Evolutionary, Stress/Health And Learning/Behavioral Perspectives Of Psychology
There are many perspectives of psychology but the three perspectives we will be looking at today are evolutionary, stress/health and learning/behavioral. Evolutionary is a perspective of psychology that emphasizes natural selection, adaptation and reproduction.
One of the most popular theories that are related to the evolutionary perspective is the “Theory of Natural Selection” by Charles Darwin, this is when an organism that has a genetic trait more favorable to compete for resources in their environment, so they will be more likely to survive in that particular environment and pass down their advantageous trait to the next generation. For example, organisms that live in the bottom of the ocean has adapted over thousands of years to be suitable to live in such a harsh environment such as having their cell membranes made up of unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat, so they could withstand the pressure of the water and the cold environment.
Stress psychology is about what are the causes and effects of having stress and how you can help release them. Stress are caused by stressors, it can be significant events such as a divorce or small events such as doing homework. These events can accumulate over time and causes health problems if not managed correctly.
There are two types of behavioral psychology, classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is when a neutral stimulus is associated with an unconditioned stimulus then causes a conditioned response. For example, you were in school (neutral stimulus) and a bully (unconditioned stimulus) started harassing you daily which causes you to be nervous or in fear (unconditioned response). Now every time you see a school you instantly get scared or nervous (conditioned response), so you have conditioned yourself to associate school with bullies. Operant conditioning is when you use reinforcement or punishment to increase or decrease a behavior. An example of a positive reinforcement would be a football coach gave a player more playing time on the field since he has been performing well in practice because they added extra playing time (positive) so they strengthen the behavior of the player practicing well. If Bob’s got his phone taken his mom so he could continue to drive without distraction it would be negative reinforcement because his mom took his phone (negative) so Bob would continue to focus on driving (reinforcement).
Punishment is the opposite of reinforcement because it is trying to weaken a behavior. For instance, if Connor sprayed water on his dog so it would stop barking, that would be positive punishment because Connor is added the water (positive) to the situation and he wants to decrease the barking from his dog (punishment).
Lastly, an example of negative punishment would be Odell getting fined by the NFL for wearing the wrong cleats during the game because NFL is taking Odell’s money (negative) so he will be less likely to wear the wrong cleats next time (punishment).
I believe that evolutionary psychology is the most applicable to my theory because it is involved with people adapting to their environment. Evolutionary psychology can almost be related to any aspect of life, even things like the economy. Since we are in such a technologically advanced world, companies must adapt to these changes or they will fall. For example, Blockbuster and Netflix started out by renting movies on DVDs, as time went on and the internet was more popular Netflix ditched DVDs and allowed their customers to stream movies online, however, Blockbuster refused to change and decided to stick with letting people rent DVDs. In 2018, Netflix was one of the biggest companies in the U.S. while Blockbuster has only one store left in the country. Having an advantageous trait in one specific environment does not mean that trait will be advantageous in another environment. An example of this is the biggest, most muscular lions going to best fit in a typical environment but in an environment where food is scarce, the smaller lions that don’t require to eat as much might be more suitable in this environment and has a higher chance of surviving.
With that in mind, my theory is today’s professional athletes are more efficient than older generation athletes in their specific sport due the shapes and sizes of their body. “In the early half of the 20th century, physical education instructors and coaches had the idea that the average body type was the best for all athletic endeavors: medium height, medium weight, no matter the sport.” As time progresses, we discovered that that wasn’t true and specialized body types had advantages in different sports. For example, in basketball where height is valued, tall athletes got even taller, in 1947 the average height in the NBA was 74.32 inches but increased to 78.93 in 2015. Being taller in the NBA helps the athletes be more efficient because they don’t have to jump as high to reach the basket and will have an easier time scoring or defending.
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