Dmitry Belyaev
- Wanted to see if he could transform a fearful fox into a friendly one
- He took 30 males and 100 female foxes and tried to tame them
- After 40 years, a new breed of fox exists: ones that are friendly and affectionate
When certain traits are selected (by having a reproductive advantage), those traits over time come to prevail.
Natural Selection
The principle that among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations
random errors in gene replication; source of genetic diversity
Humans are Different
Unlike animals, genes and experience wire our brains. We adapt to different environments, helping us survive and reproduce
The following traits persist over time:
- Large antlers on bulls
- Sharks with keener smells
- Bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant
Evolutionary Psychologists
The study of the evolution of behavior and the mind using principles of natural selection.
In psychology, the characteristics, whether biologically or socially influenced, by which people define male and female.
Gender Differences:
Males are more likely than females to initiate sexual activity.
Behavior Differences
Casual hit and run sex is more frequent among males than females; Men have a lower threshold for perceiving warm responses as a sexual come on
Mating Behaviors of Humans
Women most often send their genes into the future by pairing wisely; men by pairing widely
Men: Women with looks, youthful appearance
Women: Men who are bold, affluent, mature, dominant; and who have long term commitment
Overall Mating Principle
Nature selects behaviors that increase the likelihood of sending one's genes into the future.
Critics of Evolutionary Psychology
It starts with an effect and works backward to propose an explanation
Much of who we are is not hard-wired; cultural expectations bend the genders (& what's attractive where).
Universal Gender Preferences
Gender differences may be by products of a culture's social and family structures; esp. in a family with gender inequality
There are numerous social consequences of evolutionary psychology; it could undercut ethical theory, moral responsibility, etc.
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