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History of Evolution
Charles Darwin studied finches in the Galapagos and realized they all had specific adaptations depending on their environment.
seed that germinates into evolution
process that some traits are transmitted to subsequent generations
for something to be an adaptation, it must be _____
natural selection
very gradual (occurs over many generations)
sexual selection
reproductive success gained specifically through success in mating
social selection
by reproducing one's genes by being an effective group member
kin selection
reproducing one's genes by helping one's genetic relatives reproduce their genes
The mind according to evolutionary psychology:
adaptations are designed to solve every specific challenge; not all conscious; mismatches between current and ancestral environments.
Swiss army knife example
the mind is created for multiple different uses
evolution generates physiological and psychological mechanisms designed to serve specific functions (EX: giraffe neck)
adaptations originally useful for one purpose, then for another (EX: hollow bird bones)
produced by adaptations, not adaptations themselves (EX: sweet tooth--> desire for chocolate)
random consequences of learning & development, genetic mutation, the environment (EX: preferring chocolate or vanilla)
Many genetic traits that increase reproduction also comes with costs (EX: sickle cell anemia = bad; resistance to malaria= good)
preparedness theory
organisms are biologically prepared to learn certain things very efficiently
transmitted culture
learning (EX: mom taught me to cook with spices)
Evoked culture
evolved with landscape (EX: countries with higher pathogens use more spice in their food because it kills germs)
naturalistic fallacy
just because something is natural, doesn't mean its good
nature AND nurture
evolution provides the blueprint
evolution is about survival of the species
FALSE; it's about survival of the individual
Observational Method
observing behavior in its natural state [strength: high ecological validity; weakness: researcher has very little control]
EX of observational method
women prefer older men, men prefer younger women
Physiological method
measuring a physiological/biological process [strength: can provide strong evidence of evolved process; weakness: measures can be costly]
EX of physiological method
hormones underlie women's and men's sex drive
experimental method
researcher manipulates something (IV) and examines the effect (DV) [Strength: researcher has lots of control; Weakness: low ecological validity]
comparative method
evaluating whether certain behaviors are common across humans and other species [Strength: provides strong evidence for evolution; Weakness: difficult to infer 'psychological' processes in other species]
EX of experimental method
men should show higher sexual attraction around women at peak fertility
EX of comparative method
male marmosets & humans both show an increase in testosterone when around fertile females
cross-cultural method
evaluating whether a pattern of behavior is universal across cultures [Strength: provides strong evidence for evolution; Weakness: not always clear how to measure culture]
EX of cross-cultural method
basic emotions are culturally universal
anthropological method
examining traditional, small-scale societies (hunter-gatherers) [Strength: provides unique insight into the 'ancient' aspects of human psychology; Weakness: small-scale societies are dwindling]
EX of anthropological method
The Hadza
savana hypothesis
Preference for landscaped that offer R & R (humans prefer environments that are neither completely closed/open)
what is R & R?
Resources (food) & Refuge (safety)
why are foods experienced as delicious?
if they taste calorically dense
countries with hotter/wetter climates tend to...
use more spice due to the higher % of pathogens
micro-organism that causes illness & disease
micro-organism that lives in host (type of pathogen)
top killer in poor countries?
bacterial and viral infections
top killer in richer countries?
heart disease
Physiological Immune System (PIS)
fights germs in the body
Behavioral Immune System (BIS)
adaptations to help people avoid contact with pathogens
Environmental cues
ecological pathogen prevalence
situational cues
sensing or thinking about disease
personal cues
chronic sensitivity, recent illness
why do concerns about pathogens increase prejudice?
when foreign groups are unfamiliar, we categorize them as carrying pathogens we are not familiar with
what was disgust originally designed for?
pathogen avoidance
is disgust cross-cultural?
Moral intuitionism
most of morality is based on feelings of disgust
threat based emotional adaptation that motivates avoidance or confrontation of dangers
Physiological fear
increased epinephrine, glucose, breathing rate
behavioral fear
the 3 F's--> fight, flight, freeze
cognitive fear
attention narrows and focuses on threat
fear is readily generalized to non-dangerous stimuli that are similar in appearance to a dangerous stimulus
example of overgeneralization
king snake (not venomous) & coral snake (venomous)--> regardless you will be frightened and jump back if they cross your path
attention expands
characteristics associated with interpersonal danger:
male, anger, outgroup
why is race used heuristically?
as a cue to group membership, but language, clothing & behavior are even stronger cues
people categorize others by...
race, age, & sex
in ancestral environments, encounters between people of different race...
would almost NEVER occur
when developmental experiences turn certain genes on or off
nature VIA nurture
conditioned taste aversion (EX: ribs or truffle oil)