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Evolutionary Psychology

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Maria Fernanda Alvarez

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of Evolutionary Psychology

It's one of many biologically
informed approaches to
the study of human
behavior. theory: Gets at different mental characteristics
of the human race; such as memory,
perception, language, and emotions;
always as and so,
products of adaptations natural selection. THE PRINCIPLES OF
PSYCHOLOGY. This six tenets established
recently in 2005,
added strength and body
to this psychological
approach. 1) The brain is a computer designed by natural selection to extract information from the environment. 2) Individual human behavior is
generated by this evolved
computer in response to
information it extracts from
the environment. Understanding
behavior requires articulating
the cognitive programs that
generate the behavior. 3) The cognitive programs
of the human brain are
adaptations. They exist
because they produced
behavior in our
ancestors that enabled
them to survive and
reproduce. This emphasizes the cognitivism
that evolutionary psychologists
are committed to. Attention in the evolutionary approach is not to parts of the brain but to the programs
run by the brain.
It's these programs (psychological mechanisms) that are products
of natural selection. Our behavior
can be produced by underlying
psychological mechanisms that
arose to respond to particular
circumstances in our ancestors'
environments. 4) The cognitive programs
of the human brain may not
be adaptive now; they were
adaptive in ancestral
environments. 5) Natural selection
ensures that the brain
is composed of many
different special purpose
programs and not a
domain general
architecture. 6) Describing the evolved
computational architecture
of our brains “allows a
systematic understanding
of cultural and social
phenomena”. This principle presents what
is often called the
“massive modularity thesis”,
what we will explain in
a bit :-) THE MASSIVE
the mind
has a modular
architecture. The massively modular
architecture is the result
of natural selection acting
to produce each of the
many modules. Our cognitive architecture
is composed of computational
devices, that are innate and
are adaptations. A very general diagram
and example of this cognitive
architecture. This massively modular
architecture accounts for
all of our sophisticated behavior. Our successful navigation
of the world results
from the action of one
or more of our many
modules. Jerry Fodor, in 1983
was the first to mount a
sustained philosophical defense
of modularity as a theory
of cognitive architecture. HE DISTINGUISHED OUR "IMPUT SYSTEMS" (VISUAL SYSTEM, LISTENING...) -these parts of our mind are dedicated information processors- But also, this modular detection systems feed "OUTPUT" to a CENTRAL SYSTEM, which is a kind of inference engine, that can not be modular. EVOLUTIONARY
PSYCHOLOGY the historical psychology approach! THE END :-) -PAULA ANDREA MESA


-special anatomical and physical adaptations
of the mammalian cerebral cortex gave rise
to CONSCIOUSNESS. Consciousness refers to voluntary action, awareness. However, even voluntary behavior involves unconscious mechanisms. Many cognitive processes take place in the cognitive unconscious, and even some behaviors are conscious when learned but then become unconscious, seemingly automatic. Learning, specially implicitly learning a skill, can take place outside of consciousness. m e n t a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Evolutionary psychologists hold that primary purpose is to guide action. For example, they say, depth perception seems to have evolved not to help us know the distances to other objects but rather to help us move around in space. SENSES AND PERCEPTIONS' LEARNING is said to be accomplished through evolved capacities, specifically facultative adaptations. Facultative adaptations express themselves differently depending on input (SIGNALS FROM OUTSIDE, THAT ENTER THROUGH SENSES) from the environment. Sometimes the input comes during development and helps shape that development. Motivations direct and energize behavior,
while provide the
affective component to motivation,
positive or negative. emotions Many emotions are universal.
Humans share at least 5: FEAR sadness HAPPINESS ANGER disgust refers to internal representations of the
world and internal information processing. For example, humans are far more likely to solve logic problems that involve detecting cheating (a common problem given our social nature) than the same logic problem put in purely abstract terms. Since our ancestors did not encounter truly random events, we may be cognitively predisposed to incorrectly identify patterns in random sequences. COGNITION Evolutionary psychology is primarily interested in finding commonalities between people, or basic human psychological nature... For example, if most of the population is generally trusting and gullible, the behavioral morph of being a "cheater" (or, in the extreme case, a sociopath) may be advantageous. traits may represent different genetically predisposed "behavioral morphs" – alternate behavioral strategies that depend on the frequency of competing behavioral strategies in the population-. personality The universal human ability to learn to talk between the ages of 1 – 4, basically without training, suggests that language acquisition is a distinctly human psychological adaptation, but also, and most importantly; language is an adaptation because, as a mental faculty shares many likenesses with the complex organs of the body. Since by adaptation is the only known mechanism such complex organs can develop, language, consequently, has evolved as an adaptation too. language In this psychology, humans and
apes behavior can be understood by
knowing their evolutionary history.
Sets that primates' (including men)
mind, is compound by several
functional mechanisms called psychological
adaptations or EPM's (Evolved Psychological
Mechanisms), that have been developed
by natural selection because of
resulting useful to survive and
to the organism successful
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