Relationships, full content.

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the evolution of human behaviour;
All living species, including humans are like they are because of a process involving random genetic
processes over a period of time.
Those changes that enhanced an individual's ability to survive and reproduce in the environmental
conditions in which it lived were passed along from generation to generation, and those that
hindered survival and reproduction were lost.
Evolution is sometimes referred to as survival of the fittest, but this is incorrect because it is about
reproduction NOT survival.
Fittest doesn't refer to physical strength- it refers to characteristics that suit a particular environment
or niche.
All the complex biological mechanisms that underlie human behaviour and experience- the
mechanisms of motivation, emotion, perception, memory & thought came about because they
promoted survival and reproduction of our ancestors.
Evolutionary psychologists propose behaviour, like physiological structure, has been designed by
natural selection to serve survival & reproduction.
The EEA refers to those aspects of past environments to which an organism is adapted.
Definition- EEA is a set of selection pressures faced by an organisms' ancestors over recent evolutionary
The EEA for humans is thought to be between 1000 and 2000 million years ago when our ancestors
were hunter-gatherers in the African Savannah.
Natural selection fails to explain certain behaviours, for example- the peacock's tail is brightly
coloured and cumbersome is more likely to attract predators and prevent it escaping quickly.
- The answer lays in mate choice- peahens presumably prefer bright tails.
Sexual selection refers to the idea that any trait of behaviour that increases the reproductive
success of an individual will be selected.

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The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptiveness (EEA) is the environment to which a species is
adapted and the set of selection pressures that operated at the time. This is generally regarded as
the time when our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived on the Savannah, stretching between 10,000 and
two million years ago.
o Gender specific criteria are different for males than for females.…read more

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Facial symmetry- is a much better indicator of youth than of red lips; this is because although red lips
do promote youth, they can be faked [by lipstick], therefore males can be deceived. Facial
symmetry is harder to fake and is therefore more reliable.
o Humans, as a race, are promiscuous. They have evolved to be so because promiscuity was
essential to impregnate/be impregnated & this was needed for the human race to survive.…read more

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The two sexes have different preferences on what they want in a partner.
These differences can be analysed by looking at dating agency adverts done by the two sexes.
Dunbar and Waynforth, 1995, carried out a study using 900 personal adverts from North American
Newspapers. They found that a younger partner was important to just fewer than half the men
compared to only a quarter of women. Physical attractiveness was sought by 44% of men
compared with 22% of women.…read more

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As well as the difference in partner preference there are also differences in reproductive behaviours.
Although many similarities, there are differences and these are backed by research & include:
1. The tendency to engage in casual sex- a much documented difference between males and females
is the tendency to engage in casual sex (Buss & Shchmidt, 1993). On balance, men tend to be much
more likely to have short term relationships & one night stands than women.…read more

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The evolutionary theory sees these differences as originating through the process of natural and sexual
selection. According to the principle of natural selection, members of any species vary in terms of physical
aspects and behaviour. For example, height, weight & body shape can all promote and advantage (for
example the hourglass figure), this may enable the owner to leave more offspring, and then these
characteristics will be passed on into the gene pool.…read more

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Factors Findings and evidence Expla
What do males Cunningham (1986) found that males prefer females with younger faces. Females who have small noses & large eyes Males pr
find attractive in are the most attractive. Some features associated with maturity such as prominent cheekbones and narrow cheeks youth, y
female faces? were also found attractive.…read more

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One influential explanation of mate selection was proposed by Robert Trivers and called Parental
Investment (1972).
The approach suggests that differences between male and female preferences have their origins in
the different amount of parental investment put in by males and females.
The male investment is fairly small.
-He has large amounts of sperm and remains fertile for the rest of his life.…read more

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Parental investment helps us to understand mate preferences.
- As a woman invests heavily in her child, she would seek a male with good genes to father her
- A man who shows commitment in the relationship, to ensure that he will stay around to help rear
the child with the female.
-He should also have material resources as this way her offspring will be more likely to survive.…read more

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Sexual strategies theory was developed as an extension of Trivers' theory by Buss & Schmidt (1993).
It accepts the idea that males and females differ when making sexual selection choices, but sexual
strategies aims to overcome criticisms of parental investment by looking at short term
relationships in BOTH sexes.
Sexual Strategies argues that the preferences for the other sex are determined by the type of
relationship.…read more


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