Evolutionary Explanations of Aggression

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Why are we aggressive according to the evolutionary approach?
It is due to genome lag. Mutating genes take 100’s of generations to change a complete society, so there will still be evidence today for adaptive behaviours of the past
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Why did Lorenz say there was intra specific aggression (same species)
Ensures fittest and strongest survive. Females select those who are most aggressive as they have the best chance of passing on their genes.
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What did Lorenz say about aggression?
Aggression is no more than a ritualised display
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What did Morris 1990 say?
Supported Lorenz’s view that a lot of animals displays show restraint
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However Tinbergen 1968 found that in humans...
It is not merely a ritualised display. It is born out of a deep desire to harm another person
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What did Nelson 1974 say?
Lorenz's view is limited as it ignores social and psychological causes
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Jealously is found in all human cultures and so is belived to be...
Innate rather than a behaviour which we have learnt.
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What is the purpose of jealously?
Ensuring exclusivity with our partners.
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Why will men be jealous?
A man can never be certain that he is the father of the child and could spend his whole life raising the child of another man. So jealous tries to prevent this
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Why will women be jealous?
A women will not want their man of cheating on her because this will mean there will be less resources (food, money etc) for her
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Why is infidelity beneficial to a man?
The more children he will have will result in more of his genes surviving
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Why is infidelity not beneficial to a women?
They are only able to become pregnant once every 9 months
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However, why might a women cheat?
A man’s sperm may not be of a good quality and therefore a women may want to have sex with several men. As this means that the best sperm will be the one that fertilises the egg
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What is another reason a women may cheat?
If two men think that they are the father of a women’s child, this will mean that there will be two men providing resources for a women
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What did Cascardi and Vivian find?
Jealously is the single biggest cause of aggression in a relationship
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Buss (1993) supports that there are gender differences in jealously. What did he find?
Men are more jealous of their partners having sex with another man. Whereas women are more jealous of their partners developing an emotional attachment with another women
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However what did Harris 2002 find?
Looked at infidelity and found no gender differences between physical and emotional infidelity
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What is the main criticism of all evolutionary explanations?
It is unfalsifable
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Why did Lorenz say there was intra specific aggression (same species)

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Ensures fittest and strongest survive. Females select those who are most aggressive as they have the best chance of passing on their genes.

Card 3

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What did Lorenz say about aggression?

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Card 4

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What did Morris 1990 say?

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Card 5

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However Tinbergen 1968 found that in humans...

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