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Cognitive Adaptations for Social Exchange

Cognitive Adaptations for Social Exchange

Psychologically oriented approaches presented by Cosmides and Tooby (164) emphasize the importance of cognitive mechanisms in social interaction. Therefore, the scientists suggest hypothesis that defines personal motivation as the main purpose for social interaction. Despite the fact that social exchange was perceived as the process in which formal logics is involved, the conceptuality of this process contains such reasons as familiarity. Therefore, social exchange focuses on cognitive adaptation. The motivation and reasoning considered to be independent variables that influence social behavior.

The scientists emphasize the role of altruistic phenomenon in behavior of living being. Evolutionary psychology insists on the fact that the essence of life is to provide future generations, based on kin selection theory (or inclusive fitness theory), according to which, animals tend to maximize the chance of survival of their genes. Genetic selfishness or the motivating altruism causes self sacrifice. This kind of protection refers to mutual benefits.

However, Cosmides and Tooby (169) focused their attention on the fact that animals act altruistically towards nonrelatives as well. Therefore, altruism as the social phenomenon has alternative explanation and cannot be identified as coincidence. Therefore, scientists suggest that altruism is perceived as the certain exchange, reciprocation that motivates individuals to help for the future benefit. According to this theory, cognitive mechnisms take part in social exchange processes.

Moreover, the scientists (Cosmides, Tooby, 170) claim that this interdependence supports the probability of cognitive mechanisms that impact social interaction. Social exchange theory is based on the assumption that people will build and maintain relationships, if they believe that the remuneration they derive from such relationships will exceed the costs. Cosmides and Tooby (173) attempted to explain behavior, defined broadly as a result of interactions in the course of individuals’ information exchange. Despite the fact that the scientists compared exchange theory with the behavioral psychology, the similar theory of microeconomics can also be found in anthropology and political science. Despite the fact that social exchange theory explains the interaction between individuals, it has also been extended to intergroup processes.

Cosmides and Tooby (171) have formulated five basic provisions of the exchange theory. Behavioral model of operant conditioning is based on the utilitarian principle, according to the individual search for the maximum profit, avoiding or minimizing the loss. It assumes that individuals react in a predictable manner on reward and punishment. Any interaction provides an opportunity to share resources, whereas each participant tries to get the resources that are more valuable in comparison with others.

However, cognitive processes provide logical assumption that benefit, received during the exchange could be doubled if facilities or goods are not provided in response (Cosmides and Tooby, 188). Therefore, switched social contracts represent form of social exchange in which an individual have the power that allows him to dominate in the relationship. However, the participant’s measuring of possible affords influences his of her desire to participate in social relations.

The exchange perspective could be measured by trustworthiness and previous information. For example, taking into account experience of individual’s unreliability, former conditions could be rejected by the co-operator (Cosmides and Tooby, 194).

Moreover, participants of social contracts aim to control equity and justice in the process of distribution. The equity of the process is controlled by formal regulations that underline the necessity of honoring obligations under a treaty.

Despite the fact that the performed hypothesis analyze general regularities of cognitive involvement in social interaction, the cognitive performance of equity is to be discovered, taking into account other individual’s prospective and subjectivity with comparison of other individuals’ contributions.

Cosmides and Tooby (216) emphasize the influence of cross-cultural psychological universals that cause interdependence in individuals’ behavior. Therefore, concepts of evoked culture face irregularities in human behavior. The social exchange in this situation is based on a free will. Therefore, it cannot be compulsory or strictly regulated. However, majority of nations and different societies based general evoked culture regulations on arbitrary self-sufficient culture, preserves as a social tradition.

The presence of this specific intention in an individual’s actions clarifies the content-dependency of cognitive adaptation processes. Different mechanisms of social interactions cause various types of social behavior. The study is focused on the differentiation of intercultural relations based on universals of individuals’ cognitive perception.

The studying of empirical progress is primarily based on the interdisciplinary studding of evolutionary biology and cognitive psychology. Therefore, cognitive potential of human mind encourage further studying of this issue.

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