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Chapter 2

Psychology 3720F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Animal Testing, Mirror Neuron, Limbic System

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Stelian Medianu

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3720 chapter 2
are humans genetically predisposded to be prosocial and helpful
darwins says survival of the fittest
he meant that individuals who were the most selfish would be most likely to survive
asking the questions
1. problem involing hwo to integrate the different ways that people from
diverse disciplines
2. how biologica and envirionmental influence are coneptuall related
3. focuses on the methodological challenges
4. how to interpret data
what dod we mean by altruisn
we defined alutruisn uin terms of peoples inteions and motivation
this is different than elping which is defined bu the conmsquecnes tather than by its
helping is an act that benefits another
this is a social psycholigcal persepctiuve
evolutionary biologist and psychologist view alutruism as a cost benefit analythus
say cost for thehelper but increases the iklihood that other member of the same
species will survive and pass on their genes
for evolutionary psyc it is about passing of genes
nature v nurture
specficis genees in canceres
eye colour is inherited
human genome project
all off these show great promise for the disocver and answering of question relating
alutruism and mature
the term temperament refers to the general behavioural tendencies
temperament in babies
hard, easy
many researchers believe that this temperament are due to genetic factors
however behaviours are complex and thus are probably unlikely to be directly
related to a certain strand of dna
however they are probably in directly linked through a number of gebnes
genetic processes are not immune to environmental,socaia, cultural infleunecnes
Genes influences how people react to the world around them
In turn the environment affects which genes will be expresses
Disentangling nature and nurture
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Look at similarities acorss organism, cukutres and indivudals who are genetically
smiiar but who have had different learning experiences
If common outcome even with different social then genetic
Types of techniques that represent this approach include cross spcies cross cultural
and behavioural genetics
Can also look at babys who have not been socialized
Cross cultural studies
Reserachers look to see if certain social bhabour or charactersitcs are foundin
unrelated societies
T they are this would suggest that the common behavior or charactersits are
Cross species comparative looks for the same pattern of behavior found in humans
Behavioural genetics
Looks at twin studies
Does it run in the family
Look at heritability
Babies less than a day old are able to imitate the facial expressions of an adult
Look directly at genetic implications by looking at hormonones
Interpreting and applying biological theories
The problems associated with cross cultural studies
Perhaps the behabiour is the same due to similar necessities of life
Modern communication and technology have homogenized the experience of people
worldwide making it harder to distangle
Problems with genetic implications
Environment has influence on genes
Environment regulates genes
No single gene
Heritability only allows for prediction and cant say 100 percent
Just because you have the gene does not mean you will have the effect
Have to be careful with how results are interprented
Nazi used genetic superiority as a way of shunning others who did not exhibit
specific phenotypes
Evolutionary perspectives on altruism
Darwins theory of natural selection
Wallaces four simple principles
1. principle of variation
members of the same species vary in behavioural and physiological aspects
2. inheritance
3. adaptation
there is almost always competition amoung members and some are able to
compete more efficently
4. evolution
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those who are most capable will survive to pass on genes that enabled them
to survive
new evolutionary perspective
in the early 1960 theory changed from survival of the person to survival of the
persons genes
evolutionary benefits to altruism
praire dogs, worker bees
all have few children which explain their extreme altruism
based on old theories these animals would nto be considered fit because they do not
have many offspring
based on new theories they would be considered fit
this mechanism might allow us to explain for the development of innate altruism
evolutionary mechanisms
genes not the people
evolution takes place at the level of the gene
the animal can be reagred as a machine designated to preserve and pass along genes
Hamilton coined the term inclusive fitness
Inclusive fitness describes the indirect transmission of genes
Not your genes but of your relatviesi
Altruistic traits increase inclusive fitness
Describes the number of copies of his or her gene present in the next generation
Can happen two ways
Directly reproducing or saving others so they can pass on your genes
Kin selection theory
Whatever a child does the parent will still love them
This is more of a self serving notion
Neglectful parent gene
Genetically inclined parents are inclinded to be more altruistic
Social psychological definition of altruism help that is primarily intended to help
What work has been done to prove this theory
Relatedness research or willing to help research
Example: ground nesting birds
Parent birds pretends to limp to distract predator from the nest
Leads it away from the nest and then when the predator gets close enough it flies
Preference for helping those who are related to you
Sherman study
Showed that squirrels were more likely to assint related
More likely to assist first degree realtion ie mother daughter
Evolutionary evidence of kin selection
The sole purpose of reporuction is to pass on genes
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