Genetics and Evolutionary Psychology
6 Biological Bases of Behavior
STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High
Why do you behave the way you do? To what extent is your behavior determined by your heredity? To what extent is it determined by your life history or environment? The nature-nurture controversy deals with the extent to which heredity and the environment each influence behavior. Evolutionary psychologists study how natural selection favored behaviors that contributed to survival and the spread of our ancestors’ genes and may currently contribute to our survival into the next generations. Evolutionary psychologists look at universal behaviors shared by all people. They look at behaviors conserved across related species to understand how we are adapted to maximize our success in our environments. Charles Darwin pointed out the similarities of the expressions of emotions in people and other animals, suggesting that expressions shared across cultures and species are biologically determined.