By Martin Gold
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Presentation of the author's version of social psychology which makes a speciality of the reciprocal family members among the individual and the social atmosphere.
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An “archeological social psychology” might contribute t o our understanding of how these contemporaneous givens evolved as they have. After all, evolution takes place in particular ecologies, and con-species mechanisms evolved under the influence of natural selection in certain social environments. Evolutionary psychologists invoke social psychological theory when they try to account for the nature of specific mechanisms by imagining, informed by the archeological evidence, what kinds of prehistoric social environments afforded reproductive advantages to the adaptations that seem to have evolved.
Insights generated by these explorations can in turn contribute to our understanding of contemporary social influence by suggesting what features of the social environment now trigger which given adaptations. Some otherwise puzzling psychological phe- INTEGRATIVE STRATEGIES 47 nomena, puzzling because they seem inexplicable in terms of contemporary motives and resources, may be due to anachronistic mechanisms. Note that I have characterized given genetic mechanisms as contemporaneous. The point is that social psychology should ordinarily treat these mechanisms as givens rather than devote itself to discovering their origins, even when their origins are partly social.
Between the “objective” and “subjective” matrix recognizes this fact. The notion of the objective matrix is based on the assumption that a well-informed and thorough analysis can identify more accurately than can the participants the structure of their relationship. . According to this view, the objective matrix represents a causal structure which, whether recognized or not, plays a shaping role in the relationship and is therefore a reality of which it would be well for the participants to become cognizant.