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CHAPTER 2 NOTES

CHAPTER 2 NOTES - N ATURAL SELECTION N atu ral Selection an...

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NATURAL SELECTION Natural Selection : an evolutionary process by which those individuals of a species that are best adapted are the ones that survive and reproduce. (example those able to get food & water) Based on Darwin’s theory Survival characteristics are passed on in genes Can produce a gradual modification of the population over many generations Survival characteristics may change based on environmental conditions Adaptive Behavior : behavior that promotes an organism’s survival in the natural habitat Example: Attachment between a caregiver and a baby ensures the infants closeness to a caregiver for feeding and protection from danger, thus increasing the infants chances of survival. EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY Evolutionary Psychology : emphasizes the importance of adaptation, reproduction, and “survival of the fittest” in shaping behavior Fit: the ability to bear offspring that survive long enough to bear offspring of their own Natural selection favors behaviors that increase reproductive success David Buss is a very influential evolutionary psychologist EVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT PSYCHOLOGY Extended childhood period allows time to develop a large brain and learn complexity of human society
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Many evolved psychological mechanisms are domain-specific Information processing Evolved mechanisms are not always adaptive in contemporary society EVOLUTION AND LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Why do humans live so long after reproduction? Perhaps older people improve the survival rate of babies (Example: having grandparents around to care for the children, while parents where out hunting created a evolutionary advantage) Paul Baltes: benefits of evolutionary selection decrease with age Natural selection is tied to reproductive fitness Does not weed out harmful conditions that appear among older adults Increases our need for culture EVALUATING EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY Evolutionary psychology approach is just one theory of many It has its limitations and weaknesses, and its critics Bidirectional view: environmental and biological conditions influence each other Evolution gives us bodily structures and biological potentialities, but it does not dictate behavior People create behavior in the context of culture
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GENETIC FOUNDATIONS Human life begins as a single cell Nucleus of each cell contains chromosomes Chromosomes:
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