wk 4 - Origins and Development of Social Cognition

wk 4 - Origins and Development of Social Cognition -...

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and the role it plays in Intimate Relationships
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1. Introduction - What is Social Cognition and why is it important? 2. Origins of Social Cognition i. Crash Course in Evolution ii. Human Evolution 3. Primate Research i. Animate vs Inanimate Distinction ii. Rational Actions iii. Eye Gaze Tracking 4. Moving on to Humans i. The amazing human brain ii. Theory of Mind 5. Human Social Cognition - Infants i. Covering the Bases ii. Facial Recognition 6. Human Social Cognition – Adults i. fMRI/FFA ii. First Impressions iii. Impression Management iv. Attributional Processes v. Relationships Beliefs
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Broadly speaking: The cognitive processes that we use to perceive and understand our social world. In the context of this course: How we think about our romantic interests, partners and relationships.
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How we think influences how we feel and how we behave. We are social animals We spend most of our waking lives in social interactions with others. In general, good interactions lead to good things. Understanding how we think about relationships should benefit us.
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A thorough understanding of our abilities will come from studying the origins of the neural machinery that supports social cognition. Our brains are unique in some sense, but they still evolved the same way the rest of our biology did. Understanding the evolution of our species should provide some insights into our social behaviors.
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Animals don’t talk, date or get married, what can we learn from them?
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A very powerful concept which is thoroughly misunderstood and often misrepresented (because it’s not really taught in schools)
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Evolutionary theory describes: a) How life on Earth originated and developed, resulting in the millions of species that exist today. b) How life on Earth diversified, resulting in the millions of species that exist today. c) How life on Earth started off as simple, bacteria-like organisms and gradually improved to result in modern day humans.
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Biological evolution is simply descent with modification based on genetic inheritance Evolution occurs through four basic mechanisms: mutation, migration, genetic drift and natural selection Evolution is dependent on there being differences in frequencies of genes in a population; genetic variation
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Mutation refers to changes in genetic material due to special cases such as radiation, viruses and errors during DNA replication. Genetic drift
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wk 4 - Origins and Development of Social Cognition -...

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