WK 2 PS240 Evolutionary Psychology - Research Paper Example

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Evolutionary psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on exploring and explaining that “human nature is the product of a universal set of evolved psychological adaptations to recurring problems in the ancestral environment (Roberts, 2012).” This field of…
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WK 2 PS240 Evolutionary Psychology
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Evolutionary Psychology Evolutionary psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on exploring and explaining that “human nature is the product of a universal set of evolved psychological adaptations to recurring problems in the ancestral environment (Roberts, 2012).” This field of psychology looks to how human traits are instinctive and become available as people require them for their survival. Evolutionary psychologists support the concept that traits and behaviors that prevail in every culture are potential candidates for evolutionary adaptations. Each culture is unique from the next culture, yet many traits and behaviors are still present in all of them, which leads evolutionary psychologists to believe that these traits and behaviors simply evolve throughout all humans over the course of time.
Natural selection is one of the most touched upon subjects in evolutionary psychology as it contains the most evidence that human instinct is indeed evolutionary; natural selection is also a vital component to evolution. Natural selection refers to the non-random, progressive “process by which biological traits become either more or less general in a population as a function of differential reproduction (Buss, 2003).” The prevalence - or gradual disappearance - of specific traits over time reveals how humans either increase their dependency for a trait or decrease their dependency based on their environment. When human beings alter their behavior and actions to help them survive, those changes gradually become more regular in a population over successive generations.
An example of natural selection as it relates to evolutionary psychology is the human body’s adaptive response of fear. An evolutionary behavior is defensive responses when human beings are subjected to various types of fear-inducing incidences. During environmental extremes, such as dangerous weather, the fear that is felt by humans allows them to behave protectively and to seek shelter. The fear that arises when an individual is faced with a loss of territory or material resources keeps the individual on guard for further threats, as well as prompts them to monitor and protect what remaining resources that they have. These behavioral traits, as a result of evolution and natural selection, have been hereditarily passed down from generation to generation because they have proven to be useful to the survival of human beings.
Buss, D. (2003). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Roberts, S.C. (2012). Applied evolutionary psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. Read More
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