Questions relating to the 2nd readings on Evolutionary Psychology

Questions relating to the 2nd readings on Evolutionary Psychology
1. How do you think “altruistic genes” are passed from generation to generation in
human society? Do you think the lower reproductive rates of altruistic individuals
play a roll in the downfall of chivalrous acts?
2. How is it that contradictory evolutionary dispositions toward reproduction occur
between males and females?
3. Laland and Brown (2002) only mention the possible role of cultural influences on
evolutionary psychology in passing. Has any research been done on this?
4. What is the difference between traits that evolved because of survival of the fittest
and traits that were evolved from a psychological basis?
5. What are examples of behaviors that are domain specific? What are some that are
domain general?
6. How could EEA be used to explain antisocial individuals in today’s society?
7. The text talks about how humans have many more instincts than we recognize.
What are some of the examples of these instincts?
8. What is a modern human example of altruism that has occurred between people
who are not of close genetic relatedness?
9. Since today’s modern environment is so drastically different from the EEA, will
human behaviors change to fit, or will they continue to stay mostly the same?
10. After reading these two articles, who do you support? Do you support Laland and
Brown who view evolutionary psychology as detached from evolutionary
thinking, or do you support Palmer and Palmer who view it in itself as having
great potential? Why?
11. How does alcoholism or drug addiction affect evolution? Since alcoholism has a
genetic linkage, is that related at all to evolution, or is it completely different?
Alcoholism/drug addiction is not a good quality, and won’t increase fitness, if
anything it will hurt it, so is it completely unrelated?
12. Do the antiquated human behaviors and impulses acquired during prehistoric
times present any challenges to humans living in developed urban societies today?
13. Knowing that our ancestors lived in such vastly different environments from our
own and faced distinctly different problems, are many of our evolved traits and
characteristics even pertinent and useful to our lives today, where so much of our
environment and needs for survival are artificial?
14. As demonstrated by Wason’t experiment, why do you believe people only use
reasoning in familiar situations? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to use sound
reasoning in all aspects of life? Or do you believe that wastes too much energy
and isn’t very efficient?
15. I wonder about the ethical limitations of experimenting on humans. How much of
a constraint does it put on the field? How much of an ethical debate is raging right
now in terms of what research is or isn’t ok to conduct on humans?
16. Are the brains and thought processes of animals and humans linked closely
enough that data from animal trials accurately predict the way the human mind
17. What is the most valuable resource psychologists have when tracing
psychological mechanisms from the past? Is this a reliable resource?
18. Would you argue that morality is inherited through evolutionary psychology, or
are children born with a “blank slate” and learn about treatment of others (i.e.,
acting for the benefit of the collective survival of their species) from society?