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Thread: Evolutionary psychology of mental illnesses

  1. #1 Evolutionary psychology of mental illnesses 
    Forum Freshman Shamandrill's Avatar
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    Hello, one of my interests is evolutionary psychology. I have a mental disorder (I've had a psychosis, but I'm not diagnosed as schizophrenic, they also thought I might be autistic) and partly because of that I'm interested in the evolutionary psychology of mental disorders. It might be a bit of conformation bias that I'm looking for a explanation. Anyway it does interest me, so I did some research which I posted on another forum:

    Addiction (drugs and alcohol)
    -frugivory by-product hypothesis
    -possibly a byproduct
    -could be adaptive
    -Mismatch Theory and more

    Homoseksuality (not a disorder of course, just thought it was interesting!)
    -kin selection hypothesis

    Anxiety

    -hypothesized to represent a careful, cautious strategy (Marks and Nesse, 1994)

    Depression
    -a socially submissive strategy (Allen and Badcock, 2006)
    -hypothesized for problem solving; withdrawing energy from for example socializing to use this energy to a analyze and get a answer to the problem, better said; minimize disruption and sustain analysis of those problems by… reducing the desire to engage in distracting activities
    -prevention of infection and more, see wikipedia

    Schizophrenia (and psychosis)
    -a defensive, vigilant and impulsive strategy (Reser, 2007)
    -mild form hypothesized to increase divergent thinking (creativity)
    -hypothized to be a existional crisis
    -byproduct of the brain; maladaptive (most psychiatrists agree it is a brain disease)
    -might have a role in shamanism
    -mild schizophrenia might indicate fitness
    -Extreme female brain

    Bipolar
    -hypothesized to increase divergent thinking (creativity)
    -depression for solving problems (see depression)
    -mania as the answer to the problem and to increase it's succes (my own theory, I have nothing to back it up, I thought this was a good theory if you look at depression theories)
    -also believed to have a role in shamanism

    Psychopathy
    -a socially selfish and opportunistic strategy (Brune and Brune-Cohrs, 2006)

    PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
    -a threat-avoidant strategy (Bracha and Maser, 2008).

    Borderline
    -Can't find any hypotheses or theories about it: I would think it is a extreme mating strategy

    Narcism
    -Some experts have suggested that overconfidence can be a good thing, perhaps by boosting ambition, resolve, and other traits, creating self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Autism

    -Another article: Low-mating effort, high parental investment and long-term resource allocation as hypothese for autism.
    -Solitary hunter hypothese
    -Extreme brain theory
    -Imprinted brain theory
    -Low fitness indicator

    ADHD
    -May be a evolutionary adaption for nomads

    Of course, there is the possibility that mental disorders are not that adaptive, and the reason that they might still be here is similar to sickle cell disease, or that they could simply be byproducts. If you know any theories, articles or have theories yourself, please tell me I'm very interested!

    Note: It's not my intention to offend anyone. I know mental disorders can cause suffering, I know myself.


    Last edited by Shamandrill; January 25th, 2013 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Added some more.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    This was an interesting thread, though I don't agree with the autism assertion.


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    Forum Freshman Shamandrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    This was an interesting thread, though I don't agree with the autism assertion.
    Thanks for the reply. Autism. I volunteer with people with severe autism. Severe autism to me seems more like a maldaption when
    I base my personal experiences with them. However that doesn't make me disagree with the solitary hunting hypothesis.

    Low-mating effort, high parental investment and long-term resource allocation as hypothese for autism.

    This is high functioning autism I would think. I think it is a good theory for high functioning autism.

    Just like shizophrenia (the byproduct theory, which most psychiatrist seem to agree about), autism could also be a byproduct.
    I think it's more likely for schizophrenia to be a product than high functioning autism. Severe autism might indeed be some sort of byproduct.

    By the way, if anyone sees any error in my reasoning, feel free to correct me. After all I want to learn, not stay in a world of false illusion.

    Here's another article about autism, I'll read it tommorow:

    Evolutionary approaches to autism- an overview and integration
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Heh, I was about say that I disagree entirely with the claims about depression. And then I read one of the links.
    "the conclusions reached by all this high-level problem solving are often completely erroneous. In many cases, depressives seem to be even more prone to fallacious thinking than non-depressed problem solvers".
    Which has been my experience.
    The first link I looked at seemed to consider it more beneficial than the one quoted above.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Heh, I was about say that I disagree entirely with the claims about depression. And then I read one of the links.
    "the conclusions reached by all this high-level problem solving are often completely erroneous. In many cases, depressives seem to be even more prone to fallacious thinking than non-depressed problem solvers".
    Which has been my experience.
    The first link I looked at seemed to consider it more beneficial than the one quoted above.
    Can't agree more, I can't think worth a crap when I'm under the weather.
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    You have to remember that survival is the adaptation in early societies. I remember reports from someone my husband knew who'd worked in New Guinea during the 40s and 50s. There were plenty of people with various, quite obvious, forms of intellectual disability in villages - cretinism is more obvious at birth than Downs Syndrome after all, and with the badly depleted iodine soils of the wet highlands thyroid deficiencies were very common. However, if a baby was born with deformed limbs, that baby just seemed to "vanish". In such societies, limitations or aberrations of mental function were much less of a problem than physical deformities.

    And we're all familiar with the term "village idiot". These people suffered from all kinds of mental impairments, just as autistic children were treated as intellectually impaired in our societies until the last few decades, but they were supported by their communities and tolerated fairly well. When I was younger (not in a primitive society, just a simpler industrial society with less automation than now) many such people were fully employed in factories and other places and roadsweepers, cleaners and general helping hands.

    When it comes to people suffering from what we would nowadays call mental illnesses, with florid hallucinations and delusions, these people were often treated in various communities as shamans or seers - as being especially blessed with insights denied to others.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    It seems to me that most analysis and diagnosis of mental illness is undertaken by individuals who are acting under the delusion that some humans may actually be sane.
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    Forum Freshman Shamandrill's Avatar
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    Thanks for replying all!

    One thing I should have mentioned is the following; schizophrenia, and if I'm correct autism, is found at the same percentage across cultures. So somehow genes that are involved, in at least schizophrenia, I'm not sure about autism, have some benefit as they are not weeded out. On the other hand the percentage of schizophrenia is quite low; 1 percent.

    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    You have to remember that survival is the adaptation in early societies. I remember reports from someone my husband knew who'd worked in New Guinea during the 40s and 50s. There were plenty of people with various, quite obvious, forms of intellectual disability in villages - cretinism is more obvious at birth than Downs Syndrome after all, and with the badly depleted iodine soils of the wet highlands thyroid deficiencies were very common. However, if a baby was born with deformed limbs, that baby just seemed to "vanish". In such societies, limitations or aberrations of mental function were much less of a problem than physical deformities.

    And we're all familiar with the term "village idiot". These people suffered from all kinds of mental impairments, just as autistic children were treated as intellectually impaired in our societies until the last few decades, but they were supported by their communities and tolerated fairly well. When I was younger (not in a primitive society, just a simpler industrial society with less automation than now) many such people were fully employed in factories and other places and roadsweepers, cleaners and general helping hands.

    When it comes to people suffering from what we would nowadays call mental illnesses, with florid hallucinations and delusions, these people were often treated in various communities as shamans or seers - as being especially blessed with insights denied to others.
    Good point. Let's call it group survival. But you would think those village idiots wouldn't reproduce. On the other hand the family who carries these genes most likely will. So by that reasoning it's just a byproduct. And I remember an article that talked how "cavemen" treated wounded and old people, so they could have tolerated village idiots too.

    Something I forgot. Where I volunteer, all people work, the ones I volunteer with do the least "impressive" work. I think a lot of them can indeed participate in society, whatever that means gathering, or working in a factory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Heh, I was about say that I disagree entirely with the claims about depression. And then I read one of the links.
    "the conclusions reached by all this high-level problem solving are often completely erroneous. In many cases, depressives seem to be even more prone to fallacious thinking than non-depressed problem solvers".
    Which has been my experience.
    The first link I looked at seemed to consider it more beneficial than the one quoted above.
    I didn't even read that or remembered it. I'm possibly biased, good that you pointed it out. Now it doesn't mean that all depressions are the same. I know (my psychiatrist told me) that schizophrenia is not one disease (yet they treat it like it is, but that's for another thread), similar to cancer it is several diseases. This could be the case for depression. Maybe depression is a reaction to several problems, resulting in:

    -a social submessive strategy
    -prevention of infection
    -a problem solving reaction

    Some form of depression might not at all be such a reaction, but indeed a disorder. For example severe autism, and also severe schizophrenia (those who stay in psychotic stance) I would say is a disorder. Chronic depression would be the maladaptive version of depression.

    Again feel free to disagree!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    It seems to me that most analysis and diagnosis of mental illness is undertaken by individuals who are acting under the delusion that some humans may actually be sane.
    I actually do not like the word illness, I would prefer disorder, or better, condition. I'm aware that "sane" humans are also under all sorts of biases, delucions, fallacies and what not. I remember an article that said psychotic symptons are more common than thought, but I can't seem to find it.

    Thanks all for replying, on the other forum were I posted this no replies were made. I want some opinions and especially more theories.

    Feel free to disagree or point out errors in my reasoning!
    I have a hunger, a hunger for information, a sick obsession with science, I want to know, want to how.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamandrill View Post
    I actually do not like the word illness, I would prefer disorder, or better, condition
    I chose to use the word illness because that is the word you used in your thread title and opening paragraph. I was trying to be supportive by mirroring your choice of words.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shamandrill View Post
    I actually do not like the word illness, I would prefer disorder, or better, condition
    I chose to use the word illness because that is the word you used in your thread title and opening paragraph. I was trying to be supportive by mirroring your choice of words.
    I changed it to disorder. That seems to be the most neutral word. I thank you for being supportive, and I agree! And you make a very good point. As these disorders cause suffering and aren't seen as normal it's easy to see them as maladaptive brain diseases:

    "Depression adaptive! I wouldn't call my suffering adaptive!" "My son has autism and I can tell you it isn't adaptive!" "Crazy people are not normal, they have a brain disease doh, nothing adaptive about it."

    Now, to make this post more worthwhile let me quote some of the article I just read:

    It is well-established that autism is caused by many interacting genes (25-26). As nearly 30 genes have been associated with autism (27), autism is clearly no Mendelian (single gene) disorder.

    So, autism is caused by many genes. I couldn't find evidence that it's like schizophrenia the same percentage across cultures. And of course autism comes in many forms, Asperger, PPD-NOS etc.

    The article has several theories behind autism:
    -Autism as the result of an extreme male brain
    -Autism as the result of an extreme imprinted brain
    -Autism as a low-fitness extreme of a parentally selected fitness indicator
    -Autism as the result of a reptile brain

    Some of these theories I have already seen in another article. Still interesting. I think we shouldn't look for one theory behind most of the mental disorders, psychopathy, narcissism and ADHD seem to be exceptions to me (tell me what you think.).
    I think, that borderline, bipolar, depression and schizophrenia are complex. Some of the "versions" are maladaptive, some "versions" adaptive. Some traits maladaptive, some traits adaptive. All of them I would think are byproducts, but over the time some "versions" became adaptive.

    Now a side note; why would we want to know the evolutionary psychology behind these disorders? I for one think it's interesting, and I think in order to understand them and treat them in the best way possible we must know it's evolutionary history.

    Something else
    : if anybody knows a book that deals with mental disorders and evolutionary psychology I'm very interested!
    I have a hunger, a hunger for information, a sick obsession with science, I want to know, want to how.
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    Just a quibble, but re-naming it to "disorder" because there may be a negative connotation in the word "illness" will only create a negative connotation to the word "disorder."
    Changing that to "condition" will only create a negative connotation to the word, "condition."

    Seems a waste of time to me. Call it for what it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Just a quibble, but re-naming it to "disorder" because there may be a negative connotation in the word "illness" will only create a negative connotation to the word "disorder."
    Changing that to "condition" will only create a negative connotation to the word, "condition."
    I admit that there is a stigma attached to metal disorders. illnesses/ conditions - but that situation is improving (at least here in the UK).
    If it's any help both myself and my sister (who also had depression, albeit less severe than mine) introduce ourselves with the words "Hello, I'm [name] and I'm a nutter".
    It tends to defuse any potential conflict on the "politically correct" terminology for the other person later on.
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    For your interest in evolutionary psychology ? There's not much that's very good or very interesting to me - for you I think there may be even less. The biggest problem is the link to genetics. Most of the genetic research is very, very recent. And one stream of recent schizophrenia research links it to influenza in the mother early in the pregnancy, which would put it in much the same problem group as the blindness, deafness and intellectual impairment caused by rubella - except that those effects show up immediately at birth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I admit that there is a stigma attached to metal disorders.
    There really is, but I approve of it, rather than disagree with it.

    For example, if I go to buy some mechanical tools, I buy only Chrome Vanadium or other alloys manufactured here in the U.S.A. This is because our refineries are more adept at removing impurities, such as sulfur, which make steel more brittle and prone to shattering or breaking than say the refineries in China, Taiwan, which have a high sulfur content. Anyone that's broken a Husky tool trying to use it can attest to this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Just a quibble, but re-naming it to "disorder" because there may be a negative connotation in the word "illness" will only create a negative connotation to the word "disorder."
    Changing that to "condition" will only create a negative connotation to the word, "condition."

    Seems a waste of time to me. Call it for what it is.
    Good point. I myself consider words just to be a human invention; words are words nothing less nothing more.

    However consider priming. Negative words cause negative emotions.

    Just a while ago, I read an article:

    One study asked groups of participants to give their views on a person describing their experiences of mental illness. In one group, participants were subsequently given a biological and genetic explanation of mental illness, in another, they were given a social and psychological explanation. The group given the biological explanation were much more likely to rate the person as dangerous and unpredictable. Other research has suggested that clinicians with a purely biological perspective are likely to rate patients as more disturbed than other clinicians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Just a quibble, but re-naming it to "disorder" because there may be a negative connotation in the word "illness" will only create a negative connotation to the word "disorder."
    Changing that to "condition" will only create a negative connotation to the word, "condition."
    I admit that there is a stigma attached to metal disorders. illnesses/ conditions - but that situation is improving (at least here in the UK).
    If it's any help both myself and my sister (who also had depression, albeit less severe than mine) introduce ourselves with the words "Hello, I'm [name] and I'm a nutter".
    It tends to defuse any potential conflict on the "politically correct" terminology for the other person later on.
    Yes there is a stigma. I have had a psychosis, and while I have no trouble telling it to strangers on the world wide web, I haven't even told a close friend of mine about it. Psychosis, especially schizophrenia, has a even worse stigma than depression because it is often in the news with mass killings.

    I also get medication for depression. So I can understand a bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I admit that there is a stigma attached to metal disorders.
    There really is, but I approve of it, rather than disagree with it.

    For example, if I go to buy some mechanical tools, I buy only Chrome Vanadium or other alloys manufactured here in the U.S.A. This is because our refineries are more adept at removing impurities, such as sulfur, which make steel more brittle and prone to shattering or breaking than say the refineries in China, Taiwan, which have a high sulfur content. Anyone that's broken a Husky tool trying to use it can attest to this.
    My first thought was "WTF???" and then I noticed the typo gremlin had been at work again. That little bugger always turns up about 3 seconds after I hit the "post reply" button.
    Nice one NF.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    and then I noticed the typo gremlin had been at work again.
    Oh...

    Well... In that case, I am unsupportive of the stigma attached to mental illnesses, crazy, insane, imbalanced brains or what have you and believe that in a scientific discussion of such, the stigma should be left firmly out of the discussion.
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    Something to stir things up.

    Let's look at a mental disorder that I think is definitely maladaptive:

    Pedophilia (some say pedophilia is being sexually attracted to girls under the legal age, I mean those who are sexually attracted that are not sexually mature; those who do not have secondary sex charesterics.)
    -mating with someone who isn't sexually mature would result in no reproduction
    -I do not see any benefit

    Thoughts?

    Oewh! But than you're saying homoseksuality is also maladaptive!

    Well, no. Love, as cheesy as it sounds, is a very strong bond. Look at the mother and child (a bit a different kind of love, but I think this matters).
    The love that homoseksuals share is I think benifital, the seksual side of it is just a by product. But, there's a but.

    -there's no reproduction, so how would homoseksuality not be weeded out or better said not go silently extinct?

    You would think when homoseksuality wasn't accepted most of them would reproduce. So if you accept that, you would think as gays are now accepted they would die out because they are no longer reproducing (or at least become very rare).
    On the other hand there have been cultures in which gays were also accepted like the Ancient Greeks and medieval Japanese, even stranger homoseksuality in these cultures seem like a cultural thing. But homoseksuality is not a choice?

    Homoseksuality puzzles me. Interestingly, gays seem to be highly successfulin the Dutch society, I know a lot of celibrities who are gay. Is the gene for homoseksuality somehow connected to successfull traits? Is that why it's still around? Does family from homoseksuals benefit? I searched for a answer and my last question is answered as a hypothese:

    -kin selection hypothesis

    The link talks only about a specific group. So while it does provide me with an answer to why it's around (the evolutionary psychology), it doesn't answer my question if it might go extinct in modern society. That's a bit offtopic, yes, but I think we can discuss it.

    By the way I'm not suggesting homoseksuality is a disorder, I just thought it would be interesting to discuss about, and it isn't fully offtopic. I think viewing most disorders as conditions would be better, and homoseksuality I would say is a condition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamandrill View Post
    Is the gene for homoseksuality somehow connected to successfull traits? Is that why it's still around? Does family from homoseksuals benefit?
    I vaguely remember (from where, or when, I can't recall) that the presence of accepted homosexuals in a group/ society more or less guarantees that there will be "surrogate parents" available i.e. someone without their own offspring, who could step in and care for orphaned children.
    How serious that was as a hypothesis, and how well-researched/ accepted I have no idea.
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    First things first. Homosexuality is quite common among species other than human so it's not at all unusual biologically speaking.

    As for genetics, there was some recent-ish research which found that the sisters of homosexual men showed a statistically significant higher rate of reproduction. So, from a gene's point of view, occasionally producing a non-reproductive male in descendants is no detriment if that lack of reproduction is more than countered by other descendants reproducing more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shamandrill View Post
    Is the gene for homoseksuality somehow connected to successfull traits? Is that why it's still around? Does family from homoseksuals benefit?
    I vaguely remember (from where, or when, I can't recall) that the presence of accepted homosexuals in a group/ society more or less guarantees that there will be "surrogate parents" available i.e. someone without their own offspring, who could step in and care for orphaned children.
    How serious that was as a hypothesis, and how well-researched/ accepted I have no idea.
    I was thinking indeed of something like this. That individuals that have homoseksuality have a benificial role in the group, or to be more scientific kin.

    I do not think pedophilia would be beneficial for the group, to say that would also be very controversial. But I still don't believe it.

    What I deleted from my original post at the other forum but may also be interesting is that psychopaths now might have a benificial role in society.
    There are quite some surgeons and CEO's (you can argue CEO's are that benificial) that are psychopaths. I would think a psychopathic leader could have been in the past benifical for the group also kin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    As for genetics, there was some recent-ish research which found that the sisters of homosexual men showed a statistically significant higher rate of reproduction.
    Hmm, maybe. But the only sister of a homeosexual guy that I know also happens to be gay! (They're also twins - wonder if there's any significance in that).
    (In fact she's the reason I'm so well known in the local gay bars round town - drinking buddy).
    Not many children there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    First things first. Homosexuality is quite common among species other than human so it's not at all unusual biologically speaking.

    As for genetics, there was some recent-ish research which found that the sisters of homosexual men showed a statistically significant higher rate of reproduction. So, from a gene's point of view, occasionally producing a non-reproductive male in descendants is no detriment if that lack of reproduction is more than countered by other descendants reproducing more.
    Yes, I'm aware that it's not unusual at all in biology, I should have said that. I sometimes wonder if animals have schizophrenic, or psychopathic individuals, it's a lot harder to notice than homoseksuality.

    Why am I thinking of bonobo's?

    Interesting, thanks for sharing.
    Last edited by Shamandrill; January 22nd, 2013 at 01:03 PM.
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    Considering adding propensity for drug addictions?

    Remember a study some ten years ago or so that established a pretty strong relationship between genetic group exposure to alcohol and difficultly with alcohol addiction among those groups. The groups with longest exposure had the fewest problems, while those with shortage exposure usually had severe problems, suggesting natural selection and adaptation at work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Considering adding propensity for drug addictions?

    Remember a study some ten years ago or so that established a pretty strong relationship between genetic group exposure to alcohol and difficultly with alcohol addiction among those groups. The groups with longest exposure had the fewest problems, while those with shortage exposure usually had severe problems, suggesting natural selection and adaptation at work.
    I was going to add some more, I think I'm going to use this post for that. Now I think about it, I'm going to discuss new things in new posts and add these to the first post.

    Drug and alcohol is very interesting, I should definitely add that. The book by David M. Buss Evolutionary Psychology: the new science of the mind said something about alcohol. He says it has to do with fruit, ripe fruit to be precise it's called the frugivory by-product hypothesis. It could be (I think it is) that the like for alcohol is universal (that's what they are suggesting, stupid shamandrill!) but some people like it even beter. And of course when we were still hunter and gatherers alcohol wasn't in such quantities as now, that's the point being made in the book, it doesn't explain alcoholism. But like I said it might be that there are people who crave it more, just like not all people of the north are addicts of sugar and fat but there are some.

    Question: I have been very interested in our body's feel good chemicals, like dopamine, endorphins, adrenaline, and more. Does alcohol increase any feel good chemicals? In Dutch we classify drugs as stimulating, psychedelic or seductive, I know alcohol is a seductive. A quick search says alcohol stimulates serotonine, endorphin and dopamine.

    I know drugs do increase feel good chemicals. Cocaine increases dopamine.

    Drugs and alcohol increase feel good chemicals. Feel good chemicals are used for reward. Reward is appearently addictive, better said; these feel good chemicals are addictive. But why? Is it a byproduct or is it beneficial that these feel good chemicals are addictive?

    I'll have to do some research, and I might edit this post with it, at least I will edit my first post. Feel free to discuss, and remember, everyone, feel free to correct me, after all I'm here to learn!

    Now something else, I believe, but I might be wrong, that one of the articles that I posted did already have this hypothesis. It's the hypothesis that autism is the extreme male brain (I know I posted this) and here comes the new; that schizophrenia is the extreme female brain. I found this in a blog. I remember reading somewhere that females are more likely to have psychosis (could be wrong), what I am almost sure about is true is that females tend to have more the positive effects and males the negative effects of psychosis (positive means what is new to you, like hallucinations, negative is what is taken away from you, like a blunt feeling). However I do not know where I have read this, I thought on the blog but as I read it again I couldn't find it.

    I then wondered if schizophrenics would be better at judging emotions (empathy I mean), appearently they did score low on EQ tests. Now, some questions pop up:

    -are these schizophrenics being treated, could it be that medications might have some effect on their EQ?
    -are these schizophrenics having negative, positive or no symptons of schizophrenia, I would think the positive and having no symptons (without medication) could have a positive effect on empathy (the positive symptons on the extreme side though, so they might be having a negative effect on EQ), the negative symptons I think would be bad for EQ
    (Oops! This sounds like a big error! I was away from the computer going to watch tv and I thought, wait does this make sense? Empathy can not change right? I'll do some research on it because to be honest, I don't know much about it. I did a quick search and EQ seems to be somewhat controversial. If anyone can teach me about it, that would be helpful!)

    Funny (somewhat); during psychosis I had all sorts of theories, one was that because of certain conditions in my youth (and genetics) I had some sort of "female brain". That may almost be a bit true, but not likely.
    Last edited by Shamandrill; January 24th, 2013 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Stupid mistake!
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    I wouldn't set too much store by that male brain / female brain item in Psychology Today (of all things - it really doesn't have much of a reputation). Even worse it's written by Kanazawa - who no longer writes for them and whose employer has banned him from publishing any non-peer-reviewed writing for a while. Satoshi Kanazawa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If your interest in evo psych was prompted by him, you'd better look around for someone with a bit more substance and a good scientific reputation. Personally I'm much more impressed by anthropology and sociology when looking at the issues that EP tries to claim as its own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I wouldn't set too much store by that male brain / female brain item in Psychology Today (of all things - it really doesn't have much of a reputation). Even worse it's written by Kanazawa - who no longer writes for them and whose employer has banned him from publishing any non-peer-reviewed writing for a while. Satoshi Kanazawa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If your interest in evo psych was prompted by him, you'd better look around for someone with a bit more substance and a good scientific reputation. Personally I'm much more impressed by anthropology and sociology when looking at the issues that EP tries to claim as its own.
    I don't think Psychology Today is a good source (I don't even like it that much, a lot of it seems psuedoscience), but some of it does refer to scientific articles. And I'm aware Satosh Kanazawa is controversial, however he refers to other people who claim the extreme female brain; it's not his idea. I was going to say, but thought it was unnecessary; just because someone is controversial doesn't mean he is (always) wrong. I read most of his blog and with a lot I'm thinking ",", but some of it points are good and seem likely. He's also trying to make evolutionary psychology the only answer, I think that's wrong.

    Let's not forget Darwin in the beginning was controversial too. I'm not implying Kanazawa is the next Darwin, just trying to say controversial things can be true.

    Get to the point Shamandrill! Well, I just want to have as much theories, or hypotheses, as possible. The existinal crisis of schizophrenia for example is not done by a man with good scientific reputation I believe, and while I like to beliefe it, it doesn't seem like a likely explanation. I just want as many theories and hypotheses as possible, with exception of theories that are too unlikely of course.

    Also! What are the theories that anthropology and sociology have?

    I'm currently doing some research on that. One article that I'm reading now suggests the link of bipolar and schizophrenia and shamanism. That theory is in my first post already though (not bipolar hower, I'll add it). Going to read some more and I'll give a short summary in this edited post or a new post. It's a bit hard to find though, I'll be happy if you gave me some articles.
    Last edited by Shamandrill; January 25th, 2013 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Doing some research
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