Expository Essay: “Evolution of Human Behavior” – 10 Topics to Get Your Interested

Topics and ideas
Posted on March 2, 2016

If you are searching for facts on the evolution of human behavior for an expository essay, please consider the 10 below:

  1. Given the changes in technology, behavioral psychologists have studied the evolution of technology on previously held theories. Some studies have focused on the effects of watching television or listening to television while completing homework (Cool, et al., 1994). These researchers provided their participants with a specific amount of time during which they were instructed to complete and assignment. Some of the participants were exposed to television as they worked a day job and others were not. The research discovered that significantly fewer questions were filled within the given time frame when exposed to television as compared to those participants who were not
  2. One study by Pool, et al., (2003) focused specifically on the impact soap opera had on students trying to complete their homework. In this study the participants were placed in three different conditions. First was a visual soap opera, the second was the audio soundtrack of a soap opera and the third was image without sound. The results from this study indicated that participants who were in the visual soap opera category required significantly more time to complete the same assignment compared to the other two groups. In addition, this half of the participants had to increase the amount of time it took for them to complete the work.
  3. Reviewing the evolution of behavioural psychology changes has been viewed through marital theory. Marital theory is not the only communication theory that affects the marital relationship and leads to divorce and the effects of children. The social exchange theory affects marital power and marital solidarity which, combined with economic exchange, can delineate a marriage relationship. Research by Gottman (1993) provides insight into the prediction of marital dissolution. In essence, no matter the marriage type, marital dissolution begins with a cascade as the balance between the relationship type and communication begins to decline. This is described most plainly by examining the relationship between social exchange theory and social penetration theory. Marriage is cultivated, like any other relationship by interpersonal communication. This is any type of communication between two or more people. Communication can be conducted via letters, computer, phone or in person, so long as two people are communicating. Social exchange theory is a communication theory which states that people are motivated by rewards. Most commonly, people want to maximize their rewards and minimize their costs.
  4. Along the same lines, social penetration theory suggests that as people get to know someone else better, they will divulge more about themselves. This means that when a couple first meets, they might not reveal intimate details, but if they think they will benefit in some way, they will reveal more and more and as time passes, they might reveal more than the other party revealed.
  5. Combining social exchange theory and social penetration theory within the confines of marital theory, a person might be willing to risk a specific type of marriage because they view little loss and a lot of gain from it. This does not prove to be troublesome for many couples initially, but can quickly cascade into an unbalanced relationship, the future of which can potentially harm children.
  6. Eventually, as time passes and spouses continue to share with each other, they might encounter major differences or things which prompt more cost and less benefit. As the benefits continue to deplete and the cost increase, the relationship will falter and divorce will become eminent. This is especially dangerous if the involved couple has children.
  7. Ellis and colleagues (1987) investigated priming using pictures. They conducted three similar experiments to support how priming affected the recognition of familiar faces. Their first experiment copied aspects of a study by Bruce and Valentine by initially exposing participants to a picture of a celebrity, with no name. Once time had passed, the participants were asked if the face was familiar. Their findings supported that the faces in the first experiment were in fact, noted as being someone the participant recognized by face and by the name. The second experiment used pictures of personal acquaintances of the participants, editing the photo so that the body, clothes, hair, and other features (not the face) were altered to inhibit immediate recognition. Participants recognized their acquaintances by their faces. The final experiment demonstrated that priming can be obtained through exposure to a photograph identical to a famous face. A smaller, but still significant recognition could be obtained through exposure to a dissimilar photograph.
  8. Ellis and colleagues concluded that the “instance-based” model proposed by McClelland and Rumelhart (1985) could explain the results. Thus, despite repetitive priming, the overall lack of physical similarity between the subject and the test stimuli was the result of a lack of priming between bodies and faces. Hence, the link between priming with pictures was attributed to photographic memory (implicit memory) as it is tied to recognition based on personal exposure to the subject matter. Their research led to the new opportunity to research how exposure to the media and famous faces influences a person’s recognition, as well as how exposure to friends images would influence their recognition even if they were distorted.
  9. The Affective Primacy Hypothesis developed by Murphy (1993), declares that positive and negative affective responses can be evoked with minimal stimulus input and practically no priming. This research supported that priming does not need to be large and direct, but rather, with little effort alterations can be made to subjects regarding their decision making processes. Participants were repeatedly exposed to ideographs which were degraded and then administered directly through recognition memory tests. The participants were unable to acknowledge they had been exposed to the material previously. However all of those participants picked the previously exposed material as their favorite in comparison to latter. Incorporating brief suboptimal and optimal exposures, the authors presented empirical information analyzing the effects of affect and cognition, both of which are areas never clearly defined but they claimed to be interdependent.
  10. Oyserman (2008) took social priming to yet another level by incorporating a study of cultural priming. By conducting a meta-analysis of individualism and collectivism, she was first able to determine how each of the aforementioned categories influences cognitive style and relationship assumptions within that spectrum. While torn between experimenting with individuals or groups to determine the level at which cultures affect decisions, Oyserman and Lee made it clear that cultural factors will empirically influence psychological processes. Reviewing multi-national studies and cross-cultural comparisons, they sought to determine if it was possible to manipulate independent variables. Their hypothesis was supported in that once primed, participants’ values increases as directed, their sense of self was redefined, and their relations with others were imagined to be.

These facts should give your paper enough support to get the best grade. We also offer you to check our 20 topics on evolution of human behavior as well as a guide to writing an expository essay on it.

Cool, V., Yarbrough, D. B., Patton, J. E., & Runde, R. Experimental Effects of Radio and
Television Distractors on Children’s Performance on Mathematics and Reading Assignments. Journal of Experimental Education, (1994) 62, 181-194.
Goldstein, E. B., Cognitive Psychology, Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience.
(2005) Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth.
Gottman, John M. “A Theory of Marital Dissolution and Stability.” Journal of Family
Psychology 7.1 (1993): 57-75. Print.
Gottman, John, Notarius Cliff, Markman Howard, Bank Steve, Yoppi Bruce, and Rubin Mary
Ellen. “Behavior Exchange Theory and Marital Decision Making.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 34.1 (1976): 14-23. Print.
Laland, Kevin N., and Gillian R. Brown. Sense and Nonsense: Evolutionary perspectives on
Human Behaviour. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Lewens, Tim. Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges. OUP Oxford, 2015.
Nakonezny, Paul, and Wayne Denton. “Marital Relationships: A Social Exchange Theory
Perspective.” The American Journal of Family Therapy 36.5 (2008): 402-12. Print

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