One quick note about reading "Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters", in the first two chapters, the authors are sort of setting up an explanation of how evolutionary psychology works. This is super useful, but a bit dry. But it is also going to give you a big head start on many of the ideas we'll look in to during the year.
After those chapters though, I think you'll find yourself really caught up in the explanations of human behavior that can be attributed to the way we evolved in the 99% of our time as a species before agriculture. It really is page-turner stuff, and a large part of the reason you chose to take this class! Enjoy. I'm looking forward to your feedback here on the blog.
Hi! I did'nt want to start this book at first because starting it felt like admiting summer was over but I'm glad I did because its really cool.
I realize that naturalistic and moralistic fallacy are supposed to be opposites but they honestly sound like the same thing to me...can somebody clarify the IS/OUGHT mentality? I think its confusing because both are essentially saying the wrong thing. Another thing I found interesting was the classification of stereotypes as an empirical observation. I wonder how many stereotypes are actually empirical and how many get blown out of proportion by the media. Finally, I thought it was funny how male sextual jealousy was an evolutionary adaptation...I can't believe that many men are raising kids that arn't their own!!
Wow i spelled didn't wrong
Yay, somebody is reading!
Well, I suppose I could have guessed the first post would be yours Liena.
Well, first of all, you're not alone. This "difference" between the the naturalistic and moralistic fallacy have been debated for some time. In fact, your confusion indicates that you are reading critically. The same is true of Hume's is/ought problem. It's all about the "baggage" you bring to bear on the intellectual process. Hemingway famously said, (paraphrasing) "moral" acts are those which I feel good about later. And of course, in the 1950's he caught a lot of grief! But that is the point of this issue: do we see ourselves as superior to other non-human species, or simply the most "evolved". Evolved in this sense as having moral capacity.
To set your time mind at ease, you don't need to make you're mind up about this issue now. In fact, you might take several years to contemplate about it. This is less the case with Hume's is/ought issue. I think its clear that we can, as rational beings see that what is, is not nessiarilly what ought to be. But you do need to notice this tendency.
As for me jeousy, you have to admit it makes sense. (and yes, the stats are mind blowing. In some societies the percentage of kids raised by a non-male parent are as high as 40‰) But it does make sense, right?
Diaz and I were talking about the value of evolutionary psychology just the other day. Again, as rational beings, we can realize that what we think kyle of as "natural" and reasonable, are best understood as genetic imperatives. Knowing that, we can apply our reason to understand, and possibly short circuit these seemingly Reasonable emotions. I. E. "he's not I control here, his genes are in play, he simply needs reassuring that I am not cheating on him.
I think you can see already how fascinating this topic is, and how useful it can be in framing our understanding of psychological mechanisms.
Thank you! I'm alot less confused now :)
I was leafing through your AP Psych pages when I noticed this and the big blue lettering telling the 2016 class to check this out. I started to read Leina's initial post and I was thinking the same things when reading the introduction to our summer reading. The difference between the Naturalistic and Moralistic fallacies was interesting to me because I think the majority of our society, not just scientists, is divided into these two groups. I also found it interesting that they made the note that scientists have more trouble with the Moralistic fallacy, though I was not entirely surprised. it makes sense that people are adverse to some scientific theories just because they don't fit their moral standards. Such as with Eugenics, the idea of creating the perfect baby was abhorrent to a majority of people though, really, it was just a process to speed up natural selection in order to hand pick the favorable genes that otherwise would have taken a much longer time to do so naturally. Though, that is not to say that I agree with Eugenics.
I also was intrigued by the idea that a stereotype is merely an empirical observation until it offends someone. Such as with the height example, no one could be offended by height because "stereotypically" women are seen as dainty and prefer to be in the shadow of a man. However, as soon as someone mentions race or religion or sexuality, etc etc etc, people are quick to take offense and read beyond the logic of the observation which innately holds no judgmental meaning beyond what people give it.
Furthermore, and I know this is a long post, when the author was talking about the sexual vs. the emotional jealousy attached to men and women in relationships it got me thinking about reproduction. At one point, I can't remember where, the author said that reproduction occurs in the female, and so on. It made me wonder if that was why women innately have a deeper connection to their children than men and thus is why there is a higher statistic of fathers leaving their children rather than mothers. I mean, if you were to carry a creature that started out the size of a pea and grew to the size of a watermelon in your uterus, I'm sure there would be a deeper connection than if you're merely sympathetically observing. There is an in-utero biological connection between a mother and a child that is seemingly unmatched in the relationship between a father and his child. Either way, I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, Mr. Bingham... or rather, anyone for that matter. I am not far into the book but I am quite interested as it were.
Yes, this is a long post, but we are going to take class time to talk about all this. You definitely have a firm grasp of some key points in the monograph! Good thinking!
Sorry for all the typos above. I'm on my phone, and auto correct gets me all the time. I hope you can decipher my points!
Anybody else have a thought or two on the topics Leina brought up?
While I agree that stereotypes are magnified by society, we can not deny the truth in them...
The book asserts only that these stereotypes are rooted in truth...for example the stereotype that minorities make up most of america's criminals is a true statement that is rooted in facts.
The danger of stereotypes comes from when people try to use them to justify prejudice or bash a group of people. The information is only offensive when it is used maliciously, which is subjective of course.
Another danger comes from when people simply stop at the stereotype and ignore its cause. For instance more minorities are criminals because they are typically less educated and in poverty. Also take the stereotype that white women are not smart. Some believe that because white men are typically well educated and at least moderately wealthy, white women haven't have the pressure to get a higher education that minority women have had, generally.
When people ignore the causes of stereotypes, it just seems like mean generalizations.Obviously white women are not inherently less smart and all minorities are not criminals, facts and trends get morphed toward hidden agendas or are not analyzed properly.
The book wants us to step out of being offended and see the root of the stereotype in order to analyze as correctly and objectively as possible... I mean we're talking about classifying the way people think, right? We won't survive this course if we look at assertions and get offended by them.
Hope this helps :) Sorry I'm so late.
I completely agree Kyana. We'll talk about heuristics later, sub routines in our brain to sort out the world quickly. As you said, there's nothing wrong here in and of itself. The problem is, and one that we'll have to remind ourselves of constantly, we are talking about populations, not individuals. This is the danger in stereotypes. Men tend to be sexualy jeleous, but not ALL men are, for example.
Oh, and I meant to mention a relevant psych term here. The "fundimental attribution error", that is the tendency we have to ascribe the cause of another person's plight to their own flaws. I.e."he's homeless, he must be lazy."
Hello! I finally got to the part of the book where the authors talk about why beautiful people have more daughters and how wealthy people have more sons and how caring nurses have more daughters but I still don't understand how any external factor can have a control over the reproductive organs...I always thought that it was completely random. Even though the people are beautiful or smart HOW?! Am I missing something in the explanation or is it just natural selection? Another thing I found fascinating about this chapter was the Trivers-Willard hypothesis about how wealthy people have more sons because it made me think of China's one child policy...Don't the peasants who have daughters try to get rid of their daughters so the theory would almost help the kids survive more if poorer people had sons? Maybe they would be the exception to the hypothesis? I am still processing...but this stuff is so cool!!
I know, it tricky to understand. For one thing, remember that we are talking about the odds (see the percentages cited) over large populations. The key to understanding these trends is to realize that certain alleles for each gene matches up in a variety of ways. This is why, for example all children from the same mother and father do not have the same phenotype; unless they are identical twins, ie the same fertilized egg splits into two zygotes.
The second key is the idea of sexual selection. People with complimentary genotypes tend to be sexual attracted. This isn't concious, but nature drives them together by "lust." Thus tendencies genetic tendencies such as beauty and intellegence are more likely to merge genes and createthe tendencies cites like more boys or more girls. Crazy huh? It's the kind of thing that makes this field fascinating.
I am completely fascinated by the Savanna Principle.
It makes sense that we are still adapted to the environment our ancestors came from, but it kind of contradicts with the migration of people...
The principle asserts that we have not evolved since those times, only we have. We learned that our skin color and other physical features have adapted to various climates resulting in today's genetic diversity. While I agree that some adaptations (sexual jealousy etc.) are still there, isn't it safe to say that there has to be some level of psychological diversity?
I cant help but think that there must be some situations that were unique to certain environments that would cause groups of people to think differently....
Just thinking out loud. Probably has nothing to do with the RC :)
Actually, humans are among the most genetically consistent species on the planet. What you said makes sense, but evolution is even slower than that. Most of variations you are talking about are the selective prominence of alleles, not actual genetic adaptations. Skin color is the most obvious. But all humans have the ability over just several generations to increase or decrease the melanin in their skin. Much of what we're looking at in this book are adaptations that occurred even before we were a distinct species. Deep, deep time; we'll get into this more in class.
That makes sense. Thanks for the reply:)
I just thought that it was fun to learn that all us guys came to PVA to increase our chances at getting laid (p. 129). Also, I have a question? If we become consciously aware of are evolved psychological mechanisms are able to try to deter them, or will they always influence us no matter what? Part of me thinks that of course they'll always influence, but is it possible at all to consciously work against them?
Yes, that is why you went to PVA, and the girls are here to look.for suitable genetic material! We are after all, in spite of our desire refute it, animals.
Of course we aren't concious of these sly motives. Just as there are physical adaptations, we have mental sub routines that drive in these directions. We are no more aware of them than we are about what our pancreas is up to.
Ans Jacob, you've stumbled upon my main motive for having this discussion with you guys. Namely, armed with awareness, we have the ability to become moral animals, to resist these undesirable aspects of our nature. I am quite willingredients to make the moralistic falacy!
I hate my phone.
Hey again, more tangential questions (sorry!). Okay, so I've read articles about how human violence and aggression decline. In fact, Steven Pinker, a very famous evolutionary psychologists, has a whole book where he argues that this is the case. At the same time, we're descended from men who were aggressive because it helped them achieve reproductive success, so shouldn't selection then have worked to make us more innately violent? This might be later addressed in the book, and I also haven't read Pinker's book so it could just be my own ignorance, but I'm very curious about this because they do seem to be counterintuitive ideas. I'm just interested in how evolutionary psychology and biology can explain it. Thank you!
I am currently on Chapter 3 of the "Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters," and I am super confused about the statistic where he talks about how high school teachers and college professors have a high divorce rate in the section he talks about men wanting to have young women. I just do not understand the correlation between the statistic of the divorce rates and what that has to do with men wanting a younger chick. Thanks!
Well, you need to apply some logical reasoning.
Most people marry someone of about the same age. So therefore, as a man gets older, so does his wife. So here is a teacher or professor around youher women all the time. If the hypothesis of a male preference for young women is true, a professor's wife eventually does not qualify. And, being exposed to young women, his evolutionary motives (unconciously) go to work. He flirts, he get sexually involved, and viola, divorce.
Remember, these things are statistically true across large populations, and aren't nessisarily true for a single individual. But this divorce statistic does tend to prove (along with dozens of others) that men do indeed prefer younger women.
What are the implications for a young woman? Select a husband VERY, carefully! And that is also explained in the book fitness variation.
Hey Bingham, can you explain the concept of the fitness floor and how it relates to fitness variance? I'm a bit confused...
(and also explain the fitness ceiling?) thx
Fitness variance is the distance between the worst and best possible outcomes. The worst outcome is the fitness floor, and the best is the ceiling.
Fitness variance is greater in human males because their fitness floor is lower and their fitness ceiling is higher than women's. Males have a greater fitness variance (range of possible outcomes) than females because they have a lower low and a higher high.
The percentage of women without children is smaller than the percentage of men without children, so we have a higher floor, but we only have an average of 37 years between menarche and menopause to have kids. Each takes about a year, so we can't have as many as men. Our ceiling is lower. We can't win by as much.
Yeah Victoria, I think Camille has it. The male floor is lower right, because males have a better chance of having no offspring if they are unsuccessful in the "dating" game? On the other hand, even the least desirable woman has a pretty good chance of conceiving a child, because they are the sexual (pardon the pun) gatekeepers.
And of course the ceiling has much to do with the relatively long gestation period (and sterile lactation period) of the human animal. Men a free to move along with their 10 zillion sperm cells, women are stuck for a while.
That's fitness variance. So what you need to figure out, with the authors' help, is "so what?" What effect does this difference have on the nature of men and women respectively?
Hey Mr.Bingham! When is the retest for chapter 3 in openstax?
I would like to take it again.
Why are you posting here? This forum isn't being used by anyone now. Even if this forum was active, it would NOT be the appropriate method of asking about a re-test! The appropriate method of reaching me is via email on the "contact me" page
This space is here at anytime for people in my AP Psych class to interact, ask questions, or simply muse on a "real world" connection to this content. I'll check in regularly to see if I can help.