chapter 3 - CHAPTER 3 BIOLOGICAL BEGINNINGS THE...

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CHAPTER 3 BIOLOGICAL BEGINNINGS THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE NATURAL SELECTION AND ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR Natural selection is the evolutionary process by which those individuals of a species that are best adapted are the ones that survive and reproduce. If environmental conditions change, other characteristics might become favored by natural selection, moving the species in a different direction. All organisms must adapt to particular places, climates, food sources, and ways of lie. Adaptive behavior is behavior that promotes an organism’s survival in the natural habitat. EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY Evolutionary psychology emphasizes the importance of adaptation, reproduction, and “survival of the fittest” in shaping behavior. David Buss has been especially influential in stimulating new interest in how evolution can explain human behavior. He believes that just as evolution shapes our physical features. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology Recently interest has grown in using the concepts of evolutionary psychology to understand human development. Ideas proposed by evolutionary developmental psychologists: An extended juvenile period evolved because humans require time to develop a large brain and learn the complexity of human social communities . Humans take longer to become reproductively mature than any other mammal. During this juvenile period, they develop a large brain and the experiences required for mastering the complexities of human society. “Many aspects of childhood function as preparations for adulthood and were selected over the course of evolution .” According to evolutionary psychologists, it is an evolved tendency that prepares females for becoming the primary caregivers for their offspring. Some characteristics of childhood were selected because they are adaptive at specific points in development, not because they prepare children for adulthood. Many evolved psychological mechanisms are domain-specific . The mechanisms apply only to a specific aspect of a person’s makeup. The mind is not a general- purpose device that can be applied equally to a vast array of problems. Evolved mechanisms are not always adaptive in contemporary society . Some behaviors that were adaptive for our prehistoric ancestors may not serve us well today as it did then. Evolution and Life-span Development What matters is that individuals live long enough to reproduce and pass on their characteristics. As to why humans live so long after reproduction, perhaps evolution favored longevity because having older people around improves the survival rates of babies. Paul Baltes believes that the benefits conferred by evolutionary selection decrease with age.
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CHAPTER 3 BIOLOGICAL BEGINNINGS Natural selection had not weeded out many harmful conditions and non-adaptive characteristics that appear among older adults.
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chapter 3 - CHAPTER 3 BIOLOGICAL BEGINNINGS THE...

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