Chapter 9 Notes

Chapter 9 Notes
Math is an evolutionary invention that makes use of modules that must have
evolved for other purposes
Some adaptations in the world of math:
o the ability to determine quantity (up to some small limit) without
o understanding of more and less
o counting to three or four
o realization that adding increases quantity and subtracting decreases it
o study done on infants to prove this
Children are not intrinsically motivated to to practice math and reading
skills, because these tasks are not natural products of adaptations
o evolutionarily speaking, traits could have been beneficial in the EEA
o everything he talked about in class
o openness/intelligence
o conscientiousness
o extraversion
o agreeableness
o neuroticism
Individuality: Intelligence and Personality:
Behavior Genetics is a specialty in psychology and it is concerned with assessing the
genetic contributions to differences in behavior. For individuals, it is not decided on
where they are attributed because the genes and environment interact during the
development. The differences in individuals are because of genetic differences or
their different experiences. “Behavior genetics focuses on the genetic basis of
differences between people, whereas evolutionary psychology focuses on the
(presumable genetic) mechanisms that are common to all people” (Gaulin and
McBurney 198). It focuses on the adaptations that are similar in people.
Normal Variation Around an Optimum: the variation in human intelligence and
personality is all a byproduct of sexual reproduction. The optimum value of a trait
may vary over time. An example of that is a crow eating vs. scanning for predators. If
he scans too long, he’ll starve. If he does not scan enough, he will die from a
predator. He trait that may vary will depend on if there is a lot of food and so you
can look out for predators more or if there is not much food available and the bird
will have to scan less in order to avoid starving to death. Frequency dependent
selection helps to maintain the psychological variation in a population. Also, many
psychological traits are facultative; personality is normally facultative.
People Represent Social Resources for Each Other: this includes relatives and
friends. It is a very important thing to be able to size up to these other people (have
a high fitness) we associate with in order for potential resources. Intelligence and
personality could be these resources.
Intelligence: there is no agreed definition of intelligence because there are many
different aspects of it. Examples are school intelligence or social skills. “Because
modern intelligence tests were developed to predict success in school, an
evolutionary novel setting, we should not be surprised if they neglect many abilities
that are obviously intelligent” (Gaulin and McBurney 201). G refers to a general or
overreaching intelligence. Normally what people refer to when they speak about
normal day smarts. It looks at whether a person who is good at one thing, is also
good at a different type of intelligence. If, “the same person tends to perform
similarly on many types of items gives evidence of g” (Gaulin and McBurney 201).
Louis Thurstone put intelligence into seven independent factors: verbal
comprehension, verbal fluency, inductive reasoning, spatial visualization, number,
memory, and perceptual speed.
The Mating Mind: possibly intelligence and brain size grew because of sexual
selection for good genes, signs of fitness. Traits under sexual selection are those
with high variability between individuals. To indicate the fitness of a person, there
needs to be variablilty between them and other individuals. G is a sign of fitness.
Body symmetry is an indicator of the fitness of a person. All of this information
suggests, “that the relationship between various measures of intelligence and fitness
depends on g” (Gaulin and McBurney 203).
Successful intelligence: intelligence tests are only focusing on analytical skills and
ignore creative and practical intelligence.
Video Summary:
Greengross, Gil, Rod A. Martin, and Geoffrey Miller. “Personality Traits, Intelligence,
Humor Styles, and Humor Production Ability of Professional Stand-up Comedians
Compared to College Students.” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 6.1
(2012): 74-82.
Summary By:
Kathleen Hayes, Nicole Kaiser, Stacy Maier, and Dru Milligan
The article Personality Traits, Intelligence, Humor Styles, and Humor Production
Ability of Professional Stand-up Comedians Compared to College Students, produced
by Gil Greengross of the University of New Mexico, Rod A. Martin of the University of
Western Ontario, and Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico studies a pool
of stand up comedians juxtaposed against students from the University of New
Mexico. By analyzing the subject pool with respect to the Big Five personality traits,
a humor production task, verbal intelligence, and professional success, Miller,
Greengross, and Martin derived that comedians scored higher than college students
on several fronts. Comedians obviously had that upper hand in humor production,
but they also scored higher than students on verbal intelligence and each of the four
types of humor.
Humor is an element of personal distinction largely understudied by
psychologists though it is one of the most desired traits. People with a good sense of
humor are come across as friendlier, more personable, more intelligent, emotionally
stable, and creative. There are two different types of humor, positive and negative.
Positive humor is often self-enhancing and health promoting while negative has
associations with self-harm, stress inducement, and antisocial undertones. These
types of humor also have correlations with the Big Five Personality traits. Affiliative
humor was found to correlate with openness and extraversion. Self enhancing
humor correlated with extraversion and negatively with neuroticism. Aggressive
and self-defeating humor correlated negatively with agreeableness and
conscientiousness. Self defeating humor correlates positively with neuroticism.
Professional stand-up comedians incorporate a range of positive and negative
humor in their productions.
The study measured thirty stand up comedians and 400 college students by
using the Big Five personality scale, a humor styles questionnaire, judging their
humor production ability and verbal intelligence, and finally the career success of
comedians. The result of the study found that verbal intelligence and humor
production ability of comedians far exceeded that of the college students. The
comedians scored higher on the 2 types of humor (positive: affiliative and selfenhancing and the negative: aggressive and self-defeating). It was found that
affiliative humor was used most by both the comedians and the students. For
comedians, negative humor correlated negatively with intelligence. The more
intelligent comedians used self-defeating humor in moderation. For college
students, intelligence and humor ability showed limited correlation. It is not
surprising that comedians would score higher on verbal intelligence as their
occupation requires them to perform their humor in front of an audience. Affiliative
humor is crucial in a comedians success and their social lives. This is the most
correlated trait with the Big Five personality traits including openness, extraversion,
and agreeableness. Self depreciating humor is not received as well by audiences and
also is a signal of career failure. It is also important to note that the personas
emitted by comedians onstage varies largely from the personas of the comedians
private lives. They tend to be extraverted onstage, but introverted in their personal
Critical Review:
Identify up to 3 points made by author that we found interesting/informative
Humor is a mirror of intelligence levels.
Humor levels had correlations with the big 5 traits.
There are two different types of humor, one that is positive with affiliative and self
lifting elements and another that is negative with self depreciating and self defeating
3 arguments made by author that we disagree/agree with or were unclear and
explain why we came to that conclusion
Only one female comedian was studied causing us to wonder that if more females
were stu-died, would the results be different? Do the different sexes have different
personalities relative to humor use.
We don’t understand the discrepancy between on-stage persona and private left out why there is such a difference. It is easy to understand that a
performer is different on stage, but stand-up comedians in our opinions, are
themselves on stage so what would cause such drastic differences in personality as
they are the ones coming up with their own material?
We think it’s interesting how the article pointed out that comedians tend to be so
smart that they are able to distinguish between self-deprecating and self-defeating
personalities. Does this mean that people who are more intelligent are less likely to
have anxiety or self esteem issues as implied by the article and the studies findings?