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Evolutionary psychology is defined as part of psychology that receives information from the evolution process a human being passes. This leads to the belief that all the cognitive behaviours that human beings exhibit in their everyday life is a result of the evolution process. This, in turn, leads the evolutionary psychologists to conduct their research as to why this has developed. The theory of mind is an area that raises a lot of interest in psychology. This paper discusses how the theory of mind evolved in human beings. It also discusses the adaptive function that the theory of mind plays in human relationships.
Evolutionary process occurs in human beings just as it occurs in other beings. This causes changes psychological and physical changes that are hereditary in human beings. Scientists note that this process takes place over long periods of time. They also note that there exist selection pressures that allow only some traits to be passed to the next generation. The evolutionary changes that occur over long periods occur because of genetic transmission and selection that causes diversity over many years.
Genetic transmission, which is one of the causes of the variance, arises from the genes that refer to structures that pass traits from one generation to another. These are composed of deoxyriobnucleic acid (DNA). Genes normally code instructions that form the building blocks called amino acid. The amino acids in turn provide the building blocks for the body, which shapes the human physiology. The building blocks contribute immensely towards determining human behaviour. Mixing of parental genes to form a zygote produces genetic transmission. The process of transmission marks the fact that people are similar to each of their parents and yet different from each of them. This refers to the genetic variation that forms the basis for the whole evolutionary process in human beings. The process can be explained by the fact that human genes are strung along chromosomes that are threadlike in nature. The human cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, which amount to 46. The pairs divide to form gametes with each consisting of 23 chromosomes. During fertilisation process, the father’s sperm and the mother’s eggs merge to form the zygote. The sperm just like the egg contains 23 chromosomes, which amount to 46 in total. Each pair thus contains genes from the father as well as genes from the father. This explains the difference that occurs, and it also occurs the evolution process which is caused by selective phenomenal. The diversity that occurs, on the other hand, allows changes that undoubtedly lead to a new basis in the evolutionary process. Despite that, there are only two parents. It is remarkable that their genes can unite in more than 70 billion genetic patterns.
Mutation also produces diversity to the human species. It occurs when there are incorrect duplications of chromosomes and even due to environmental influences like radiation or some chemicals. These effects lead to the alteration of the DNA which is toxic in many instances. The produced mutation gene reproduces itself in instances where the gene is not affected by the mutation. An example is haemophilia, which affects the clotting of blood. If these genes are passed to the following generations and in case of environmental changes, the genes may fail to adjust.
The selection process is, therefore, at the base of the evolution of the theory of mind as it ensures survival of advantageous genes within the individual. The genes that are not useful to the individual, on the other hand, are eliminated during the selection process. The individuals may not survive over time, but the genes survive, and this is called the ‘selfish gene’ theory. This theory refers to people as vehicles that carry genes that are passed on to generations. This ensures that abilities and behaviours of individuals are passed on to generations. The selection occurs through either natural selection or sexual selection.
Human evolution occurred over time; originally DNA was common to all the human beings. With time, the system underwent changes in different species. Human beings belong to Homo Sapiens Species. They shared an ancestor with monkeys and apes, but they evolved to become human beings. The first human emerged 5-7 million years. Human beings in the scientific world have been labelled as the third chimpanzees. The hominids that refer to all the creatures in the lineage of human beings have emerged as successful in separate ways. Some have, however, become extinct over the years due to changes in their habitat, which they could not adapt to. Human beings are the only surviving members of the Hominine family.
The human beings have a physical adaptation of increased brain size and an ability to speak because they are bipedal. This means that they walk on two legs that was not the case initially. The brains of the earlier human beings had not increased significantly when the species used 4 limbs. Evolution has, however, caused an increase in the brain size of human beings.
The brain size of human beings relative to their body weight is what determines their level of intelligence. The brain size of the modern humans is 6 times larger than their body size as compared to the other primates. The evolution is also determined by the change in all the proportion of the brain. The difference in the change proportions in the human brains allows human beings to have unique intellect and knowledge.
The brain size expansion is explained by the fact that large brains process information better, especially concerning the environment. This, in turn, helped the brains to solve all the ecological problems that occured. The brain size of human beings correlates with the distance that individuals travel from their homes. This evolution of the theory of the mind can also be explained by the social brain hypothesis that implies that the human brain increases as human beings solve complex problems. Complex problems that human ancestors had to deal with resulted to Altruism, as well as the theory of mind, which resulted to bigger brains.
The theory of mind is an area that raises a lot of interest in psychology. It refers to the ability of human beings to make assumptions about the behaviour of other human beings and take differential action based on the same. This ability of the human beings makes them not to act based on their overt behaviour. The theory of mind allows an individual to have an intuition what another person is thinking about or feeling and, thus, act based on that.
In conclusion, the evolutionary psychologists have studied the evolutionary path that the human species have undergone over the years. This has especially regarded the increment of the brain size that resulted in the development of the theory of mind. The brain is said to have increased based on such factors as the size of problems being solved and the distance travelled from home. Other factors that cannot be disputed in the evolution process are the selection process and the genetic transmission and diversity.