Most people would think it odd to use the word evolution in terms of everyday behavior. But, its one more way various behaviors come into being, or drop out. It follows natural evolution as it applies to animals and plants and to our world in general. If one thinks about it, it would be very consistent to have human behavior follow in the foot steps of nature’s evolution. In many ways our world likes consistency.
As a way of picturing behavioral evolution I like to think of various screens. Like they use when mining for gold. You do one behavior and it gets reinforced and makes it through the screen. You do another behavior and it does not get reinforce, or maybe punished and it does not make it through the screen, It gets screened out.
Well, mostly it’s other people that do the screening. You do or say something and it gets ignored, punished or reinforced.. Depending on which it gets determines if it continues to be a behavior of yours or not. To make it a little more complicated, sometimes a behavior will both get reinforced sometimes and punished at other times. If there is much of this, one can get some very freaky behavior. If one can see this system operating over a number of years, you can see how behavior can be very unsystematically developed. I can explain much of the unusual behavior we see around us.
Doone...Thanks ever os much for sending me that site. I've read about half of it. I downloaded it and can really read it at my leisure. I think the thing I do best is put behaviorism in everyday words. the average person does not like heavy duty scientific descriptions. Its a big turn off. As you see, its hard enough for people to understand even with everyday words. thanks once again. Roger
doone:: As I thought. I just finished reading the rest of that article and as I had suspected the real problem is the whole issue of free will. Near the end of the article, she comes through pretty weak on her proof of free will. People just really freak out when they don't think they have free will. To me, its so strange as for me, and a few others in the past, there is a freeing up that comes with not believing in free will. Its really difficult to describe, you just sort of relax and observe your own behavior objectively. Like watching another person. I know this may sound a bit scitzo. sp. but its really not. Its really strange. One gives up freewill and discovers freedom. Weird huh.
I agree some animals do exhibit some horrible behaviors, but man tops them all. I dont think I have list them as there are plenty of examples out there. But, the reality is we are mostly talking about learned or conditioned behaviors.