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An Integrated Psychological Science: Toward a Unified Evolutionary Psychology Jennifer Johnson.

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Presentation on theme: "An Integrated Psychological Science: Toward a Unified Evolutionary Psychology Jennifer Johnson."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Integrated Psychological Science: Toward a Unified Evolutionary Psychology Jennifer Johnson

2 Summary of Previous Chapters Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology –Evolution Before Darwin: Lamarck/Cuvier –Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection –Genes and Particulate Inheritance –The Ethology Movement –Inclusive Fitness Revolution –Trivers’s Seminal Theories Reciprocal altruism/parental investment/parent-offspring conflict –Sociobiology: synthesize – controversy –Psychology: Freud/Psychology of Instincts/Rise of Behaviorism/Cultural Variability/Decline of Behaviorism/Cognitive Revolution

3 Summary of Previous Chapters The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology –Creationism/Seeding Theory/Evolution –Products of Evolution Adaptation, byproducts, random effects –Levels of Evolutionary Analysis –Evolved Psychological Mechanism: Information Processing Devices that exist in the form they do b/c they have solved specific problems of survival or reproduction recurrently over the long course of human evolutionary history Nonarbitrary criteria Problem Specific Numerous and functional in nature –Research Methods

4 Summary of Previous Chapters Lindsey: Problems of Survival –What survival is - –food acquisition and selection –food adaptations, –why humans drink alcohol –why morning sickness is thought to occur –fears and phobias –hunter-gather hypothesis

5 Summary of Previous Chapters Laura: Women’s Long Term Mating Strategies –Evolved mate preferences for: 1- Economic resources 2- Financial prospects 3- High social status 4- Older men Sustained Acquisition of Resources –Preferences depend on: Personal Resources Temporal Context Menstrual Cycle Women’s Mate Value Geographical Location

6 Summary of Previous Chapters Claire: Men’s long-term mating strategies –reproductive value and fertility –Men prefer women with low waist-to-hip ratios and other physical cues so they know who is reproductively healthy –Standards of beauty –Paternity uncertainty

7 Summary of Previous Chapters Kristin: Short term sexual strategies –Men: Use strategies to pursue a LARGE NUMBER of sexual partners, more REPRODUCTIVE ADVANTAGES for short term sexual encounters –Women: more RISK involved in short term sexual strategies – most likely pursue them in exchange for PROTECTION OR GOOD GENES for their offspring –No one engages exclusively in STS, main thing is to pursue them only when you can MAXIMIZE BENEFITS, MINIMIZE COSTS

8 Summary of Previous Chapters Aubrey: Problems of Parenting –Offspring? – Parental Care for all species? No –Paternity Uncertainty Hypothesis –Child Abuse/Homicide/Infanticide –Ability to convert Parental Care into Reproductive Success –Parental Effort vs. Mating Effort –Maternal care based on health of child –Care for sons vs. daughters –Oedipus Complex

9 Summary of Previous Chapters Emily: Problems of Kinship –1. The evolution of families is based on a cost-benefit model where the benefits of staying with the family are greater than the reproductive costs. –2. Kinship Altruism - we are more likely to help those who share a greater percent of our genes and have the highest reproductive value. –3. Siblings can be our closest friends and our greatest competitors for resources and parental affection and attention. –4. Maternal grandparents will invest the most time and energy as they have a greater certainty of a genetic link to their grandchildren than paternal grandparents. It basically comes down to the theory of inclusive fitness - we will act in ways that ensure the survival of not only ourselves, but those who share our genes.

10 Summary of Previous Chapters Jordan: Cooperative Alliances –Reciprocal altruism is beneficial overall to a group because the benefit another person receives usually outweighs the cost of another person, creating an overall net gain in benefits. –Friendship and how it is mostly beneficial but can be costly if the a friend is after the same things as you are

11 Summary of Previous Chapters Lecia: Aggression and Warfare –Men Consistently more aggressive than women –Men consistently instigator of war –Benefits to war: more copulations due to increase in status, more resources –Women demean sexual competitors –Men diminish threats to own access of women –Men aggressive towards women b/c dissuade cheating –Discussed War

12 Summary of Previous Chapters Jessica: Conflict Between the Sexes –both sexes have strategies they use to achieve certain goals. –Seeing as the different sexes have different goals and strategies they come into conflict with one another and interfere with each others strategies. –Some on these conflicts are handled by force, sexual harassment, or properly communicating with one another

13 Summary of Previous Chapters Nicole: Status, Prestige, and Social dominance –How status and dominance play out in social constructs. –Explain why dominance hierarchies and status-striving persist today through evolutionary theories. –Non-human examples were used to show how status and dominance are prevalent in the animal kingdom as well.

14 The Scientific Process “Many sciences develop for a time as exercises in description and empirical generalization. Only later do they acquire reasoned connections within themselves and with other branches of knowledge. Many things were scientifically known of human anatomy and the motions of the planets before they were scientifically explained” -George Williams, 1966 Main Point: DEVELOPMENT Will this hold true for EP?

15 The Martian Spying on psychologists: Arbitrary Division? –Cognitive –Social –Developmental –Personality –Cultural –Clinical –Forensic

16 Meta-theory EP is the only viable meta-theory powerful enough to integrate all these sub disciplines –Unified understanding of the mechanisms of the mind Chapter 13 –How EP can inform each discipline –Argument to dissolve disciplinary boundaries

17 How EP can inform Cognitive Psychology Problem with Cognitive: –Assume general processing mechanism What constitutes a successful adaptive solution differs from domain to domain Number of possible unconstrained general behavior mechanisms approaches infinity, so organism has no way to determine the successful adaptive solutions –Content Free Mechanisms –Functional Agnosticism View that info-processing mechanisms can be studied in ignorance of adaptive problems designed to solve

18 How EP can inform Cognitive Psychology Evolutionary Assumptions –1) The human mind consists of a set of evolved information-processing mechanisms embedded in the human nervous systems –2) These mechanisms are produced by natural selection –3) Many are functionally specialized to produce behavior which solves particular adaptive problems –To be functionally specialized, must be richly structured in content-specific ways

19 How EP can inform Cognitive Psychology Marr and Tooby –Computational theories specify function of informational processing device 1) Information processing devices are designed to solve problems 2) They solve problems by virtue of their structure 3) Hence to explain structure of a device need to know: –What problem it was designed to solve –Why it was designed to solve Don’t provide how, only constrain search

20 How EP can inform Cognitive Psychology Problem Solving: Heuristics & Biases –Base Rate Fallacy –The Conjunction Fallacy Tooby & Cosmides: Rather, study ecological rationalities –Utilize Statistic regularities to solve real adaptive problems –Goal being sought/materials at hand/context Won’t assume cognitive mechanism riddled with problems

21 How EP can inform Cognitive Psychology Cosmides & Tooby: Frequentist Hypothesis –Some human reasoning mechanisms are designed to take as input frequency info and produce as output frequency info –Advantages Preserve number of events Update database Construct new Reference Classes –Study that counters Base Rate Fallacy

22 How EP can inform Cognitive Psychology Male and Female Comparisons –Spatial Ability: Related to hunting Women outperform men on spatial tasks involving location memory and object memory with certain objects Counter? –Changes: Several distinct abilities included within spatial Studies of sex differences should examine nature of adaptive problem Cognitive system is multimodular

23 How EP can inform Social Psychology Because Adaptive problems social, human mind should have psychological mechanisms dedicated to social solutions, especially relationships Problem with Social: Phenomenon oriented –Correspondence bias –Social loafing effect –Self-handicapping –Self-serving bias –Confirmation bias –CAN’T EXPLAIN ORIGINS OF PHENOMENON

24 How EP can inform Social Psychology Capitalizing on Evolutionary Theories about Social Phenomena –Inclusive Fitness theory –Sexual selection –Parental Investment –Theory of reciprocal altruism –Parent-offspring conflict

25 How EP can inform Social Psychology Heuristic Value - Relationships –Events surrounding reproductive activity Mating Status, prestige, reputation Kinship and family relations (inclusive fitness) Friends/coalitional allies –Powerful Meta Theory Why humans love Shakespeare, soap operas –Mating, divorce, pregnancy, deceit, manipulations, affairs –Social events that effect fate of our allies –Return of Group Selection

26 How EP can inform Developmental Psychology Developmental theory is temporal –B/C few mechanisms arise at birth, development essential to understand psychological mechanisms Missing insight: –humans face predictably different adaptive problems at various points in their lives

27 How EP can inform Developmental Psychology Theory of Mind Modules –Theory of mind: inferences about beliefs and desires of other individuals in child’s world –Helps solve adaptive problems –Add: Content Saturated Theories

28 How EP can inform Developmental Psychology Attachment and Life History Strategies –Species-Typical Menu: one selected on environmental experiences –Evolutionary Theory of Socialization Fathers’ Presence or Absence All theories of environmental influence rest on a foundation of evolved psychological mechanisms, whether or not acknowledged Individual Difference –Reproductive physiology, psychological models of social world, overt behavior –Results from early experiential calibration are adaptively patterned

29 How EP can inform Developmental Psychology Attachment and Life-History Theory Chrisholm & Belsky – integrate the two –Effort Allocation Natural selection fashioned decision rules for changing allocation of effort to difference components Trade-offs between current and future reproduction Thus parents effect children: secure, avoidant, anxious/ambivalent –Attachment styles heritable or represent environment?

30 How EP can inform Personality Psychology Hypothesized psychological features of human nature have provided much of the “core” around which these grand theories of personality have been constructed But – So much variability –Typically assume individual variability is not heritable –Then, why are they linked to activities close to reproduction?

31 How EP can inform Personality Psychology Individual Differences can emerge from a variety of heritable and non-heritable sources –Alternative Niche Picking or Strategic Specialization Selection favors mechanisms which cause individuals to seek niches with less competition (heritable) –Sulloway: Birth order Individual differences are adaptively patterned, but they are not based on heritable individual differences (non-heritable)

32 How EP can inform Personality Psychology Adaptive Assessment of Heritable Qualities –Reactive Heritability: Heritable individual differences provide input into the decision rule, thereby producing stable individual differences: assessment mechanisms –Body build: Meso-, ecto-, endomorphic Aggression and cooperativeness –Mating Strategies: facial features –Adaptive individual differences based on assessment of heritable information

33 How EP can inform Personality Psychology Frequency-Dependent Adaptive Strategies –FD selection requires that payoff of each strategy decreases as its frequency increases, relative to other strategies in the population –Bluegill sunfish –Heritable Individual Differences can persist in population indefinitely through frequency-dependent selection, unlike directional selection –Mealey’s (1995) theory of psychopathy – survive in cooperative society Heritable/exploit short-term sexual strategies

34 How EP can inform Clinical Psychology Present: implicitly appeal to intuitions (good and bad) –Fix: EP provide more rigorous set of explicit principles for identifying the presence of disorder Dysfunction occurs when the mechanism is not performing as it was designed to perform in the contexts in which it was designed to function

35 How EP can inform Clinical Psychology Why dysfunction? –Mechanism fails to activate –Mechanism becomes activated in contexts in which not designed to become activated –Mechanism fails to coordinate as it was designed to coordinate How dysfunction? –Chance genetic variation –Mutation –Developmental insults

36 How EP can inform Clinical Psychology Evolutionary Insights into Problems Erroneously Thought to be Dysfunctions –Discrepancy between ancestral and modern environments –Normal mistakes accompanying the “on average” functioning of a mechanism –Subjective Distress produced by the normal operation of functional mechanisms –Socially undesirable behavior produced by the normal operation of functional mechanisms

37 How EP can inform Cultural Psychology Problem: Dichotomy bx culture and biology –Fix: Culture rests on foundation of evolved psychological mechanism Problem: Begin with Culture accounts for variability –Fix: Explain – don’t use “culture” –Evoked Culture –Transmitted Culture

38 How EP can inform Cultural Psychology Evolution of Art, Fiction, Movies, Music Display Hypothesis –Culture is an emergent phenomenon arising form sexual competition among vast numbers of individuals pursuing different mating strategies in different mating arenas Men create and display art and music as strategy for broadcasting courtship.

39 How EP can inform Cultural Psychology Display hypothesis –Accounts for: Men more, b/c women narrowcasting Age distribution of cultural displays Why art, music, literature linked to social status –Can’t explain: Content Solitary enjoyment

40 How EP can inform Cultural Psychology Pinker’s hypothesis: –Evolved mechanisms of the mind for other purposes that let people take pleasure in shapes and colors and sounds and jokes and stories and myths Similar hypothesis: –Activate pleasurable sensations by triggering a host of evolved mechanisms

41 Toward a Unified Psychology Cognitive, social, developmental, personality, clinical, cultural + organizational, industrial, environmental –Dissolve borders b/c human can’t be neatly partitioned into discrete elements???? Or, b/c Recipe Knowledge???? Critical task: Identify key adaptive problems –It is not unreasonable to expect that the first scientists to explore these uncharted territories will come away with a great bounty

42 Tuesday Java Jay!!! 9:30 am We will discuss: –Survey results –Critiques of EP –Other disciplines using EP – Philosophy –Possibilities for a future in EP –Personal Opinions on: Creationism/Evolution/ID


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