Attitude Change and Persuasion Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

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…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Attitude Change And Persuasion" (2012, March 22) Retrieved October 21, 2016, from

"Attitude Change And Persuasion" 22 March 2012. Web.21 October. 2016. <>

"Attitude Change And Persuasion", 22 March 2012, Accessed.21 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Attitude Change and Persuasion

    Attitude Change and Persuasion Persuasion is a process through which an individual or groups of individuals purposely changes in behavior or the way they act, way of thinking or any other aspect of another through the employing of intellect as well as feelings. This is a very important process because through persuasion people are affected and they also affect others. In most cases persuasion focuses mainly on attitude as the main

  • Attitude Change and Persuasion

    Attitude Change and Persuasion: The total fertility rate in Singapore has declined to a record low of 1.22 in 2009 and 1.16 in 2010 from 1.28 in 2008. The problem of the low fertility rate is common across the three major ethnic groups in the country. Some of the reasons attributed to this problem include the postponement of marriage and lack of marriages at all by the country's citizens. In addition

  • Attitude Change and Persuasion

    Attitude Change & Persuasion Examine the functions of attitudes and use appropriate examples to support the discussion. Mark Snyder and Kenneth G. DeBono reference "functional theories" about attitudes; they explain that the functional aspect of attitudes allows people to "…execute plans and achieve goals" (Snyder, et al., 1989). Interestingly, the functional theory often serves "…very different functions for different people" because albeit two people may have very "similar attitudes," the persuasive conditions

  • Attitude Change and Persuasion

    Attitude Change and Persuasion Attitiude Change And Persuasion Attitudes May Affect Judgments About the Accuracy of Factual Statements We as humans utilize heuristics as mental shortcuts or rules of thumb when we lack time for full-processing, are being overloaded by information, when we deem issues unimportant, or when we have little solid information to use in decision making. In viewing attitude heuristics, we tend to determine what is true in our own minds

  • Attitude Change and Persuasion

    Attitude and Persuasion Briefly discuss persuasion as an effortless cognitive process. In cognitive psychology, change is the focus of all mental health officials in addressing the various issues that are impacting someone. To achieve this objective they are looking at: what the person thinks and is telling themselves mentally. Once this takes place, the patient will then begin to discuss how these issues are affecting them and the way that they are

  • Attitude Change and Persuasion

    Attitudes Functional attitude theories hold the central notion that people have attitudes for different reasons. By understanding the different reasons that one has for an attitude and targeting these reasons can be the basis for being able to change an attitude. The basic attitude functions are: The knowledge function of an attitude refers to the need for people to assign structure, meaning, or order to their surroundings. For instance, in studies of

  • Attitude Change and Persuasion

    Attitude Object Evaluations Current Influences of Attitude Object Evaluations Objects can elicit a variety of emotional and cognitive responses from an individual (reviewed by Giner-Sorolla, 2004). The emotional and cognitive components of a response together define the summary attitude taken towards the object. The degree to which an object can influence behavior appears to be linked to the 'rate' with which an individual develops a summary attitude, such that faster appraisals are

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved