Lecture 10 (Culture) - Slides Flashcards Preview

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1

Culture
(and 2 types)

- Rests on foundation of psychological mechanisms.
- Social learning in particular which allows us to transfer things besides genes across time/generations
- Can create selection pressures and influence biological/psychological adaptations

1) Evoked Culture: Result of psychological mechanism differently activated across groups due to ecological variation (ex parasite stress, cultures of honor)
2) Transmitted Culture: Ideas that are transferred from one mind to another, across generations (cooking practices, HBC use)

2

Parasite Stress

- Parasite-borne illness is a major cause of death and varies across countries.
- Resources being taken up by resisting disease may influence our strategies
- A lot of parasites are transmitted person to person and may influence how we socialize with each other.
- Gangestad & Bus 1993, Thornill et al 2009, Eppig et al. 2011

3

Gangestad & Buss 1993
(Does underlying health influence attractiveness?)

- Asked how important good looks in a mate are across cultures
- Measured pathogen index in the country
- Controlled for latitude, income and world region

Results
- The more pathogens you are exposed to, the more important looks are in your mate preferences
- Finding an attractive mate so you can have healthy offspring
- Effect occurred for both sexes

4

Thornhill et al. (2009)

- Defense against disease includes anti-pathogen psychological adpatations - Behavioural immune system
- Immunity tends to follow 'herd immunity' patterns (if everyone has acquired immunity you may have more immunity to it.
- Democratic nations tend to have higher levels of health
- Does BIS extend to political attitudes?
- Yes, and in high-parasite stress situations, autocracy traits are more preferred
- Low parasite stress associated with xenophilia and related values.

5

Eppig et al. 2011

- Human brain is metabolically expensive (2% of our body, 20% of our energy)
- Infectious disease inhibits development
- PArasite stress may lead to a trade-off between neural development and current health

Results
- Parasite stress is inversely related to IQ

6

Hormonal Birth Control
(how many use and what does it disrupt preferences for

- 18% of BC users use HBC
- Combined method (supressing ovulation and thickening of cervical mucus) most common
- Creates a pregnancy like hormone profile
- Male face/voice masc, correlated masc preferences, context dependent preferences.
- Influences: mate preference, partner selection, relationship outcome
- Little et al 2013

7

Little et al. 2013
(HBC and Partner selection experiments)

HBC
- Face masculinity preferences tested 3 months apart after asking participants to come in just before starting a HBC regiment
- Timed initiation of BCP to study, had a control not taking anything.

Results
- Experimental group prefer feminine male faces
- Also looked at same sex faces, no effect
- Influence on HBC is specific to potential mates

Partner Selection
- 85 couples using HC, 85 not
- Male partner photographed and masculinity measured
- Morphs created based on partner HBC use

Results
- Male partners of non-HBC users look more masculine that HBC users
- They can only see the difference in masc depending if they use HBC

8

Relationship Outcomes
(Roberts 2012)

- 2000 using and not using HBC when they met their partner (and now no longer using)
- Groups = met their partner using HBC (not now) and Met their partner not using HBC and not now
- Also measured sexual satisfaction, general satisfaction, and partner attractiveness

Results
- Using HBC have higher general satisfaction
- Not using HBC have higher sexual satisfaction and partner attractivness
- Because women are selecting their partners based on the kind of relationship they want.
- Might be looking for different types of men satisfying different needs
- Remember: masc. men better for ST relationship and are not good investors

9

Cooking
(When did it happen, how much is metabolized and what changed about us)

- Control of fire = 1.6 mya
- Cooking 1st started 800 years ago
- Once discovered, it spread rapidly
- Cooking food increases our ability to extract nutrients by 76%
- Especially useful for meat (100% meat metabolized vs. 30-40% and easier to chew)
- Food bands in cultures might exists because they werent able to effectively kill meat parasites
- Reduces chewing meats from 50%-10% in a day
- Our jaws got smaller due to cooking than our distant relatives
- May account for early weaning, more time for social activity and bonds, and encephalization of skull.

10

Raw Diet

- Nothing heated above 40F
- Increases risk of chronic energy deficiency
- 50% of women experience loss of menstruation
- To reach average caloric intake for a woman, she would need to eat more than she could chew (5kg of food)
- Would take most of the day and we would need a larger jaw.

11

Benefits of cooking

Benefits
1) Opening/destroying thick skins/husks
2) Modifying molecules into more accessible/digestible form
3) Denaturing toxins
4) Killing parasites

12

Culture Summary

- Cultural differences as a result of differently activated psychological adaptations (parasite stress)
- Transmitted culture influences psychological/biological adaptations