HideShow resource information


Natural selection – An organism has a mutation that helps it to survive, some will be more likely to survive than others. The organisms with advantageous characteristics w3ill be more likely to live long enough to reproduce. (Characteristics will be passed on to offspring)

Ontogenic: a ‘developmental’ answer or ‘how does the behaviour come about in this individual during the course of their lifetime’

Phylogenic: an ‘ancestral’ answer or ‘was this behaviour present in one or primitive species?’

Proximate: an answer about what triggers the behaviour at that time in that individual, ‘situation’.

Ultimate: an answer about selective advantage, benefits of advantage.

Perpetuated: to be carried on

Natural selection: Survival of the fittest – process by which animals are best adapted to their environment.

Sexual selection: Survival of the sexiest – measure in reproductive success. Any trait that increases the reproductive success of an individual which will become more exaggerated over evolutionary time

Sexual Dimorphism: ‘means a difference in form between sexes’ how males and females look different.

Males tend to be more extreme and extravagant and ‘sexier’ as their job is to attract the females.

Human sexual selection

Cunningham (1986) – suggested that the female face of large eyes, small nose, cheek bones and narrow cheeks. Are most attracted to males. (Carried out a long time ago)

Singh (1993) – Preference for an hour glass shape

Pawloski (2008) - longer than average legs are most attractive, 5% longer than average (small sample size)

Waynforth (2005) – suggested square jaws, ridged eyebrows, small eyes and a symmetrical face are most attractive to women in a man. (Individual differences)

Gross (2001) – in males there is an ideal for broad shoulders and slim hips

Partner selection

Kerkoff and Davis suggested that one of the key criteria we use for selection is attractiveness. Evolutionary psychologists view attractiveness differently, seeing it in terms of a ‘built in’ preference which has developed over time.

By forming a joint genetic venture with a high quality mate, ones genes are much more likely to be passed on (Miller, 1998) Men and women will however look for different mating strategies. This is thought to be because of anisogamy: sexual reproduction using two very different gametes. Ione consequence o this is that they will look for different things in a potential mating partner.

Theory: The more resources that are invested into…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Relationships resources »