Evolutionary factors in the development of human intelligence

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: millie
  • Created on: 07-06-15 11:26
What is the main idea of the evolutionary explanation of the development of human intelligence?
Characteristics that are heritable are changeable and not fixed
1 of 18
How do the changes of characteristics like intelligence happen?
Through natural selection, where intelligence is needed in order to adapt to our environment, and sexual selection, when intelligence is a desirable trait that is selected by mates
2 of 18
What is essentially the cause of intelligence evolving?
It increases reproductive fitness
3 of 18
What are the three arguments of how intelligence has developed?
Ecological demand, social complexity and evolution of brain size and intelligence (increasing brain size)
4 of 18
How is intelligence suggested to have developed through ecological demand?
Dunbar(1992)-human intelligence evolved in frugivores,reason being that frugivores had increasing cognitive demand as had to know where to find fruit/what time of year it could be found
5 of 18
Continuation of explanation of ecological demand...
Early humans were frugivores, those that had the right intelligence survived as could find fruit and as they survived, could pass on their genes
6 of 18
How is intelligence suggested to have developed through social complexity?
For ancestors,increasing social group size must have meant having to keep track of social 'debts' & for social alliance that would benefit themselves e.g males sharing meat with members to gain access to females for sex.
7 of 18
Continuation of explanation of social complexity...
Would have required lots of Machiavellian intelligence.Additionally,the increasing social complexity ancestors experienced could have helped development of language
8 of 18
What is the explanation for the evolution of brain size?
Increase in social group size for ancestors may caused increase in brain size as had to deal with demands of things like keeping track of social debts. Would mean ancestors with larger brain would have selective advantage over those with small brains
9 of 18
Continuation of explanation for the evolution of brain size...
Because of increased storage in brain and their processing capacity.These factors would have helped with more intelligent tasks such as producing & developing language in order to deal with larger group size requirements
10 of 18
What did Miller (1998) suggest about the development of larger brains?
Larger brains developed through sexual selection process.Intelligence was attractive due to its reproductive success.Helps to explain why in modern day,intelligence is thought of highly as characteristic desired in partners.
11 of 18
Continuation of Miller's explanation...
Also explains why human brain size has tripled in a short amount of time
12 of 18
What evidence is there to suggest social complexity was more influential on brain development than ecological demands?
Dunbar compared neocortex volume with social complexity & environmental complexity, finding positive correlation between social complexity & neocortex volume. No correlation for volume & environmental complexity.Supports social origin to intelligence
13 of 18
What is a weakness of the development of larger brains?
Larger brains are more demanding in terms of energy & having to compete with other organs in body for resources.Take longer time to develop meaning infants rely on parents for longer resulting in limiting how quick they get to reproductive age
14 of 18
What is an issue with the assumption that larger brains result in higher intelligence?
Gender bias
15 of 18
How does Ankney's (1992) research demonstrate a gender bias in the assumption that larger brains equal higher intelligence?
Looked at autopsy of over 1000 brains of men & women,finding men have the larger brains which according to theory means more intelligence
16 of 18
What do Ankney's findings not explain if we assume that his findings mean men are more intelligent?
Why women's IQ is same as men's.Other findings show women's corpus collosum (connecting fibres between 2 brain hemispheres) is larger than men's meaning that communication in women's brains would be better
17 of 18
What do the findings in gender differences in the brain suggest?
Brain size is not as an important factor of human intelligence as once thought
18 of 18

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

How do the changes of characteristics like intelligence happen?

Back

Through natural selection, where intelligence is needed in order to adapt to our environment, and sexual selection, when intelligence is a desirable trait that is selected by mates

Card 3

Front

What is essentially the cause of intelligence evolving?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are the three arguments of how intelligence has developed?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How is intelligence suggested to have developed through ecological demand?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Intelligence resources »