, we are the last surviving species of our phyla; less that 1% of known organism are still in existence  Not all behaviours and structures are adaptive; and some can become non-adaptive or maladaptive o Spandrels - non-adaptive evolutionary by-product or have no function; ex: belly buttons  Some evolved characteristics were originally adapted for one purpose and then become adaptive for another purpose - "exaptation’s" o Homologous - structures that are similar
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