remix (remix79) wrote in damnportlanders,

Evolutionary psychology and the TV show "Friends"

"Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters", pg. 21:

In other words, we still have the same evolved psychological mechanism that our ancestors possessed more than ten thousand years ago [because our brains have not evolved].

This observation leads to a new proposition in evolutionary psychology called the Savanna Principle, which states that

The human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situation that did not exist in the ancestral environment.

One example of an entity that did not exist in the ancestral environment is TV or any other realistic images of other humans, such as photographs, videos, or films. The Savanna Principle would therefore predict that the human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with images shown on TV. This indeed appears to be the case. A recent study shows that the individuals who watch certain types of TV programs are more satisfied with their friendships, as if they had more friends or socialized with them more frequently. According to the Savanna Principle, this is probably because the human brain, adapted to the ancestral environment, has difficulty distinguishing between our real friends in the flesh and the characters we repeatedly see on TV. In the ancestral environment, any realistic images of other humans were other humans, and if you saw them repeatedly and the did not try to kill or harm you in any way, then more than likely they were your friends. Our Stone Age brain therefore assumes that the characters we repeatedly encounter on TV, very few of whom try to kill or harm us, are our real friends, and our satisfaction with friendships thereby increases by seeing them more frequently.


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