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Two Different Approaches to
 Standard Social Science
 Evolutionary Psychology
Major Contrast
 All is Learned
 No instincts
 General Processor
 Culture transcends
 Some is innate
 Instincts
 Modularity
 Biology builds,
influences, and
constrains culture
EP Principle Assumptions
 Humans Evolved
 Theory of Natural selection
Traits vary across generations
Traits that promote survival & reproduction naturally selected
Naturally Selected traits passed on to next generation
Applied to Brain and Behavior
 Social Behavior as set of Adaptations
Important Evolutionary Changes
for Humans
 Bipedalism
 Frees up the hands
Climbing, throwing, gesturing
 Opposable Thumbs
 Dexterity
 Tools
 Big Brains
 Language
 Complex Emotions & Social Behavior
 Consciousness?
 Imagination
 Genes are not Blueprints (do not determine)
 Genes more like recipes (guide) & triggers
 EP is not Biological Determinism
 EP is not
Genes + Environment
Genes x Environment
 CULTURE (Environment) matters!
Behavior Changes with age
 Behavioral Change with age as Maturation
 Building a car versus building an adult human
 Environment – Organism Interaction
 Example: language
Neurobehavioral Research: Case Studies
Violence & the Brain
Dyscontrol Syndrome
• Assumptions:
• Diseased violence triggers (bad brain)
• Excessive, Impulsive Violence
• Hidden disease
• Four Symptoms
History of Violence
History of traffic violations
Sexual Impulsivity
Pathological intoxication
• DS can exist without overt physical symptoms
• Intervene
• Surgery
• Lobotomy
 Epilepsy
 Episodes of Violent Rage
 Surgery
 Consequences
Charles Whitman
Split-Brain Syndrome
Cross Wiring
 Touch sensations from left side of body to RH;
sensations from right side of body to LH
 Motor control cross wired as well
 Other Sensory Systems cross wired
What is it?
Why do it?