Frequently Asked Questions About Evolutionary Psychology

Everything we know has stemmed from theories. For instance, what caused the creation of everything in the universe? The most accepted answer is the Big Bang theory, which stated a titanic explosion back then made galaxies appear. What is a living thing made up of? Experts point to the cell theory, which claimed that every living thing was a product of an accumulation of cells from the parents upon conception.

Nonetheless, one of the highly popular hypotheses for centuries is the theory of evolution. It started with a British naturalist named Charles Darwin, who believed that humans and animals were related, but the species evolved differently at some point. This idea was the basis of evolutionary psychology.

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What is the evolutionary theory in psychology? 

The evolutionary theory in psychology states that evolution has allowed humans to develop or adopt various psychological traits essential for survival purposes. It includes (but isn’t limited to) language, memory, cognition, perception, and many more. It all works because every part of the brain has specific functions.

What is an example of evolutionary psychology? 

One good example of evolutionary psychology is an individual’s ability to learn new lessons at school (or anywhere really). The kids can learn about flowers, colors, and even ABCs through songs they often hear from preschool. When they grow up and figure out how to read, they can use their imagination or photographic memory to remember stuff.

How does evolutionary psychology explain human behavior? 

Evolutionary psychology explains human behavior by stating that everything we do is based on what we adopt from our ancestors. For instance, monogamy is common in women, considering they are expected to submit to their husbands in the past and practically endure the men’s promiscuity to avoid raising their kids alone. Similarly, the men are expected to work hard and become a family’s primary – and often sole – provider.

What is the goal of evolutionary psychology? 

Evolutionary psychology’s primary goal is to explain how our ancestors’ way of thinking and behavior has affected how we all think and behave today.

What is wrong with evolutionary psychology? 

Evolutionary psychology is the most respected subject matter in the field. Despite that, it gets criticized a lot for the evolutionary psychologists’ refusal of the idea that the brain functions can change based on the environment, not just on the people you are with.

What are the basic concepts of evolutionary perspective? 

  • Prepared Learning: Psychologists believe that humans are predisposed to fear natural threats (e.g., reptiles, arachnids, etc.) because our ancestors have practically passed down this trait. Even if we have only seen snakes or spiders for the first time, our brains immediately associate them to danger.
  • Kin Selection: This type of natural selection states that people save their relatives first before others because they unconsciously or subconsciously want their genes to be reproduced in the future.
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  • Reciprocity/Cooperation: The concept explains that individuals are more akin to cooperating when they know that the person they’re helping will return the favor eventually.
  • Parental Investment: It states that women are more selective than men when it comes to sex. One reason is that the latter can produce more gametes than the former, so they are not too choosy with who they mate with.

Who is associated with evolutionary psychology? 

Evolutionary psychology is primarily based on Charles Darwin’s works, so he is technically associated with it.

Does evolution explain human behavior? 

Yes, evolution explains human behavior. It makes sense when you think of phobias to natural threats and how they develop in people. Those who fear closed spaces or needles have possibly felt that way after getting locked up or taking injections. Still, the individuals who are afraid of spiders, heights, and snakes without even seeing them first-hand may only be explained by genetic or psychological traits that their ancestors have passed down.

How do you become an evolutionary psychologist? 

The first thing you need to do is take up a bachelor’s degree in evolutionary psychology, biological anthropology, or evolutionary biology. After that, work your way to a doctoral degree in any of those fields.

Why is evolutionary psychology criticized? 

Evolutionary psychology is a somewhat controversial form of psychology because experts say that their hypotheses are difficult or impossible to prove. That is especially true when they do not recognize nature or culture as dependent variables in a person’s cognitive and mental processes.

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For instance, evolutionary psychologists theorized that our brain has specific cognitive modules that have allowed our ancestors to avoid danger in the environment. Meanwhile, others claim that the brain has changed its thinking patterns by adapting to the situation.

What are the three main criticisms of evolutionary psychology? 

  • Most researchers begin by stating the problem before working towards how it can be prevented. However, in evolutionary psychology, they merely talk about how it happened.
  • Evolutionary psychologists only recognize that our ancestors can affect the behavior and cognition of the new generations. They refuse to believe that culture and society have effects on those too.
  • Evolutionary psychologists also frown upon animals’ use by other researchers, especially since they want to explain human behavior alone. However, some claim that they use them as test subjects anyway.

Where did evolutionary psychology come from? 

Evolutionary psychology practically came from Charles Darwin, who said that our social instincts have gone through an evolution, thanks to the natural selection process. Despite it being the source of information, modern evolutionary psychologists have later made changes related to it.

Is evolutionary psychology possible? 

Psychologists, biologists, and anthropologists make it their lives’ work to prove that evolutionary psychology is possible – that mental traits can genuinely be passed down through genes. Unfortunately, their hypotheses and explanations remain far-fetched, so evolutionary psychology is technically impossible.

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Where do evolutionary psychologists believe people get their behavior patterns? 

Natural selection is apparently the source of behavior patterns that evolutionary psychologists believe in. According to them, humans develop adaptive behaviors and pass them down to their offspring to continue their lineage.

What are some differences between sociobiology and evolutionary psychology?

Here are the primary differences between sociobiology and evolutionary psychology:

  • Existence: Sociobiology has been existing since 1975. Meanwhile, evolutionary psychology came ten years later.
  • Beliefs: Sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists both believe that people act with maximum reproduction in their minds. But according to the latter, they have a choice to do that or not.
  • Focus: Evolutionary psychologists focus on human behavior alone, particularly how the brain functions in adaptation. As for sociobiologists, their studies extend to biological evolution.

Final Thoughts

Evolutionary psychology is an interesting point of discussion, given that it continues to baffle many experts up to this day. Some say that it is the real deal, but many argue that the ideas revolving around the subject are practically impossible to prove without raising ethical concerns. Despite all that, it remains incredible to gain another perspective about human behavior.

Protecting Your Mental Health Whenever You Hear Conspiracy Theories

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I have always been captivated by conspiracy theories. The first one that caught my attention was about the Illuminati. Some theorists said that this group dominated every sector in the world, including the show business. Others went as far as saying that even the good old Pope was a member of it and that he was nothing but a puppet of evil higher beings.

The latest one that I read was regarding the coronavirus plaguing the entire world since the end of 2019 and blew up at the beginning of 2020. The official report was that it spread from a pangolin to a human at Huanan Seafood Market in China, where live animals were being sold. However, conspiracy theorists wanted to believe that the infected animal was somehow implanted in the market, meant to cause the coronavirus outbreak. They also claimed that it was a biological weapon that the country devised to subdue the economy and the other opposing countries.

In truth, I did not spend my precious hours looking up such conspiracy theories because I was suspicious of everything I heard on the news or read online. Although no one could be 100% factual, I paid attention to the articles to pass the time. I found it interesting to see that some people made it their life’s work to prove or disprove life as we knew it. A few of them might be on to something, for sure, but a whole lot more probably hoped to gain a fanbase and get a TV show on the History channel.

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Now, my enthusiasm for conspiracy theories was not shared by my beloved mother. Every time I played one on the massive TV in our living room, she would scrunch up her nose, cover her eyes, and yell at me. “Hey, I told you to stop watching that! If you don’t want to stop, watch it in your bedroom or anywhere that I wouldn’t see or hear it!”

My mother was not a war freak for the record — she merely acted like that because she’s gullible with conspiracy theories. It was easy for her to believe every little thing that the theorists would say. For instance, when we watched one of Shane Dawson’s conspiracy theory videos about the iPhone recording your conversations, she ditched her new phone at once. When people talked about celebrities being programmed by aliens or the Illuminati, she took note of their names and never watched them again. So, to avoid increasing the number of items she must ditch or folks she must steer clear of, Mom forbade me from showing her another conspiracy theory.

Nevertheless, I always say:

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Keep An Objective Mind

The first thing you need to do is watch or read the conspiracy theories objectively. You can gasp or frown if you feel like it, but try not to start pointing fingers, just like what the theorists are practically doing. Instead, your train of thoughts should be, “Okay, so this is their opinion on the matter. I wonder how the experts view it.”

By doing so, you acknowledge that the conspiracy theories may or may not be valid. You are not discounting them, but you are not accepting it entirely. Thus, when the experts disprove it, you will not feel like a fool for believing lies. 

Look For Facts

Secondly, conspiracy theorists typically look for evidence to back their claims. They always present it in a believable way that will make you think, “Is this genuinely happening without the rest of the world knowing?” But before you get carried away, you should figure out if their source is reliable or not.

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One example of a reliable source is a well-known organization that studies the subject of discussion. With regards to the COVID-19, that will be either CDC or WHO. Of course, an unreliable source is a Facebook user who is merely commenting on what they assume they understand. 

Avoid Getting Scared Immediately

Furthermore, many conspiracy theories I have seen are meant to scare people and doubt the things they have known all their lives. For what reason, I do not know precisely. So, as long as you don’t hear the theorists’ words coming out of experts’ mouths, you should hide inside your bedroom and feel afraid of everything in the outside world. 

Remember That Most Conspiracies Are Nothing But Theories

You also need to keep in mind that conspiracy theories are created by individuals who have shown interest in an old idea that has already been shunned in the past. Some claim to be experts on the subject, but that’s only because they have theorized about it for years. It still does not mean that they went to college to study what they keep talking about. 

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Final Thoughts

Alas, my mother still refuses to watch conspiracy theory videos or at least read about them. I cannot convince her to open her mind about them, but perhaps I can do that to you. Remember the tips I’ve mentioned above whenever you come across an unproven theory.

Good luck!

 

The Moon And The Kids – A Family Matter?

 

 

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What’s the mystery behind the fool moon? Some people say it has the power to change a sleeping person into a wild beast, specifically if the person drank rainwater from a wolf’s footprints before he falls asleep on a summer night. The only means to stop this wild beast is to shoot it with a silver bullet.

Now that’s a hell of a story!

Other people, on the other hand, don’t do business when it’s a full moon. They believe it’s a risk for failure or being scammed. Ladies also stay home because they might be mistaken as witches. And dogs are feared to be rabid if they wander outside at night with the full moon glaring.

Nowadays, only a few people believe these stories, but there is one result of the full moon apparent power that has stayed on – its capacity to alter a person’s behavior. You can try asking your community police officer or the nurse at the local clinic. They’ll say that when the moon is full, there’s a whopping increase in crime rates, a lot of people aren’t able to sleep, and we all do or act a little crazy too. Do you believe that?

This is a question that was posed before a team of known researchers from the Eastern Ontario Institute, which was created solely to learn more about the effect of the full moon on children’s behavior and sleep.

 

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Researchers observed almost six thousand kids that lived in separate continents and originated from different cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. Age, sex, parents’ educational background, BMI, degree of physical activity, hours of sleep, and sedentary time were some of the variables utilized. Data collection and recording of specific behaviors and activities of the kids were also made for 28 months. All these children were observed at the same time during the new moon, half-moon, and full moon.

The result? Well, it might dishearten people who love myths about the moon, because it turned out that the full moon did nothing to affect the behavior of a person, let alone a child. There was one exemption, though – with regards to sleep. The participants reported having slept a mere five minutes less than usual during the full moon. Thus, the researchers concluded that their experiment provided strong proof of the moon not having any influence on people’s moods, behaviors, or activities in any way. The only noteworthy revelation was 1% fewer minutes of sleep when the moon is full. Genes, family background, education, and psychosocial factors are stronger contributors to behavior.

The team of researchers agrees that their outcomes are irrefutable, but they do confess that the controversy on this topic will linger, as myths don’t die down that easy. And by next month or next year, another group of curious researchers will attempt to develop another study to connect a person’s biology to the lunar cycle. Perhaps adults are more affected than children. Or that it has a stronger effect on people with mental illnesses or physical disabilities. Nevertheless, the mystery of the moon will always captivate generations in the years to come.

 

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Here’s another take on the moon and children’s behaviors.

Surveys in the United States suggest that people believe the lunar cycle is associated with human madness. This is rooted in the fact that “Luna” or moon is linked to lunacy or insanity. For years, stories have been shared about how crimes, ER admissions, and people’s anxiety and depression rise when the moon is full. Some suggest that the lunar cycle may also impact fertility, menstruation, epilepsy, cancer recovery, and even stock exchange returns. Many studies have explored the possibilities, and despite finding potential connections, bigger, more thorough trials have revealed no concrete relationships.

However, 50% of participants who joined in a survey in America – which composed psychiatric nurses, ER physicians, and police officers – behaviors of children and adults are highly influenced by the full moon.

Same Cycle

Different theories have been suggested that connect human cycles to the stages of the moon. The most common of these is a woman’s menstrual cycle, which was found to be related to the moon’s various phases. It also apparently influenced fertility, birth rates, genders of infants, and ovulation. There is no concrete explanation that could strongly prove this notion, but concepts about the gravitational forces between the moon and the human physiology have been proposed.

Wall Street And The Full Moon

Comprehensive studies have been done on the link between the lunar cycle and stock profits. These investigations, some of which are broad, have revealed that values of stocks are substantially decreased during the full moons than during the new moons. Other researchers agree that this is because the moon does impact people’s moods, and this affects how to invest and to decide.

 

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Bottom Line

The relationship between human behavior, be it in adults or children, has been a topic of much controversy throughout the years. While there have been numerous scientific studies that have unsuccessfully proven this time and time again, still, many people and cultures hold on to their beliefs and superstitions. Misconceptions about the moon are largely influenced also by folklore and of course, Hollywood. And one cannot judge his fellow person because of his beliefs alone.

And so, albeit all pieces of evidence proving the opposite, when there are days of wild and crazy, you would still hear others say, “It must be a full moon today!”

 

 

Adapting In The Changing World (COVID-19 Awareness)

Until now, you are suffering from lots of uncertainties due to the pandemic situation. Maybe you are still jobless and can’t sustain your needs financially. Or perhaps you are having trouble getting things done because of the restrictions you need to follow. Maybe you thought you could go back to the way it was before and freely spend your life without a hassle. Sadly, that is impossible. Honestly, the world is changing, and all you have to do is adapt to it. There is no way you can survive the whole struggle of this global crisis if you don’t open yourself to the world’s “new normal.”

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The In Denial

To be honest, it is okay to convince yourself that things will be okay in the end. That is true. Sooner or later, everything around you will become part of history. You will come to a point where you can already laugh about the situation and openly tell the story to the next generation. But daydreaming about reaching the good things right at this moment is not an ideal way of handling this crisis. Convincing yourself that you are emotionally and mentally okay is not helpful at all. You can argue with me about that. But my point is when you fool yourself and think that you are perfectly strong enough to handle the pressure, you are only making it worst for your overall health.

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It is not like I am trying to discourage you from becoming emotionally and mentally positive. Honestly, you have to be. What I’m trying to imply is that you need to be aware of your weaknesses. You shouldn’t ignore them. You must accept that there are things you can’t control, not even your emotional and mental state. You should avoid confusing yourself and think that you are okay because you are not. Admit that you also feel anxious and stress and that you somehow need help.

You see, the problem of most people is that they cannot stay in the middle. Some are too afraid to face the reality of the pandemic situation, while others may be like you who think that they can confidently survive without putting up an effort. I am not saying that you are on the negative side. However, if you can’t see the problem of being overly confident, then you will end up ignoring “change.” You will become too attached to your reality that you will soon fail to accept that adjustments can make a big difference.

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Change In Perspective

All it takes is one idea on how to transform the way you see the situation. These ideas may sound simple, but they are so powerful in terms of the impacts and shifts in can provide in your life. Remember, mental clarity is not about genetics; it is about habits. Acknowledging your weak points is not going to bring you down. In fact, recognizing your unwanted mental and emotional aspects can lead to the development of a better trait. It makes your rethink how you structure your life, your decisions, as well as your ability to care for yourself. Changing your perspective about everything will make you understand the flow of the changing world.

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All changes are hard to do at first, and sometimes, it gets messy in the middle of the process. But once you master the necessary habits you need to keep your emotional and mental state healthy, it becomes fulfilling in the end. Just think about this: If the struggle is not complicated and hard at first, you can never consider it a “change.”

The Internet And Mental Health

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The 2019 World Internet Conference was all about talks on the effects of the internet on our mental health. Obviously, the internet brought about a lot of good things in our lives. It has entertained us with various programs and applications. Work was made easy and convenient because of the internet. But how can it affect our mental health?

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How COVID-19 Affects Us Mentally

The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our lives right at this moment. It causes a lot of unexpected changes in the world. And since it is the main reason why people’s emotional and mental stability is at stake, it is essential to take action seriously. So during this pandemic, all of us should focus on getting better overall health to fight COVID-19. But first, we have to acknowledge the effects of the Coronavirus in our lives before we can make necessary adjustments.

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Mob Mentality And Panic Buying

There is a different level of panic that goes around during this time of crisis that gets worse due to mob mentality. It is where individuals get influenced by other people around to behave and act in an overly emotional and impulsive way. Yes, preparing and stocking up goods is an excellent idea. However, hoarding too much leads to a shortage for others, especially the ones who honestly need it. But we can’t blame them. Some of these individuals believe that hoarding is entirely necessary because they think there is not enough supply for everybody. The behavior is not acceptable, but people react to terrifying situations differently.

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Feeling Of Emotional Isolation

Since the virus gets to pass on from one person to another through droplets from cough and sneeze, social distancing becomes a way to prevent it. Therefore, we have to keep physical distance no matter what, so that it can flatten the curve. However, physical isolation affects our emotional balance. It somehow heightens the feelings of sadness and loneliness due to the limited people we surround ourselves with. And though we can take advantage of the technology and use it to cross distances between friends and family, we still require more than that. In some unfortunate instances, connecting with people through technology sometimes heightens the emptiness we feel because we miss and worry about them more after knowing their conditions.

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Boredom And Mental Exhaustion

Being quarantined inside our houses for an extended period can make us feel uneasy. That is regardless if we love staying at home and are working from home. That is because, in the back of our minds, we have this desire to going outside. We love to explore and experience a lot of things, and getting stuck in the four-cornered wall is not going to help us achieve that. Sometimes, even if we try to fight boredom by listing things we mean to do, we find ourselves unable to start with it. Some instance, even our hobbies or the ones we love to do eventually turns out to be a tiring activity and uninteresting anymore.

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Overconsumption Of News And Media

Through the help of technology, we all have access to knowing what is currently happening in the world during times of crisis. It is great because we can raise awareness of that. However, overconsumption of sometimes inaccurate information is damaging to our mental health. It is because some news only intensifies the anxiety and fear we have. That is why even if we find it evident that we are looking at the not-so-credible source, we still believe the information we get from there. And to add damage to that, we often share false information online. Sadly, it soon becomes the truth of everyone. It is okay to get informed. But we have to be mindful of how much time we need to spend consuming news information.

It is okay to feel sad and alone in times like this. The emotional and mental struggle we are dealing with is valid. However, I would like to say that we are here for you during this difficult time in the global crisis. Stay safe!

We All Need To Know More About Our Mental Health

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Being a participant of the 2017 World Discussion on Mental Health Conference, it helped me widen my horizon about mental health. As far as I know, this topic is vast and can cover how an ordinary mind goes or the mental stability of a person, to how a person copes when something happens to him. It can also be about mentally challenged children who may be bullied by others. Depression, stress, ADHD, autism, anxiety, and all other mental health conditions that people are suffering are included in this discussion.

As much as we care for our physical health, we should also be aware of how our mental health goes. Usually, people have a happy disposition, especially when things go their way. But when trying times occur, it is when our mental health is being challenged.

Because of this mental health conference, I have opened my eyes to different circumstances in which our mental health is usually led to a struggle. And by understanding these circumstances, we can then learn how to handle our strained mental health when things don’t go our way.

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Of course, we all know that each of us has experienced the ups and downs of life. But people have different perspectives on how one handles these things, so that makes the difference. For example, others take their breakups just fine while others may really have trouble moving on, or maybe even do bad things like practice self-harm, get obsessive, and other things. During these times, when the pain or confusion is unbearable, one can always call on certified counselors to help them get through the tough times.

Stress is also a challenge to one’s mental health. There are different stressors for every one of us. For employees, one may be stressed over the attitude of their employers or with their co-employees. Housewives may be torn between wanting to stay at home for their children and wanting to look for work to have their income. In this conference, I have learned to understand more about how life goes with proper treatment and how to be free of worries to be able to keep ourselves not just physically healthy but mentally as well.

Your Partner’s Addiction To Conspiracy Theories And Possible Mental Disorder: When To Know The Difference 

Conspiracy theorists have their own version of every situation. Often, conspiracy theorists say that governments have a role to play in unfortunate incidents. For example, in the 9-11 attack, they made a very detailed narrative of how the US government may have rigged the situation to their advantage. Conspiracy theorists are arguing that an unfortunate event is an “inside job.”  Their side of the story borders on typical storylines of science fiction movies and tv series.  

 

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Understanding Your Partner’s Thoughts Through The Conspiracy Theories They Believe 

In your lifetime, you may have heard from your loved one some extraordinary stories they experienced.  These stories can be the landing on the moon being merely orchestrated by NASA, that the 9-11 attack came from the White House itself, that there’s a secret group controlling the entire world, or that aliens are always in contact with us. These are called conspiracy theories. 

 We all do something, ranging from quirky to self-destructive, that seem on the surface to have no benefit at all. — Teri Woods Ph.D.

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Is Your Partner’s Obsession On The Supernatural A Sign Of Mental Illness? 

Throughout our lives, some things would entirely shake us to our core, those unexpected chilling moments that cannot be explained even by modern science. It is how supernatural beliefs were formed because not everything is explainable by a rational explanation.  

 

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