B12- Examine one evolutionary
explanation of behavior.
Explain whether one evolutionary behavior
Use research studies to defend this.
A subfield of psychology that attempts to
explain human behavior by explaining
how behaviors can be explained through
adaptations throughout human evolution.
Linked to biological functions and
Key Ideas of Evolution
Natural Selection: Those individuals who
have characteristics which are better
suited to the environment will be more
likely to breed, and thus pass on their
genes and traits.
Genes help predict behavior.
Adaptations: the process where
organisms develop traits that make them
suitable to their environment over
Example #1: Stress
When faced with a tiger in the woods, a
caveman becomes stressed. This
response tells his body to shut down all
other brain and biological functions and
focus all attention on surviving. Those that
were able to display stress were more
likely to pass on their genes and thus
passing stress onto us all.
We react negatively to chronic stress
because it is our body telling us to be in
survival mode all the time.
The Pair Bonding Hypothesis
Helen Fisher: Explaining the Pair-Bonding
Humans who formed romantic bonds and
reared their young together were more
likely to survive, protect their
babies/genes, and thus pass their genes
Humans developed biological functions
that told them to focus their attention,
feel attached, and to feel rewarded by
their one mate.
Essential for females, suitable for males.
Critiques of Evolutionary
Evolutionary theories often underestimate
the role of culture in shaping behavior.
Little is known about the behavior of early
Homo sapiens, so theories are largely
Not all theories can be empirically tested
and thus face confirmation bias – seeing
what you want to see and avoiding what
Applying our Knowledge
1. Explain how studies that we have
learned about either defend of oppose
the Pair-Bonding Hypothesis.
2. Describe problems/critiques of the P-B
3. As a group, decide if we have enough
evidence to accept the P-B Hypothesis.
Explain your thinking.