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Evolution of Universal Motives
Chapter 3
I. Evolution of Universal Motive
A. Heredity versus Environment
1. Case of Sex Reassignment
Circumcision accidents cause two boys to be raised as
girls. As adults they are mostly male-like in behavior and
preferences.
2. Heredity and Environment Interact
Rectangle metaphor: relative length (heredity) and relative
width (environment) both contribute to area (motivation of
behavior).
3. Experience and Motives
Behaviors require from little to much experience in order to
occur.
I. Evolution of Universal Motive
B. Human Nature and Universal Motivation
Human nature: similarity among people due to
evolutionary past.
Universal motives: shared human motives due to
evolution.
I. Evolution of Universal Motive
C. Evolutionary Psychology
To analyze human motivation in terms of evolution.
Psychological mechanisms evolved to solve problems of
adaptation.
1. Universality of Motives
World-wide: reproduction, bodily comforts, health, specific
fears.
2. Inherited Structures for Behavior, Motives, and
Emotions
Genes: DNA segments provide information to build brain
and body.
Brain disposed to react certain ways, e.g., universal
motive.
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
A. Fear as a Universal Motive
1. Occurrence of Fear
Common fears: snakes, high places, spiders, and death.
2. Survival Value
Fear evolved to motivate escape and avoidance responses.
3. Preparedness
Some fears can occur full-blown without prior experience.
To be prepared or ready to learn fear of some stimuli, not others.
4. Classical Conditioning of Fear
Little Albert: Associate CS (rat) with fear-UCS (loud noise).
After 7 pairings, CS (rat) evoked CR (fear: cry, crawl away).
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
Fear as a Universal Motive
5. Conditioning of Fear in Natural Settings
Lightning strike or sinking ship produces fear of storms and water.
6. Preparedness and Observational Fear Conditioning in
Monkeys
Monkey develops fear of snake but not flower when observing
model monkey act fearfully to snake and to flower.
7. Preparedness of Classical Fear Conditioning in Humans
Conditioned heart-rate acceleration to snakes but not flowers.
Spider, snake stimuli presented below awareness increase
arousal.
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
B. Liking and Preference for Foods
Omnivorous: be able to eat a variety of foods; eat from one's
locale.
1. Food Neophobia
Tendency to avoid novel foods, prefer familiar foods.
Protects person from eating substances that cause illness, death.
2. Innate Preference and Aversion for Substances
Babies prefer sweets and shun sour and bitter stimuli.
3. Evolutionary Value of Tastes and Facial Expressions
Babies' facial expressions signal what is tasted: sweet, sour,
bitter.
Caregivers feed babies in accord with babies’ facial signals.
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
B. Liking and Preference for Foods
4. Preparedness for Conditioned Taste Aversion
Intense dislike for food because of association with
nausea.
Preparedness: long-delay between taste, aroma and later
nausea.
5. Fat Preference
Humans prefer fat in foods, e.g., in ice cream and in
hamburgers.
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
C. Universal Appeal of Music
It promotes group cohesion, regulates moods,
pleasurable, and is byproduct in evolution of other
motives.
Infants prefer consonant music to dissonant
(unpleasant) music.
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
D. Evolution of Sexual Preferences
Sexual selection: one sex of species selects another for
mating based on some trait of the latter.
1. Function of Orgasm
Rewards sexual behavior, develop love, promotes pairbonding, and boost chances of pregnancy.
2. Sex Differences in Long-Term Mate Selection
Women select mates to increase chance of survival of their
offspring.
Men select mates to increase chance of producing many
offspring.
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
D. Evolution of Sexual Preferences
3. Characteristics of Long-Term Mates
Women prefer mates who have good financial prospects
and are ambitious and industrious.
Men prefer mates who have good looks; indicative of
fertility.
4. Jealousy
Men report greater distress about sexual infidelity than do
women.
II. Fear, Food, Music, and Sex as
Universal Motives
E. Biosocial Theory
Stresses interaction between social experiences and
evolved sex differences in strength and reproductive
capacity.
1. Structural Powerless hypothesis
Women are powerless to attain financial resources and
thus marry men who have them.
2. Double Shot Hypothesis
For women, emotional infidelity is more distressing. It
includes sexual infidelity, i.e., double shot. Men assume
both happen at once.
Emotional infidelity is more distressing than sexual for both
sexes.
End of Chapter 3