• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and discuss Darwin's contribution to the development of psychology.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Psychology: Describe and discuss Darwin's contribution to the development of psychology. Darwin, Charles (1809-1882), an English naturalist and pioneer of experimental biology, proposed the idea that over time evolution could occur producing a new species through the process of adaptation to a new environment. Thus providing the theory of evolution, (Darwinism). Darwin spent nearly 20 years building up evidence to support his theory of evolution before publishing it in "The Origin of Species"(1859) His idea's though welcomed by biologists aroused bitter controversy. Theory of evolution: a theory that accounts for the diversity of living species and the fact that the characteristics of individuals change, i.e. evolve. Darwin proposed a theory to account for the forces behind the change; as the environment changes or an individual moves to a new environment, new traits are needed to ensure survival. ...read more.

Middle

* Heritability: Some of the variation that occurs in a species is inherited. As a result of this the offspring tend to resemble their parents characteristics and mannerisms, rather than resembling that of the other members of the species. * Competition: The members of most species produce more offspring than can survive. However, animals compete for things like mates, food and places to live. Those individuals who lose the competitions are less likely to reproduce. * Natural Selection: The individuals who survive the process of competition and go on to reproduce will tend to have the characteristics that are better suited to the environment, than those who do not. Thus providing us with the initial explanation to natural selection or "survival of the fittest." ...read more.

Conclusion

Darwin was greatly influenced by the work and studies of Malthus. Thomas Malthus, (1766-1834), a British economist, in 1798 published his Essay on the principle of population, a pessimistic study warning that population growth, which is geometric, will eventually outstrip food production, which grows arithmetically. His theories influenced the work of Darwin in the line of reasoning that led to his principle of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. Malthus and Darwin were both pessimistic about the chances of any species showing reproductive restraint. As a result of this, Darwin reasoned that what must happen is that there will be ever-increasing competition for the finite resources. Competition exerts selective pressure because those who lose, when resources are limited, fail to reproduce. The Theory of Evolution is relevant to the study of psychology as without a relevant hypothesis of evolution (change over time). There would be no analysis for psychology itself. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    biology instinctive behaviour

    3 star(s)

    The animals obey in the ring because they remember how those instruments of torture felt during training sessions. * The zoo . . . Even at the world's "best" zoos, such as the Isle of Wight zoo, we still see animals living in small cages.

  2. Charles Darwin

    Darwin avoided talking about the theological and sociological aspects of his work, but other writers used his theories to support their own theories about society. Darwin was a reserved, thorough, hard working scholar who concerned himself with the feelings and emotions not only of his family, but friends and peers as well.

  1. Evolution, Natural selection and Darwinism

    and fauna (animal life) are from the modern life. However he believed in catastrophism and not evolution, that the natural disasters had driven the organisms living there then, to extinction. A colleague of Cuvier, Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) published his theory in 1809, the year to which Darwin was born.

  2. Dog Behaviour

    If a puppy is taken away from her mother at week 4 or 5, she does not have a chance to imprint on dogs as social partners. She does imprint on people, and subsequently thinks of herself as a person rather than as a dog.

  1. The Evolution of Australian Biota

    or greater diet, possibly consisting of meat or harder materials, and was therefore greater in size. Thus it can be hypothesised that their may have been a change in the diet of the platypus, to softer or less food, which can also explain a decrease in size.

  2. Investigating adaptation, competition and zonation of barnacles, Chthamalus stellatus (Poli) and Balanus balanoides (Linneas) ...

    This is the cause of Balanus to have a higher population and percentage cover. With these facts in mind, clear zonation between the two species, is visible as there would be no means for the northern species to survive in as exposed conditions.

  1. Animal behaviour and research into attitudes on animal testing.

    For instance, whales and dolphin use sound to communicate over long distances. Birds have high-pitched chirps which have several uses such as attracting a mate, warning off other predators. Other animals have the ability to release pheromones to tell other animals where it has been or where it is.

  2. The effect of succession on diversity in heather moorland.

    The Simpson Index is an accurate indicator of the relative diversity of areas. It is more accurate than the Simple Diversity Index (the number of differences divided by the total number of organisms), as it accurately takes the size of the individual populations into account I decided on systematic sampling over random or pseudo-random sampling.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work