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Chapter 4

Lecture 9 & 10- Chapter 4.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000
John Campbell

Psychology 1000 October 7, 2013 Chapter 4 The ideal mate  Women o Older (about 3 1/2 years older) o Symmetrical face (indicative of health) o High parental investment  Men o Youth & health (reproductive potential) o Symmetrical face Cooperation and altruism  Cooperation - situations in which one individual helps another and in so doing also gains some advantage.  Adaptive advantage clear - groups could accomplish more together than they could alone.  When one individual helps another, but in doing so he or she accrues some sort of cost.  Darwin recognized that ‘altruism’ poses a problem – how can evolutionary theory explain altruism? Explanations for altruism  Kin Selection o Behaviors that help genetic relatives may be favored by natural selection  Having offspring isn’t the only way to ensure your genes are passed to future generations o Help relatives – who share some of your genes - produce offspring  Reciprocity hypothesis o A helpful action is repaid at a later date by observers of the helpful individual o Ex: giving blood. Could your motivation to donate blood have an adaptive basis?  Altruistic behavior  Small cost to the donor, no obvious gain to the donor, big gains to the recipient  Doesn’t make sense from evolutionary perspective  Why help some unrelated person and impose even minor risk to yourself? o Is there a benefit to the donor?  Maybe the donor is repaid by his everyday companions o Richard Alexander  Our psychological mechanisms have evolved in ways that make us feel good when we do conspicuous good deeds  Reciprocity hypothesis  1. Unpaid donors should almost always let their friends know they gave blood  2. People will be reluctant to broadcast their refusal to give blood  3. When people have a choice of other people to help, they’ll prefer to help those that are known to be generous Hereditary & Heritability • Heredity - means the passage of characteristics from parents to offspring by way of genes. • Heritability - how much of the variation in a characteristic within a population can be attributed to genetic differences. • In terms of personality: how much difference in personality exists, can be attributed to genetics • Take population and look at intelligence across the population, how much variance can be attributed to genetics Reaction Range • Are there genetically determined ‘boundaries’ on the expression of a trait? • Reaction range • Range of possibilities - upper and lower limits - that the genetic code allows • Individual inherits a range for potential expression of a trait
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