Evolutionary psychology

IB Psychology: Evolutionary psychology

Another assumption that underpins the biological approach is that the environment presents challenges to the individual. This means that those who adapt best to the environment will have a greater chance of surviving, having children, and passing on their genes to their offspring. This is Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection.Darwin’s theory of natural selection explains how species acquire adaptive characteristics...

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Comments 12

Sara Dean 4 December 2017 - 14:41

Hi John,

Will it still be possible to use the teaching notes from the evolutionary section from the old spec? Can we still discuss attraction, Wedekind, Low, etc.? Thanks. Sara

John Crane 5 December 2017 - 05:05

Yes, absolutely.

REENA KAPADIA 6 January 2018 - 06:52

hi John, I am a little confused! if I have to start teaching evolutionary explanation in the new curriculum, I start with talking about Darwin and natural selection. but the new guide looses me on the content and guidance section which I found to be very vague. I have taught the old curriculum for 8 years so this is slightly unnerving. am I to no longer teach fesler, Curtis and jump into language (Jamison book) or depression as highlighted here?

John Crane 6 January 2018 - 08:27

Dear Reena

You can continue to teach Curtis and Fessler if you like. That is up to you. One of things that I am trying to encourage it teaching more thematically. I don't teach evolution until I teach human relationships (Wedekind and other research on choosing a mate) or abnormal (depression). Now that emotions is out of the curriculum, teaching Fessler and Curtis adds some content that may seem disconnected by students. Teachers may teach any research that may support the learning goals of the curriculum.

REENA KAPADIA 6 January 2018 - 09:06

Dear John
Thank you for your response! Really appreciate it. What would be your ideal plan to introduce evolutionary explanation of behaviour in new curriculum?

John Crane 6 January 2018 - 10:02

As I said, I am postponing it - and not teaching it in a "biological" unit, but teaching it only in the context of either relationships or abnormal. I am teaching a cognitive unit in which I will first teach memory - then the biology or memory. Then I will teach decision making - and then move on to falling love to end the year. In that falling in love unit, I will discuss evolutionary explanations of mating behaviour.

REENA KAPADIA 7 January 2018 - 05:03

Thank you John :)

Sara Dean 18 January 2018 - 12:57

Hi John,
For a question like: Discuss one evolutionary explanation of behaviour. Would the explanation be natural selection and the behaviour be mate selection, disgust or depression? Or would discussing both mate selection and disgust be considered two different explanations instead of one?

Thank you, Sara

John Crane 18 January 2018 - 15:24

The evolutionary explanation is "natural selection." The IB often words the question as "one evolutionary explanation of one behaviour," so students should know more about one behaviour (in terms of research) than others.

Isabella Kelly 28 March 2018 - 02:23

Hi John,
A quick question regarding the removal of emotion from the curriculum mentioned above. The oxford course companion still looks at disgust in some detail and references Curtis. Should I not be teaching this and focus only on Depression instead?

John Crane 29 March 2018 - 12:00

Dear Isabella

There is no reason to teach emotions unless you find a way to link it to the curriculum and find it worth teaching. You could teach Curtis for evolution, but it is then not linked to anything else in the curriculum. I think that having these links helps students to take a more holistic approach to the course and this will make revision easier in the end.

Isabella Kelly 3 April 2018 - 23:46

Thanks for that, John!

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