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Question: TMA 02 Describe why altruism is considered an adaptive behaviour by evolutionary psychologists. Evaluate the evidence used to support this claim. 93%

DSE212 Exploring Psychology

Answer: Evolutionary psychologists seek to understand how characteristics or behaviours came about by identifying the purpose they may have served in helping organisms adapt to their environment, by increasing survival chances (natural selection) or reproductive success (sexual selection) (Clegg, 2007). To determine if a behaviour is an adaptation, evolutionary psychologists look for evidence that it is genetically transmitted, confers a selection advantage, is universally found and is efficient (Clegg, 2007). Altruism can be described as an act which incurs a cost to the one performing it whilst conferring a benefit to another (Clegg, 2007). Evidence supporting the claim that altruism is an adaptive behaviour includes the ideas of universality, kin selection, reciprocal altruism and indirect benefit Neurobiology has also been used to demonstrate that altruism has a genetic component. This essay...(short extract)

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  • Subject: Psychology
  • Course: DSE212 Exploring Psychology
  • Level: Degree
  • Year: 1st
  • Mark: 93%
  • Words: 1085
  • Date submitted: December 07, 2016
  • Date written: April, 2015
  • References: Yes
  • Document type: Essay*
  • Essay ID: 7740

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