Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

C.6: Key Terms

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Altruism: Providing a benefit to someone else at a cost to oneself, without expecting future reciprocation.

    Biological determinism: The idea that behaviors are determined exclusively by genes.

    Costly signaling theory: A theory by which individuals provide honest signals about personal attributes through costly displays.

    Ecology: The physical and social environment, including food resources, predators, terrain, weather, social rules, behavior of other people, and cultural rules.

    Evolutionary history: An understanding of how traits (including behaviors) may be the result of natural selection in our hominin past.

    Human Behavioral Ecology: The field of anthropology that explores how ecological factors and evolutionary history combine to influence how humans behave.

    Kin selection: A type of natural selection whereby people help relatives, which can evolve because people are helping other individuals with whom they share genes.

    Naturalistic fallacy: The incorrect belief that what occurs is what ought to be.

    Population aging: An increase in the number and proportion of people who are over the age of 60.

    Proximate explanation: The mechanism that is immediately responsible for an event.

    Reciprocal altruism: Helping behavior that occurs because individuals expect that any help they provide will be reciprocated in the future.

    Total fertility rate: the number of children a hypothetical female would have at the end of their reproductive period if they experienced fertility rates of a given year for each year of their reproductive period and were not subject to mortality. It represents the fertility of all females in a given year. It is reported as children per woman.

    Ultimate explanation: An explanation for an event that is further removed than a proximate explanation but provides a greater insight or understanding. In human behavioral ecology, ultimate explanations usually describe how a behavior is linked to reproduction and survival.

    This page titled C.6: Key Terms is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Kristin Snopkowski (Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.