Human and Hunter Gatherers

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Evolutionary psychology

Tooby and Cosmides (1992) definition p.107

Attempts to include all disciplines of psychology under an umbrella which covers all – why a phenomenon exists and how that would be helpful to pass on as an adaptive function, i.e., evolution. Interest is in why some phenomena exist and what function they served and how they help us to pass on our genes.
Scientific approach, i.e. quantifiable, used. Evidence is gathered from research into: * Archaeological evidence * Genetic evidence * Studies on non-human primates * Universality * Hunter gatherers * Modern human populations

1. Archaeological evidence.
Fossil evidence: Shape of skull, indicating brain size, body shape indicating diet, body size to indicate male or female. Fossil evidence from animal skeletons provides evidence of co-operative hunting.
Artefacts: tools, beads, musical instruments, suggest psychological development.
Cave paintings frequently depict the type of animals which were important. 2. Genetic evidence.
For any characteristic to have evolved there must be a genetic, heritable component, otherwise it would not have survived. Cooking food and everyday learning are examples of behaviours which are not genetic. 3. Studies on non-human primates.
If chimps possess evidence of a shared ability with humans, then this suggests that ability was present in common ancestor. However, captive bred chimps can learn from human behaviours. 4. Universality.
If a psychological trait is found across cultures this would suggest that it was an evolved trait, and therefore genetic. But this is not proof of genetic transmission, see food as an example of universality. 5. Hunter Gatherers.
Due to the short evolutionary time span between hunter gathering and the move to farming, evolutionary psychologists base their assumptions of the development of the human mind and brain on the time taken to adapt to the hunter gatherer way of life(Tooby

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