What is Evolutionary psychology?Evolutionary psychology is a hypothetical approach topsychology that endeavours to clarify valuable psychological and mental traitsfor example, perception, dialect, memory such as adaptations such as theUtilitarian products of natural selection. The motivation behind this approachis to bring the utilitarian way of thinking about biological mechanisms such asgenetic drift into area of psychology and to also approach psychologicalmechanisms in a complementary way. To put it plainly, evolutionary psychologyfocuses on evolution shapes the psyche and the behaviour. Although it pertainsto any organism that has a sensory system, most of the research conducted byevolutionary psychology tends to concentrate and study humans more.
Evolutionarypsychology suggests that the human mind includes numerous practical mechanismscalled cognitive mechanism or psychological adaptations delineated by the procedureof natural selection. This includesdialect procurement modules. Inbreeding avoidance mechanism, cheater detectionmodule, intellect and sex differences in mating preferences, neural mechanismsof foraging etc. Evolutionary psychology has ancestry with cognitive psychologyand evolutionary biology.Evolutionary psychology and altruism in biology.Altruism happens when an individual, advocates for anotherperson’s welfare, and sacrificially incurs a threat to themselves diminishingtheir chances of surviving P.
W. Sherman (1977). Evolutionary psychologist conjecturethat altruism has profound roots in human nature since supporting and helpingsustain the life of our species. Charles Darwin argued that altruism which heviews as ’empathy’ or ‘kindness’, is a fundamental piece of social instincts.Darwin’s claim is endorsed by current neuroscience studies, which havedemonstrated when an individual behaves altruistically, their brains trigger inregions that signal contentment and rewards, identical to when they eatsomething they like (or have sex).
Two hypotheses are created from altruism, the kin selectiontheory and the reciprocal theory. The kin selection theory in altruism claimsthat altruism was created to extend the survival of relations W.D.
Hamliton(1964) and those actions of altruistic behaviour should be coordinated towards familyas opposed to non-relations. (R.Trivers 1971; L. Comsmides & J.Tooby 1992)claimed that reciprocal altruism is a long term cooperation and that the supportthat is will be given will be reciprocated and some other time the near future. Likewise it is important for them to rememberwho had helped them in their time of trouble and not to provide for thoseindividuals that neglected them and failed to reciprocate. Altruism does not always have to occur.
Environmentalfactors also have an extensive part whether it is the person is taking part inacts of altruism. Modelling and socialisation or support it assumes a key in encouragingpro social behaviour Janoski et al (1998); L Eisenberg and P.H.Mussen (1989).Sparfkin et al (1975) claims that if children at a young age are shown andexposed to acts of thoughtfulness and kindness whether the watched it on TV, orthey are around role models that show this model they are more likely going to showconsideration for another individuals welfare or animals welfare rather than theirown.
Miller et al (1990); Van Lang and Creamer (2001) argue that reciprocityand social responsibility have relations with helping others. The standard ofreciprocity is that if someone offers us help and assistance we should returnthe favour and the standard of social responsibility is that it expects us toassist and contribute to something to society. If one lives by these standardsthey are reinforced with praise and if they do not live by those standards theyfeel guilty. In society on a day to day basis when we notice otherscontributing to those standards and they are commended it challenges us to thesame. As people get older in society, pro social morals and values are embeddedand structures a strong self-reinforcement such as self-esteem or contentmentto preserve pro social behaviour when a positive reinforcement is unavailable. L.
Eisenbergand V.Valiente (2002); affirm that socialisation plays an important and fundamentalattribute in a child’s life and they are more likely to act pro socially ifthey are surrounded around parents who have strong morals and values and whohave traits of being supportive and thoughtful and having compassion forsomeone or thinking of themselves being in their situation J.M Janssens & MDekovic (1997); Kervans J & Gibbs J.C(1996).Pro social behaviour has cross cultural differences forexample like the study G.A. Miller (1990) did it shows that children and adultsin India believe that one has to have the moral obligation to help another personno matter the circumstances.
Whereas in places like the western world that’s notthe case. L.Eckensberg and Zimba (1997) claim that in places such as the UnitedStates or the western part of the world they feel that people are not obligatedto help anybody if it does not concern them.Merely pro social acts are done with the belief of an awardof self-reinforcement or the structure of reciprocity, however people have the capabilityof performing a selfless act without thinking or having considerations foranother person’s welfare.
C. Daniel Batson’s emphatic theory of altruism proposes that altruism does notexist and that is caused by empathy which is having the capacity of puttingthemselves in a person’s situation and exchanging emotions with one anotherBaston et al (1991) Baston et al (2002). Baston (1981) did a study which showedthat females have empathy for another female who was an associate to the studywas enlarged and lessened by leading them to recognize that her values where comparativeand contradictory to their own. The study is persistent with the empathy altruismtheory revealing that high empathic participants were more likely to go out oftheir own way to take someone’s position in a problem and help them but it is authenticvirtue of compassion or empathy or it is most likely for them to bypass calamitythey may face for interfering and helping. Cialdini et al (1997) however stated that thenegative state relieve model theory (NSR) is when someone has high empathy foranother individual that will cause them to feel pain or agony because they donot like to see others in distress and the person who has the (NSR) embedded inthem will cause them to go an extra mile to help those who are in need and thenit lessens their own personal stress making their acts non-altruistic. B. Latané & J.
Rodin (1969) argued that ‘safety innumbers’ does not interpreted well in crisis they feel that when more peopleare present it encourages them not to render help to the victim who is sufferingfrom that crisis because of the social dissipation of responsibility or social comparisonand that it is likewise most likely to occur by strangers or by passers and notby family members or friends.Factors that clarify why people might be sympathetic inmost situations but not all. Salovey et al (1991) feels that individuals are most likelyto be helpful if they are in a good mood or good state. Regan et al (1972) hasthe theory that if an individual has pre-existing guilt of something they mayhave done in the past or recently it will encourage them to help. At the pointwhen there is someone that needs blood and the individual gives blood orsomeone crashes their motorcycle and is injured this is expands their act ofsocial behaviour Sarson et al (1991). When a person is not under stress ortension they have more of a chance of rendering a helping hand.Factors that clarify why people might receive more helpthan other people.Dovidio (1984) states that one factor is similarity, whenindividual has experienced something similar to the victim they are trying tohelp this could be nationality, attitudes or dress.
Eagly A.H. & Crowley M(1986) feel that another factor could possibly be gender, men and women aremost likely to be helped by female strangers irrespective to a male stranger.R.L. Wenier(1996); Bladder and Tyler (2002) believe that it has something to dowith perceived responsibility. If an individual needs help that they cannotcontrol they are most likely in help for example people who are homeless orpeople who have been afflicted by a natural disaster for example the Hurricaneor earthquakes that happen in Haiti encourage people to send in funds to helpthose in need.
To conclude this essay altruism plays a major factor in ahumans life depending on is meant by altruism. If someone means having thehelping behaviour attributes or in order to receive benefits such as self-esteemenchantment or the theory of guilt avoidance which is what most psychologyresearchers or social researchers feel there is in no ambiguity that altruismdoes not exist. Evolutionary psychology has a lot to do with altruismbiologically because animals can be defined as an individual performing thesame things humans do for of their life time or reproduction or survival.