Evolutionary psychologists see the mind as comprising a number of specialised mechanisms or modules, designed by natural selection to solve problems that faced our hunter-gatherer ancestors, such as acquiring mates, raising children and dealing with rivals. The solutions often involve emotions such as lust, fear, affection, jealousy and anger. (Gross, 6th Ed)
Each species of animal has a variation in their appearance and behaviour. Part of this is down to inheriting 50% of our genes from each parent. Occasionally, some of these are not ‘switched on’ and some show a difference if mixed with other genes and may undergo a mutation. This can then change, causing a further difference to our behaviour and anatomy.
Most mutations are harmful and sometimes can be beneficial. If an individual competes over limited resources and may survive because they have benefited from a mutated gene that has allowed them to adapt to their environment. These individuals have a bigger chance of surviving adulthood and reproducing offspring with the mutated gene.
Over a long period of time, if a mutation is very distinctive, it becomes a permanent feature of a particular group and then marks the emergence of a new species. Evolution is the process of natural selection, by which, new species arise from gradual changes to the genetic make-up of an already existing species, yet over a long period of time. (Lawton et al, 2011)
The evolutionary approach to explaining aggression sees aggression in terms of its ability to contribute to increasing survival chances and ultimately, to enhancing reproductive potential. Aggression is thus perceived as having developed through the process of natural selection via our ancestral predecessors and can still be seen in the phenomenon of infidelity and jealousy and also in the actions of group displays, such as at sports events. (Lawton et al, 2011)
Evolutionary explanations –
• Aggression perceived as increasing survival chances and...