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8 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What does the evolution theory claim?

Evolution claims that the structure and function of our brains have evolved to serve an adaptive function. Evolution is the gradual development of different organisms from earlier forms in history. This means that all species share some genes because they all have common ancestors.

What is the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation?

The environment that surrounded the species at the time of the genetic adaptation. We can speculate adaptive behaviours that would make a human successful using fossils.

What is natural selection?

Natural selection is where behaviour that increases reproductive success is kept and passed on from one generation to the next. Organisms that best adapt to their surroundings are more likely to survive and pass on their genes to future generations.

How can Townsend support evolution theory?

Townsend 1993 found that women regard men who look dominant as attractive. It could be that aggressive mechanisms would have evolutionary advantage in helping an individual acquire valued resources, especially in competition for mates.

What other supporting evidence is there for evolution theory?

Harvey, Sprecher and Wenzel (2004) found patterns where sexual jealousy was cited as the cause of aggression between males and within couples. This could be evolutionary as males may be biologically driven to protect their reproductive resources from male competition.

What is an issue with evolution theory?

Any evolutionary argument is post-hoc because the theory is developed to fit the facts. It is difficult to prove these ideas as they cannot be scientifically tested. There are only limited fossil records for behaviour so although they explain observed facts they cannot be empirically tested.

Why is the theory reductionist?

The idea is reductionist because it oversimplifies a human behaviour. It ignores other factors and social learning explanations which should be taken into account when explaining a complex behaviour like aggression.

How is the theory useful for society?

The theory suggests that we are hardwired to behave in a certain way. Therefore this could be used as an explanation for socially unacceptable behaviours, for example rape may have been an evolutionary strategy that would have been successful in the EEA and so some men may be genetically predisposed to use violence in this way.