Evolution Universals v. Diversity. Battle of Universals and Cultures Human universals: Search for unifying parameters of functioning –Emphasizes biology.
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Presentation on theme: "Evolution Universals v. Diversity. Battle of Universals and Cultures Human universals: Search for unifying parameters of functioning –Emphasizes biology."— Presentation transcript:
Battle of Universals and Cultures Human universals: Search for unifying parameters of functioning –Emphasizes biology & evolution –What makes us all similar? –Personality structure and function universal? Cultural relativism: Examination of unique functioning due to social and cultural influences –Emphasizes diversity –What makes us all different? –Personality structure and function vary by culture
Evolution: Search for Universals Universal human nature (i.e., personality) Evolved psychological mechanisms Mechanisms adaptive to survival Mechanisms problem-specific Culture constrained by psychological mechanisms
Culture: Search for Diversity Culture & personality interdependent Structure & function different across cultures –Self-concept (Western v. Eastern) –Trait relevance: Whether trait relevant for functioning (for given person or culture) Differences in trait level (hi lo) & relevance (hi lo) Evolution constrained by culture
Emotions: Multidimensional, Response System Physiological –ANS, endocrine, Limbic system, Conscious (feelings) –Joy or anger –Sense arousal Behavioral –Adaptive behavior –Expression (face, body) Cognitive (appraisals) –Evaluate potential consequences of event & your ability to cope
Emotion Unites/synchronizes all these diverse responses into a coherent system –Adaptive response to some event
Universals: Basic Emotions Tomkins’ Basic Emotions Theory –Small set of emotions universally experienced by humans (& some primates) –Basic emotions have unique features –Affect is primary motivation system –Individual differences in frequency & intensity of emotion Central to personality functioning
Activity 11: Basic Emotions In groups of 3-4: –Describe at least 2 sources of evidence for a universal view of emotions. –What is the role of display rules here? PLEASE TURN THIS IN AFTER CLASS
Culture: Emotional Diversity Acknowledge the possibility of basic emotions Questions their role in day-to-day life Suggests cultural influences key –Nature of emotion under consideration
Universals: Cognition Evolution preprogrammed universal capacity to learn (some, any) language Sapir-Whorf hypothesis –Language structures information processing –Cultural differences = different information processing & experiences Eskimos have numerous words for snow & should be more sensitive to subtle snow differences
Sapir-Whorf: A Test with Color Prediction: –# color terms in language -> color perception –Evolution predicts no difference because color perception is evolved psychological mechanism Studies had Ps of varying cultures pick best examples of colors, tested memory for colors –Results failed to support Sapir-Whorf Ho Culture did not impact responses
Culture & Cognition Fundamental Attribution Error: Attribute behavior of others to internal factors –More common among Western culture –Reversed among Hindus & Asian cultures Western world: Power of person Asians - Power of situation
Activity 12: Culture & Gender Differences Describe the cultural/social approach to gender differences in mate preference & jealousy –What is Social Structural Theory and how does it explain these differences? Describe the relevant evidence. –How might self-esteem threat play a role here? Summarize the findings by Harris (2000). PLEASE TURN THIS IN AFTER CLASS
Reaction Paper 9: Gender Differences What do you think is causing the gender differences in mate preference? Is it evolution or more recent social/cultural factors? What are the implications of your answer for relationships between men and women? PLEASE TURN THIS IN AFTER CLASS!
Integration Nature Or nurture? –Is this the best way to frame this debate? –Evolution & culture both important More productive issues: –How much nature and how much nurture in personality structure and function? –How do they interact to impact personality development & change?