Does anyone understand the A01 and A02 of evolutionary explanations for aggression?

  • 0 votes


Posted Fri 3rd June, 2011 @ 12:44 by F

6 Answers

  • 3 votes

Ok so I am going to break it into bullet points, cause I love them!

First of all evolutionary explains aggression, by saying it is an adaptive process to encourage survival.

1) Cuckoldry and Jealousy: When a woman deceives her partner into investng in offspring conceived by another man is cuckoldry btw. Camilleri (2004) came up with the cuckoldry hypothesis, where males are more willing to use sexual coercive tactics e.e. **** when risk is high. Dobash and Dobah did a study and found the main cause of battered women is extremem jealousy. Another subpart of this is mate retention when men basically are violent as a way of threatening woman to stay with them or vice versa

2) Uxorocide: Wife killing. Daly and Wilson said the death of partner from physical violence is an unintended outcome of evolutionary adaption to control

3) Evolution of Murder: Buss and Duntley - Humans possess adaptions that have evolved through natural selection to produce murder and is a strategy to increase reproductive sucess by prenventing harm to themselves, maintaining reputation and protecting resources

Ok... no A02 basically the evaluation:

There is evidence for sexual coercion and mate-retention through Camilleri  and Shackelford. Most studies are only correlational and how is aggression measured? Difficulty in experiments as it is a touchy subject

Limitation is it doesnt explain why some men react differently, as according to this theory, they should react in the same way

And some A03, just in case, and if you dont need it for the question, it can be used as A02:

Gender bias in research such as this. Cultural differences

Answered Sat 4th June, 2011 @ 14:11 by Michelle
  • 3 votes

Yes, basically xenophobia is fear of those of another race and suspision of strangers. This is adaptive and favoured by natural selection as it protects you from danger (Shaw and Wong, 1989) and exaggeration of negative stereotypes is less costly than an underperception (MacDonald, 1992) .

Natural seletion cause individuals to be cooperative within the group but intolerant of others therefore altruism occurs within the group and aggression outside the group

Podaliri and Balestri (1998) did an experiment with Italian football crowds, A team called Lega Nord chanted anf displayed openly semitic and xenophobic banners. Evan and Rowe (2002) used police reports from 40 football matches and found there was more violence in national games than club gamees as clubs are more ethnically diverse so less xenophobic

An alternative explanation was presented by Marsh (1978) and thought it was not to do with the adaptive nature ofxenophobia but that violence in sports is a highly ordered and ritualized process and so is an alternative 'career structure of hoolaginsim'

Hope that helps! Vote for me, if it does please, I am new to the site!!

Answered Sun 5th June, 2011 @ 20:57 by Michelle
  • 2 votes

The high incidence of aggressive behaviour across cultures and through time has led evolutionary psychologist to conclude that the adaptive and functional benefits of aggressive behaviour must outweigh the possible costs (Buss and Duntley, 2006).
From an evolutionary perspective humans are most likely to survive if they have access to resources (food, water and territory); if they can defend their resources and protect their families and if they can attract or gain access to mates. Aggressive behaviour seems to have evolved to support the human race in achieving all of these primary goals.

One example of evolutionary adaptation is the sex differences in jealousy that have evolved in order to ensure mate retention and reproductive success. Daly and Wilson (1988) claim that men have evolved several different strategies to deter their female partners from committing adultery (i.e. Infidelity). In the past, males that found other mates desirable found it necessary to compete with other males. The most successful male was the most aggressive. This aggressive behavior made sure that the fittest males survived and were more successful in securing mates and passing on their genetic fitness to their offspring. In terms of evolutionary explanations, this is known as sexual selection and has led to the development genetically for males to behave aggressively with other males.

Evolutionary explanations also state that males would not be expected to fight with females as this would ruin their chances of sexual intercourse with other willing females. This is because females believe that those males that have this particular behaviour would be too dangerious for not only them but also any future children.

On the other hand, Hiltion Harris and Rice stated that females are equally as aggressive as males as they are known to be a lot more choosy in order to find the right partner. However, evolutionary explanations of male aggression towards females can be explained through jealousy and infidelity.

Jealousy is defined as an emotional state that is caused by a perceived threat to a relationship or position. Buss states it motivates behaviors and is a reaction related to fear and rage. Evolutionary psychologists believe that there are differences between men and women in relation to what triggers jealousy.
This is where the factor of infidelity comes into place, as the trigger in males is the fear of a partners sexual infidelity, as this will lead to uncertainty in whether or not the child is actually his. Therefore, according to Archer male aggression can be viewed as sexual jealousy and possessiveness which comes from the whole concept of the uncertainty of the male. As when a male is not sure if his child is actually his, he will become jealous which will therefore make him aggressive in order to find out the child's father.
On the other hand, this whole idea of paternal uncertainty does not happen with females as they know the child has come from them. However, the jealousy from a woman would come from her partner beginning to spend a lot of time on another relationship or on another female, could lead to jeopardizing her and her child's survival. Looy also states that jealousy in women is triggered by emotional connection of the presence of younger attractive women, which would lead to aggressive behaviour to the partner and the other woman.

Strengths of the evolutionary explanation would be that the concept of sexual selection and survival of the fittest where males compete aggressively against each other and the female chooses the strongest male, makes clear sense and has therefore got face validity. Buss (1988)found that displays of aggression in human reproductive behaviour are innate and are determined by our genes as his research found that human aggressive behaviour is similar across culture and is not influenced by social constructionsm.

However, the first problem with the evolutionary explanation is that it is a post hoc theory. As it explains aggressive behaviour after it has happened rather than making predictions of what is going to happen and then testing it. Evolutionary explanations are also deterministic, as it implies that we are slaves to inborn aggressive instincts and are unable to exercise free will.
Another weakness of this explanation is the fact that it is reductionist as it fails to offer a complete explanation of displays of aggression in human reproductive behaviour, it limits it to simple genetic pressures (nature), which makes the theories easier to understand, but means they miss out on some details, such as the role of social learning in shaping our reproductive behaviour (nurture). The Evolutionary explanations dosent take into account individual differences because the theory fails to explain why individuals might react in different ways when faced with same adaptive problem: different men react in different ways when confronted with their wife’s infidelity e.g avoiding issue (by getting drunk).

The Evolutionary theory also fails to explain Cultural differences, why some cultures seem to require male violence to attain social status and other cultures are peaceful because aggression leads to irreparable damage to reputation of the aggressor.

Answered Sun 2nd October, 2011 @ 22:24 by Halimah
  • 1 vote

Thanks.. I think we're doing slight different studies to support it.. Another A03 you can put is that it is unfalsifiable =)

Btw Michelle do you understand the explanations of group display for aggression? I'm doing xenophopia and using sport events to support it

Shimmering Pink, do you think its unlikely that it'll come up this time?

Answered Sat 4th June, 2011 @ 17:02 by F
  • -1 votes

This question was in the June 2010 paper for AQA

Answered Fri 3rd June, 2011 @ 15:33 by Shimmering Pink
  • -3 votes

thanksss =) it does help x and i voted you

Answered Tue 7th June, 2011 @ 11:50 by F