1.22.2010 Evolutionary Psychology **The Theory of Evolution -Charles Darwin & Alfred Russel Wallace Why is life so diverse? · Descent with modification · Speciation- groups of populations have diverged so much that they can no longer mate · Changes may aid in the organism's survival -just b/c it changes doesn't mean it's for positive adaptation.. could be neutral · All living things have a common ancestor - not explaining how we originated - What is evolutionary psychology? How human thought and behaviour adapted. -Changes in DNA cause changes in brain. changes in brain cause changes in behaviour. How is it possible to study evolved psychological mechnaisms? - construct validity : -many fields of study all point to the same evidence **Understand fig.1 in Schmitt Pilcher paper Evolution as an Explanatory Structure · Acts as a unifying field in the study of psychology · how normal behaviours came about and why they are official Geoffory Fodor "The mind is not a general purpose problem-solver · We have specific mental abilities that we can perform -evolved mechanism -These are not necessarily housed in specific brain areas as assumed by phrenology (so they are spread out) -specific kinds of abilities are like a painter's palette... separate groups but you can combine them to use John Tooby and Leda Cosmides -we are only just beginning to discover the many abilities and cognitive modules that humans have -These modules developed as a result of an environmental pressure that selected for the mental abilities -Just like how physical characteristics change Why do we instictually avoid snakes? (humans and other primates) -they can kill us -we can detect patterns well.. hence snakes ex. -remembering the location where you heard the hissing sound Heuristic Use = problem solving Theory of mind = I can tell what you're thinking and I know that you can think about me and what i'm thinking Reading is a by-product of 2 abilites · pattern recognition · language use Stephen Jay Gould - biologist, critiques evolutionary theory -ppl are too willing to say that everything was an advantageous adaptation -No! that is not true.. some things are just a by-product of other abilities i.e.: reading Evolutionary Psychology is less than 30 years old. -we have to understand it Evans, D, & Zarate, O (1999) Introducing Evolutionary Psychology
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