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Evoltionary Psychology

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matthew wrigley

on 3 August 2014

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Transcript of Evoltionary Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology
Things To Remember...
Evolutionary psychologists consider 6 general areas, or causes, to explain our vulnerability to mental illness:
Infection and coevolution
Selection is for reproductive success, not health
Evolutionary Psychology is the study of man's present day psychological traits in relation to those from our distant past.
So What is Evolutionary Psychology?
Wait a Minute,
So why do psychological problems still exist in present day society?
Diagnosis of a Psychological Disorder today may seem to be maladaptive to survival; However at some point in evolutionary time, the disorder had at least some type of adaptive use, and was therefore passed down the genetic line.
So you're probably wondering how can a psychological disorder be helpful to survival and reproduction...
"Growing up in a modern western society, it makes it hard to change mindsets about the way we view psychological disorders."
So we have put together a few explanations explaning why, at some point, these disorders could have adaptive to survival...
DSM Schizophrenia Symptoms:
Before we get too technical, I'll start with reading a few quotes from the Bible.
Mark 14:51 - A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked.

John 17:1 - After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you."

Mark 5:1 Explains the behaviour of a man possessed by demon - The chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs alone, crying out and cutting himself with stones and speaking in tongue.
But first, just a few Important things to remember about Evolutionary Psychology:
An Evolutionary Take on Anorexia
: a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry
Guess the Disorder
This is John Nash, a noble prize winner in mathetics who had schizophrenia. The movie a brillant mind was based on the story of John Nash's life.
Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior.
Ancesteral advantages:
Facilitaing solitary survival.
Improving solitary foraging, and scouting for food.
Thinking outside of the norm, when creating tools, and making fire.

Tim Ellis is an Australian performer, author and lecturer in the world of magic and illusion, who has austism
Lady Gaga is a famous singer who has sold an estimated 64 million singles, and has won five grammy awards, she also has had anorixia.
Everything is contextual
We can only assume
Sometimes there is a mismatch between our bodies and the environment
Infection and coevolution
Selection is for reproductive success and not health
Guess the celeb and thier disorder...
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the united states of america, he also suffered from depression at a young age.
Satoshi Tajiri is the person who created pokemon, he is on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum.
Hold up a Minute!
Let's not forget, we are human beings, not animals.
We sympathise, and care for our family and friends, and like to think that we are alturistic. We choose our partners because of many traits that go beyond natural selection.
Kin selection (improving reproductive sucsess of family members)
Artifical selection (selective breeding - Because of race, haircolour, eyecolour)
Sexual selection (prefrences based on looks and social status)

Catherine Zeta-Jones is a Hollywood actress that suffers from Bi-polar disorder.
What if society was attracted to people with mental illness, intrigued by their ability to see life differently, and instinctively want to pass those genes down the genetic line. Maybe mental illness is, and always was... adaptive?
Or maybe it's the reason they are sucessful???
Maybe their fame caused their mental illness?
So some of the worlds most sucessful people suffer from mental illness.
With a mental illness or not, your Brain is a result of billions of years of

adaptive mutations, it deserves an applause!

Depression is characterized by high levels of sadness, loss of appetite or overeating, excessive sleeping or insomnia, fatigue, loss of enery and suicidle thoughts.
Evolutionary Benefits:
Behavioural Shutdown Model
Psychic Pain Hypothesis
Rank Theory
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Adaptive because:
Slimness is seen as attractive in some socieites.
Increases survival of other members of family or tribe.
Easier to become a group member as competiton for food is not an issue
The human brain has come about from millions of years of adaptive mutations, we think it deserves an applause.
This is Howard Hughes, director, aviator and one of the richest men of his era. He suffered from an extreme case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, eventually becoming a total recluse. He was portrayed by Leonardo Dicaprio in the movie The Aviator
It would be nice to be able to assign a single cause to a disorder, but this is not the case. Instead, vulnerability can be caused by a number of these factors together.

Evolutionary Psychology seeks to understand how and why these conditions exist, rather than to treat and diagnose.
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