It explains apparently altruistic behaviour in some animal species as actually being genetically selfish, since such behaviours usually benefit closely related individuals whose genes resemble those of the altruistic individual. This insight helps explain why soldier ants sacrifice their lives in order to defend their colony, or why worker honeybees in a hive forego reproduction in order to help their queen reproduce. Sociobiology can in some cases explain the differences between male and female behaviour in certain animal species as resulting from the different strategies the sexes must resort to in order to transmit their genes to posterity. Sociobiology is more controversial, however, when it attempts to explain various human social behaviours in terms of their adaptive value for reproduction. Many of these behaviours, according to one objection, are more plausibly viewed as cultural constructs or as evolutionary by-products, without any direct adaptive purpose of their own.
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Definition[ edit ] E. Wilson defined sociobiology as "the extension of population biology and evolutionary theory to social organization".
It predicts that animals will act in ways that have proven to be evolutionarily successful over time. This can, among other things, result in the formation of complex social processes conducive to evolutionary fitness. The discipline seeks to explain behavior as a product of natural selection.
Inherent in sociobiological reasoning is the idea that certain genes or gene combinations that influence particular behavioral traits can be inherited from generation to generation. This behavior is adaptive because killing the cubs eliminates competition for their own offspring and causes the nursing females to come into heat faster, thus allowing more of his genes to enter into the population. Sociobiologists would view this instinctual cub-killing behavior as being inherited through the genes of successfully reproducing male lions, whereas non-killing behavior may have died out as those lions were less successful in reproducing.
Wilson , a central figure in the history of sociobiology, from the publication in of his book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis The philosopher of biology Daniel Dennett suggested that the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes was the first sociobiologist, arguing that in his book Leviathan Hobbes had explained the origins of morals in human society from an amoral sociobiological perspective.
In , E. Wilson came in contact this emerging sociobiology through his PhD student Stuart A. Altmann, who had been in close relation with the participants to the conference. Altmann developed his own brand of sociobiology to study the social behavior of rhesus macaques, using statistics, and was hired as a "sociobiologist" at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in The three sociobiologies by Scott, Altmann and Wilson have in common to place naturalist studies at the core of the research on animal social behavior and by drawing alliances with emerging research methodologies, at a time when "biology in the field" was threatened to be made old-fashioned by "modern" practices of science laboratory studies, mathematical biology, molecular biology.
However, the influence of evolution on behavior has been of interest to biologists and philosophers since soon after the discovery of evolution itself. The final chapter of the book is devoted to sociobiological explanations of human behavior, and Wilson later wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book, On Human Nature , that addressed human behavior specifically.
Hagen writes in The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology that sociobiology is, despite the public controversy regarding the applications to humans, "one of the scientific triumphs of the twentieth century. The more general term behavioral ecology is commonly substituted for the term sociobiology in order to avoid the public controversy.
They contend that in order to fully understand behavior, it must be analyzed in terms of evolutionary considerations. Natural selection is fundamental to evolutionary theory. That inherited adaptive behaviors are present in nonhuman animal species has been multiply demonstrated by biologists, and it has become a foundation of evolutionary biology.
However, there is continued resistance by some researchers over the application of evolutionary models to humans, particularly from within the social sciences, where culture has long been assumed to be the predominant driver of behavior. Nikolaas Tinbergen , whose work influenced sociobiology Sociobiology is based upon two fundamental premises: Certain behavioral traits are inherited, Inherited behavioral traits have been honed by natural selection.
Therefore, these traits were probably "adaptive" in the environment in which the species evolved. Two categories are at the species level; two, at the individual level. The species-level categories often called "ultimate explanations" are the function i. The individual-level categories often called "proximate explanations" are the development of the individual i.
Sociobiologists are interested in how behavior can be explained logically as a result of selective pressures in the history of a species. Thus, they are often interested in instinctive , or intuitive behavior, and in explaining the similarities, rather than the differences, between cultures. For example, mothers within many species of mammals — including humans — are very protective of their offspring. Sociobiologists reason that this protective behavior likely evolved over time because it helped the offspring of the individuals which had the characteristic to survive.
This parental protection would increase in frequency in the population. The social behavior is believed to have evolved in a fashion similar to other types of nonbehavioral adaptations , such as a coat of fur, or the sense of smell.
Individual genetic advantage fails to explain certain social behaviors as a result of gene-centred selection. Wilson argued that evolution may also act upon groups. Altruism is defined as "a concern for the welfare of others". If altruism is genetically determined, then altruistic individuals must reproduce their own altruistic genetic traits for altruism to survive, but when altruists lavish their resources on non-altruists at the expense of their own kind, the altruists tend to die out and the others tend to increase.
An extreme example is a soldier losing his life trying to help a fellow soldier. This example raises the question of how altruistic genes can be passed on if this soldier dies without having any children. Stability of a strategy can be difficult to prove, but usually, it will predict gene frequencies. The hypothesis can be supported by establishing a correlation between the gene frequencies predicted by the strategy, and those expressed in a population.
Altruism between social insects and littermates has been explained in such a way. Altruistic behavior, behavior that increases the reproductive fitness of others at the apparent expense of the altruist, in some animals has been correlated to the degree of genome shared between altruistic individuals. A quantitative description of infanticide by male harem-mating animals when the alpha male is displaced as well as rodent female infanticide and fetal resorption are active areas of study.
In general, females with more bearing opportunities may value offspring less, and may also arrange bearing opportunities to maximize the food and protection from mates. An important concept in sociobiology is that temperament traits exist in an ecological balance.
Just as an expansion of a sheep population might encourage the expansion of a wolf population, an expansion of altruistic traits within a gene pool may also encourage increasing numbers of individuals with dependent traits. Studies of human behavior genetics have generally found behavioral traits such as creativity, extroversion, aggressiveness, and IQ have high heritability.
The researchers who carry out those studies are careful to point out that heritability does not constrain the influence that environmental or cultural factors may have on those traits. There are arguments that in some environments criminal behavior might be adaptive. For example, the transcription factor FEV aka Pet1 , through its role in maintaining the serotonergic system in the brain, is required for normal aggressive and anxiety -like behavior.
In addition, FEV has been shown to be required for correct maternal behaviour in mice, such that offspring of mothers without the FEV factor do not survive unless cross-fostered to other wild-type female mice. Gould grouped sociobiology with eugenics , criticizing both in his book The Mismeasure of Man. However, some critics have argued that the language of sociobiology readily slips from "is" to "ought",  an instance of the naturalistic fallacy.
Pinker has argued that opposition to stances considered anti-social, such as ethnic nepotism , is based on moral assumptions, meaning that such opposition is not falsifiable by scientific advances.
Sociobiología: qué es y qué temas de investigación propone
Definition[ edit ] E. Wilson defined sociobiology as "the extension of population biology and evolutionary theory to social organization". It predicts that animals will act in ways that have proven to be evolutionarily successful over time. This can, among other things, result in the formation of complex social processes conducive to evolutionary fitness. The discipline seeks to explain behavior as a product of natural selection. Inherent in sociobiological reasoning is the idea that certain genes or gene combinations that influence particular behavioral traits can be inherited from generation to generation.