Attitude Change and Persuasion Essay

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Subject: Psychology
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #32399120

Excerpt from Essay :


Attitude Change and Persuasion

What is evolutionary psychology? How does it explain mate selection?

Evolutionary psychology (EP) is an advance that looks at psychological traits such as memory, perception and language for a contemporary evolutionary perspective in regards to social and natural sciences. It attempts to categorize which human psychological traits are alterations that have evolved (Confer, Easton, Fleischman, Goetz, Lewis, Perilloux & Buss, 2010). In other words, which functional products of natural selection or sexual selection are evolved adaptations. Adaptationist thinking in regards to physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is frequent in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary psychology relates the same thinking to psychology, arguing that the mind has a modular makeup similar to that of the body, with dissimilar modular adaptations serving different functions (Confer et al., 2010).

Evolutionary psychologists dispute that a lot of human behavior is the output of psychological adaptations that evolved to resolve recurring problems in human ancestral surroundings

Evolutionary psychologists hold that behaviors or traits that happen universally in all cultures are good contenders for evolutionary adaptations including the capabilities to deduce others' emotions, distinguish kin from non-kin, recognize and favor healthier mates, and work together with others. "They report successful tests of theoretical prediction related to such topics as infanticide, intelligence, marriage patterns, promiscuity, perception of beauty, bride price and parental investment" (Confer et al., 2010).

Evolution is an adaptive process whereby organisms transform directionally over time, evolving progressively more sophisticated organism abilities. The essential premise of evolutionary psychology, with regard to mate selection, is that humans will select mates that make the most of their chance of reproductive success. Reproductive success will be influenced by numerous factors. Three of these factors include parental investment, reproductive characteristics, and environmental concerns (Sommer, n.d.).

Parental investment refers to the differential caretaking tasks each parent incurs as a consequence of producing offspring. This theory suggests that the sex who will have the smallest amount of investment in offspring will contend with the same sex for mating rights with the sex who has the biggest investment in offspring. In addition to parental investment concerns, mate selection intrinsically entails contemplation of the reproductive characteristics of the probable mate. A perfect mate would have superior genes to augment the likelihood that offspring will grow into healthy, reproducing adults. A final facet of evolutionary theory to be looked at in regards to mate selection concerns environmental components. Innately, reproductive success will be affected by environmental contingencies. For that reason, rules of attraction and mating should be susceptible to impositions of circumstance including time and culture (Sommer, n.d.).

Using relevant examples, discuss the various ways in which attitudes towards mate selection may be shaped by social influences.

When looking at the various ways in which peoples' attitudes towards mate selection and how these may be shaped by social influences, there two man theories to be looked at -- evolutionary theory and social structure theory. From the evolutionary viewpoint, human sex differences replicate the force of differing physical and social environments involving females and males in primordial times. It is thought that people frequently learn from others and selection for social learning devices are thought to take place when there are expenses to obtaining precise behavioral information by way of individual learning. In terms of mate choices and partialities, using the judgement of others may be helpful if it permits one to assess possible mates more rapidly and competently than through trial and error. In reality, there are potentially very big costs if people choose bad mates in regards to desertion, infidelity or violence. All of these pose very real risks that could be avoided (Brown, Dickins, Sear & Laland, 2011).

It has been disputed that there are undeniable ties between individual goals of mixture and social influences on couples, even to the point that it is hard to argue a division between the two. Couples might achieve reproductive advantages by selecting a mate who shares comparable traits and genes, but the overall success of the mixture strategy hinges on social forces that support or weaken the strategy of people (Thiessen, 1999).

Several considerations are thought to influence a person's choice of an appropriate mate. Evolutionary psychology designates that characteristics that people…

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