This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Evolutionary Cognitive Psychology: The Social Brain Social Understanding: Herrmann & Tomasello (2006) Social Understanding: Herrmann & Tomasello (2006) Social Understanding: Herrmann & Tomasello (2006) Social Understanding: Herrmann & Tomasello (2006) Herrmann et al, 2007 Whereas primates in general have evolved sophisticated socialcognitive skills for competing and cooperating with conspecifics, humans have also evolved skills that enable them to actually create different cultural groups, each operating with a distinctive set of artifacts, symbols, and social practices and institutions Herrmann et al, 2007 To function effectively in the cultural world into which they are born, human children simply must learn to use these artifacts and tools and to participate in these practices, which require some special socialcognitive skills of social learning, communication, and "theory of mind" Gave a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests to large numbers of two of humans' closest primate relatives, chimpanzees and orangutans, as well as to 2.5yearold human children before literacy and schooling Herrmann et al, 2007 Herrmann et al, 2007 The Proximate Question: Modern Synthesis (NeoDarwinisim) The human mind contains a large number of informationprocessing devices that are domainspecific and functionally specialized Designed to serve fundamental motivations associated with key problem areas regularly confronted by our human ancestors. Evolved in response to selection pressures faced by our Pleistocene predecessors; the "environment of evolutionary adaptedness" (EEA) Modern Synthesis (NeoDarwinisim) Main stream evolutionary psychology takes as gene's eye view Richard Dawkins' "selfish gene" proposal Genes as relentlessly selfish replicators attempting to traverse the millennia by using human beings as "survival machines." Arbitrary Culture Theory genes Domainspecific information processing mechanisms Behaviors (elicited in appropriate contexts) Survival, reproductive success, and selection of genes Modern Synthesis (NeoDarwinisim) Cooperation and altruistic behavior is more likely to the extent that others (a) share the same genes and (b) have shared resources in the past (indirect reciprocity) Buss & Schmitt (1993) Buss & Schmitt (1993) Buss & Schmitt (1993) One cartoonist's rendition of male and females brains (from Buss) What Do Males Prefer? Muller, Thompson, & Wrangham (2006) Are we Only Altruistic Towards Genetic Kin? Warneken & Tomasello (2006)
18- month-old infants were presented with 10 different situations in which an adult (a male experimenter) was having trouble achieving a goal Are we Only Altruistic Towards Genetic Kin? Warneken & Tomasello (2006)
Thus, the experimenter never verbally asked for help, and for the vast majority of helping acts, eye contact (as a subtle means of soliciting help) was also unnecessary. Is the Brain Truly Modular? Proposed Domain General Processes: Memory Span Speed of Processing Attention Inhibition Structural Complexity (motor, cognitive, etc.) Categorical Perception Social Abilities (ToM, imitation, etc.) Neonatal Imitation Neonatal imitation declines to chance at 2 months Level of neonatal imitation related to social behavior at 3months Attention of Human Face Bias at birth? Attention to eyes Preference for attractive faces Imitation Local enhancement Occurs when an individual is drawn to the location where another individual is interacting with objects; the observer then moves to that location, interacts with the same or similar objects and as a result acquires new behaviors via mechanisms of operant and classical conditioning. Stimulus enhancement Similar to local enhancement, except it is the stimulus rather than the location that attracts the observer's attention. Mimicry An observer copies aspects of a model's behavior without understanding the goal of those behaviors. Imitation Emulation Social learning in which one individual observes another individual interacting with objects to achieve some outcome; the observer later interacts with those objects, and although not necessarily duplicating the actions of the model, through a trialanderror process, achieves a similar outcome. In other words, the observer focuses on the results a model achieved and not on the specific behaviors the model used to achieve those results. True imitation The observer understands the goal, or intention, of the model and reproduces important aspects of the modeled behavior to achieve a similar goal. Deferred imitation Imitation that occurs following a significant period of time. Deferred Imitation in Enculturated Chimps, Mother Reared Chimps, and Children (Tomasello, Savage Rumbaugh, & Krager, 1993) 3 enculturated chimps (2 bonobos, 1 common chimps) 3 motherreared chimps (2 bonobos, 1 common chimps) 1.5 and 2.5 yearold children Observations of actions on objects (baseline) 24hour delay (deferred imitation phase) Percentage of trials showing deferred imitation for children and chimps (Tomasello et al., 1993)
100 80 60 40 20 0
1.5-year children 2.5-year children Enculturated chimps Nonenculturated chimps Cultural Learning Cultural transmission Defined very broadly as the nongenetic transfer of information -- leads to cumulative cultural evolution in which the culture produces artifacts -- both material artifacts and symbolic artifacts -- that accumulate modifications over historical time -- requires various forms of cultural learning, the first and most important of which was imitative learning. Cultural learning Must know something of another's perspective on a situation in order to learn the same intentionally communicative act requires understanding others as intentional agents like the self. Human culture The biological origin of human culture is an adaptation that occurred at some point in human evolution -- probably quite recently, in the past 150,000 years, with the rise of modern humans. Sociocultural Perspectives on Cognitive Development "Cognitive development is an active constructive process that involves beings who are evolutionarily predisposed to live and learn in social context with other `like minded' beings. They are likeminded in terms of both the neurological system available and the social requirements that are in place" Mary Gauvain, 2001 Tools of Intellectual adaptation Methods of thinking and problemsolving strategies that children internalize from their interactions with more competent members of society that permit them to use basic mental functions more adaptively Apprenticeship in Thinking Guided participation refers to adultchild interactions, not only during explicit instruction, but also during the more routine activities and communication of everyday life. Guided participation is "the process and system of involvement of individuals with others, as they communicate and engage in shared activities" (Rogoff et al., 1993, p.6) Theory of Mind
Theory of Mind: FalseBelief Task Where will Sally look for marble when she returns? (See next slide) Used to predict and explain human behavior before 4 yrs of age
"he wanted to. . ." "he intended to. ." ...
View Full Document
- Spring '08
- The Selfish Gene