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Posted on October 1st, 2012, by

The theory of evolution influenced consistently the development of modern science. Today, the theory of evolution is extrapolated not only on the biological development of living species, but it is also applied in the field of psychology, where principles of evolution are viewed  as fundamental, moving forces which influence human psychology. Therefore, the evolutionary psychology is grounded on the theory of evolution, according to which the evolution is the process of adaptations of species to their environment by means of natural selection or sexual selection. This fundamental concept of the theory of evolution is applied to the evolutionary psychology. However, unlike the theory of evolution, the evolutionary psychology implies that principles of evolution should be applied not only to biological development of species, namely humans, but also to their mental and psychological traits, which evolutionary psychology explains as adaptations, deriving as functional products of natural or sexual selection. In such a way, the idea of evolution has been successfully extrapolated on the field of psychology.

At the same time, the development of modern psychology, including the evolutionary psychology, cannot fail to pay attention to the impact of media on the modern society and how mass media have changed the society. In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the evolutionary psychology views the development of mass media and the impact of news issues on the audience as elements of the evolution of the society. In such a way, mass media and news issues become a kind of tools by means of which or, to put it more precisely, under the impact of which people can develop new models of behavior, shape new biases and stereotypes which shape their mental and psychological state. In other words, mass media and news issues became factors which influence human psychology and, what is more, cause changes in human psychology and mental state, which become so deep-rooted that people take these changes for granted. As a result, mass media and news issues have a great impact on the consciousness of people.

In this respect, it is possible to refer to the film “Network”, in which this impact is particularly obvious. For instance, when the main character of the film persuades Americans to shout out their windows during a spectacular lightning storm, many Americans do it, even though this can expose them to a serious danger of a lightning strike. Thus, it is obvious that people readily obey to mass media and what they hear in the news they take as a kind of absolute truth. At any rate, they can change their behavior under the impact of mass media and the aforementioned example shows that they can do irrational things under the impact of media. Obviously, they would not shout out their windows during a lightning storm, if Howard Beale did not ask them about it in his program.

At the same time, mass media and news issue can have a consistently more serious impact and lead to substantial behavioural changes. For instance, Diana Christensen reveals the extent to which news issues and media changed the role of women. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the view of the evolutionary psychology on gender relation. According to the evolutionary perspective on gender and sex, it is based on the idea that the difference between males and females is basically determined by the evolution of humans as one of the species. At the same time it is worthy of mention that evolutionary psychology basically refers to the behavioural differences between males and females though genetic factors, heritage and, therefore physical changes that occurred to humans, both males and females, are also important to this approach.

Speaking about evolutionary psychology, it should be pointed out that this approach basically stands on the ground that the difference between sexes and behaviour of males and females are determined by the difference in their optimal reproductive style. This means that males and females have different trends in their reproductive style and their reproductive success is determined by different factors as well as the assessment of the reproductive success is measured differently by males and females that is the result of the evolutionary development of human race, where representatives of different sexes fulfilled different functions in society in terms of their ”˜parental investment’.

In fact, the behavioural difference between males and females is determined by their reproductive success which forces them act differently. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that, in the course of the evolution, it was extremely important to females to bear children and take care about their development after their birth. What is meant here is the fact that females should pay more attention to the qualities of their sexual partners in order to provide their children with larger number of positive qualities which could guarantee their survival in the process of evolution. Typically to evolutionists, evolutionary psychology underlines that reproductive success of females depended on their selection of circumstances and sexual partners in order to get healthier and more competitive offspring.

In stark contrast, males’ reproductive success basically depended on the amount of their sexual partners that could provide them with an opportunity to fully realize their reproductive potential. This is why males mainly tended to polygamy and at the same time they were very concerned about the infidelity of females that was perceived by them as the threat to their reproductive success, instead, females were more careful in their selection that actually determined the difference in behaviour of males and females. To put it more precisely, males tend to be polygamist while females often tend to monogamy as long as their reproductive success is guaranteed.

However, mass media and new issue have changed Diana Christensen who has adapt to the new environment where the difference between genders and their functional roles have started to disappear. Hence, she becomes a successful producer which competes with men and this change is apparently the result of the impact of mass media because mass media and news issues promote the idea of equality of genders.

Thus, they contribute to the ongoing emancipation of women and their growing rivalry with men even in the field of traditionally male jobs.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the evolutionary psychology implements evolutionary principles of adaptations of species to their environment by means of natural selection. At the same time, the evolutionary psychology stands on the ground that evolutionary changes of mental and psychological traits can influence the development of individual’s personality. In this respect, the role of media and news issues is particularly significant.

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