Inclusive Fit For Wall

Revision notes for AQA A A2 Psychology, unit 4 Comparative Psychology, inclusive fitness

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INCLUSIVE FITNESS THEORIES:
This describes that individuals should not just be concerned about their own survival and
reproduction but should help their relatives as well.
Example:
Bees: will sting anything that is a threat to their hive. When a bee stings it commits
suicide, this seems altruistic until you realise that the bee is simply preserving its own
genes because they are copied in others. Denys deCatanzaro, has suggested that
humans may commit suicide when they are no longer able to contribute to their own
inclusive fitness. If a person reaches a point when they are a burden to their kin they
are actively reducing fitness by remaining alive and diverting attention away from the
family group. This shows a logic in committing suicide, it makes genetic sense to end
your life and allow your genes to prosper in others. Evidence for this study comes from
surveys which correlate suicidal intent and perceived burden on the family. They were
found to be positively correlated making it consistent with this theory. Suicidal intent
was found to be negatively correlated with measures of sexual success.
Criticisms:
As
the evidence for the DeCatanzaro study comes from correlational analysis this means
there is no cause and effect relationship.
Not all depressed people commit suicide.
The evolutionary approach to mental disorders is very new and more research needs to be
done on it.
Nesse and Williams (1995) criticise current psychiatry for `putting the cart before the
horse'- trying to find the flaws which cause mental disorders without trying to understand
normal functioning first.

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