«Psychology Article Review» - Free Essay Paper
The article chosen for the purpose of this paper is titled “What Old Monkeys and Old Humans Have in Common.” It was written by Joanna Klein and published in The New York Times on the 23rd of June, 2016. Being relatively short in terms of other scientific works, the article is prodigiously illustrative. Joanna Klein holds Master’s degree in psychology obtained at Appalachian State University. She also has four years of applied experience at Dr. Joseph LeDoux’s Neuroscience Laboratory. Thus, the credibility of the article is evident.
A brief analysis of electronic sources concerning recent psychology articles has revealed a bewildering array of compelling and rather interesting results spanning all areas of psychology. However, I found Klein’s article about the commonalities between old humans and old monkeys the most fascinating. Indeed, the fact that people descend from monkeys has already acquired the aura of conventional wisdom. Surprisingly few researchers, including the authoritative evolutionist Charles Darwin, have discussed the similarities in the behavior of humans and monkeys. Klein’s article summarizes the findings of a truly pioneering study by Laura Almeling and her colleagues (2016). Titled “Motivational Shifts in Aging Monkeys and the Origins of Social Connectivity,” it was published in Current Biology.
Klein (2016) begins her article stating that both humans and apes “spend less time monkeying around as they get older.” She indicates certain similarities between humans and monkeys concerning their decreased interest in social life as they age. For instance, Klein mentions some well-known examples of senior citizens becoming more obstinate, quarrelsome, and scrupulous with time. Similar to humans, monkeys can be cantankerous “old fossils” at times as well. Likewise, Klein notes that both old humans and old monkeys, though separated by 25 million years of evolution, prefer more introverted behavioral patterns that, in turn, lead to isolation. Based on these observations, Almeling et al. (2016) and Klein (2016) surmise that changes in human behavior may, in fact, have an evolutionary origin. Interestingly, Klein explains, social aging of monkeys follows the same patterns as those of humans, and these similarities can be observed at even earlier stages. Thus, according to the article, ape’s interest in new toys and items, such as tubes baited with food, decreases when it enters the reproductive stage of its development. One does not need a degree in neuroscience to confirm that humans usually lose interest in playing with toys by the age of physical maturity as well. According to Klein (2016), the study also revealed other commonalities between old monkeys and old humans. For example, she explains that “younger monkeys still approached and groomed their elders” (Klein, 2016). Similarly, this is the way interactions between young humans and their older relatives usually occur.
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One of the most appealing aspects concerning the selected article is its references to credible academic studies. The arguments of the author are not based on bare allegations which contribute to the overall impression of the writing. The author also presents an alternative explanation for the similarities arguing that old humans and old monkeys may be simply losing their stamina rather than withdrawing from social life because of a genetic predisposition. Another explanation which the author considers is that aging humans and monkeys display greater social restraint because of their inclination to taking fewer risks. On the whole, the article provides a solid basis for discussion of the important social issue. I cannot say that the article relates to me; however, the subject stirred my curiosity. To conclude, considering the discussed scientific observations, grumpiness and obnoxiousness of people at the age of retirement could be said to have resulted due to evolution.
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