Friday, March 16, 2012

More on gender differences:

Sex differences have been usually seen as a result of social factors, but I believe
that they have also been remarkably influenced by our evolved biology.
A very good example is the parental investment theory which states that there is a conflict for both men a women in how much time, effort, and resources to invest in mating versus parenting. Since gestation occurs within the female, and because women provide most of the caring, nutrition, and support after birth, they are required to invest more in parenting to ensure their children’s survival, but at the same time to be more selective when choosing a partner. One the contrary, men invest less in parenting, because paternal investment is not necessary for a successful reproduction. Males’ investment may be as little as the sperm produced during copulation. What men can do is invest more effort in mating to increase the number of offspring, which has predisposed them to invest less in their children’s care, and to be more inclined to pursue short-term casual sex.

Gender differences in communication also seem to show that there might be some truth when people say “men are from Mars and women from Venus”. Research has shown that women are more prone to interpret people’s emotional behaviors. When we take into consideration that ancestral women had to spend most of their time in female gathering groups, helping each other, and expressing their feelings about social and family matters, it should come as no surprise that modern women continue to respond similarly. Instead, men have had to compete throughout
history for status and position, developing aggressive and direct behaviors. This most have predisposed men to display more task-oriented behaviors in their interactions, and to communicate in a more direct and instrumental way.

Bjorklund, D.F., & Shackelford, T.K. (1999). Differences in parental investment contribute to important differences between men and women. Blackwell Publishers, Inc.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Origins of jealousy

Adaptation is a very important concept in Darwin’s theory of evolution. It means that organisms change over time as a result of natural or sexual selection to increase survival and reproductive success. This happens when organisms by obtaining certain traits gain an advantage or solve an adaptive problem.
Psychological mechanisms have also evolved to solve the adaptive problems that our ancestors faced. For example, during our evolutionary history, because of women’s concealed ovulation and extended sexuality, men can never be certain about their paternity, unlike women, who are always one hundred percent sure. According to David J. Buller (2005) since men and women had to face different threats to their reproductive interests, both sexes have evolved jealousy, but through different mechanisms to solve this adaptive problem. For example, if a man thinks that his woman is being unfaithful, it confuses his paternity, putting him at risk of investing his time and resources in another’s man offspring. This situation has predisposed men to focus on cues of sexual infidelity; while women focus more on cues of emotional infidelity, since an emotional involvement of his partner with another woman can result in a loss of his resources and investment in the family.
Attention to infidelity cues and jealousy have been designed by natural selection to reduce paternity confusion and relationship losses by engaging both men and women in retention behaviors that at the end seek to increase their own genes reproductive success.

Do you agree with the conclusion that women feel angrier facing an emotional infidelity while men feel angrier facing a sexual infidelity? Any experiences?

* Buller, J. David. (2005). Adapting minds:Evolutionary psychology and the persistent quest for human nature. The MIT Press, 318-320.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What do you think is the future of psychology?

In the near future I expect the entire field of psychology and psychiatry to change drastically. First, I think that the concept of what the field of psychology is has to be better explained. Most people think that psychologists are only mental health professionals. As psychology students we know that this field does much more, but there is a need of greater application of psychological clinical and research based sciences in other areas such as schools, communities, and businesses.
In my opinion, the future of psychology also relies on a better understanding and training of multicultural values. Our societies are becoming much more culturally and ethnically diverse.
Psychology also needs to be more externally focused. With the increased industrialization of the last decades, most people are demanding or in need of knowing more about themselves. Book stores are full of self-development books. Unfortunately, most of the information given to the public is misleading or purposely altered by the media. Psychology should therefore, move form being internally focused and seek to address better the society’s needs. Prevention, rather than diagnosis and treatment should have special consideration to benefit the general public.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Introduction to InPsych. Welcome!

I want to use this blog to encourage a personal routine of activities and an ongoing update of those topics I found most interesting in psychology, with the intention of also developing an insightful and creative thinking. I just graduated with a bachelor degree in psychology, and while I take a short break, I find myself getting closer to what I hope will be prosperous possibilities.
I love the area of study I have chosen. From an early age I have been concerned about human behaviors and cultures, imagining mastering them and transforming them positively. Getting to know ourselves has proven to be a complex process but an exciting one. And this is a never-ending process because we are largely determined by the social environment, which in turn is changing, and which requires an increasing knowledge of the psychological peculiarities of humankind in general and all of their particular personalities and cultures.
Being a student and/or professional means being at the forefront of the social, technological, political, and scientific advances, and so the creation of this blog. Psychology is evolving, but needs to evolve more, because compared to technology and other sciences it has stagnated a bit. I believe the time for a change is approaching. New discoveries on how the mind works will help us solve the needs we have for a better application of psychology in different hemispheres.
My next goals involve beginning a journey in the workplace and graduate studies to acquire new knowledge that will contribute to the development of my skills and that will give me the necessary tools to keep pace with today’s world and apply them to create an impact on others.
InPsych is a way of sharing different ways to see the world from a psychological perspective. I hope I can motivate you to keep reading this blog, and that we can establish meaningful communications. Welcome! I would love to hear your comments and opinions.