What cultural behavior do most women have in common

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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#361  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 01, 2013 9:25 am

LucidFlight wrote:I wonder if having breasts has anything to do with who does the breastfeeding.

:lol: I was wondering the same thing, Lucid!

Anyway, I think it's more to do with the fact that once baby has arrived, by some miracle or other the new mother's breasts start producing milk, and if you don't quickly latch some little sucker onto them, you soon end up with very painful swollen monstrosities attached to your frontage.
Mr.Samsa wrote:many find it painful or uncomfortable
Tell me about it. I was rubbish, and only managed to feed each of mine for the first couple of weeks. :nono:
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#362  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 01, 2013 12:19 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:So, wanting to feed a baby naturally by the nipple is a cultural behaviour? Without this cultural influence, women would be more inclined to use a bottle? Am I getting this right?


I understood David's argument to be suggesting that women are more likely to take the breastfeeding role rather than men, and since there is no instinctual or genetic component to this behaviour, it's technically a fairly universal cultural behaviour.

What makes you think that the sex chromosomes have nothing to do with having lactating breasts or using them? You must be some kind of "hyper blank-slatist" to think that.
I also wonder whether you are still hooked on the false idea that mammalian instincts don't exist, just because they are not like the insectile direct, "command" instincts that do not work via emotions.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#363  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 01, 2013 12:48 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:I wonder if having breasts has anything to do with who does the breastfeeding.

:lol: I was wondering the same thing, Lucid!

Anyway, I think it's more to do with the fact that once baby has arrived, by some miracle or other the new mother's breasts start producing milk, and if you don't quickly latch some little sucker onto them, you soon end up with very painful swollen monstrosities attached to your frontage.

OK, so some women breast feed their baby just to avoid the problems caused by not doing so. Maybe so, although others claim to get some pleasure out of it. They would be the ones who have best learned the technique, I guess. Mammalian instinct doesn't tell you HOW to do anything, it only makes you TEND to feel like doing it (although it may be countered by other issues.)
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#364  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 01, 2013 2:20 pm

... Obviously, more than 3 anecdotes are required to come to a scientific conclusion as to whether women enjoy suckling their baby. The modern way of life (ie, the widespread use of cows' milk as a substitute for mother's milk) also eliminates selection against those who don't/can't get any pleasure out of it.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#365  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 01, 2013 2:24 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:I wonder if having breasts has anything to do with who does the breastfeeding.

:lol: I was wondering the same thing, Lucid!


Sure, but just as NS does not give us reproductive organs without any urge to use them, so you wouldn't expect it to give you boobs without any urge at all to use them.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#366  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 02, 2013 9:30 am

LucidFlight wrote:I wonder if having breasts has anything to do with who does the breastfeeding.


Yep, and this is a trait-specific constraint that shapes behavior. In other words, the behavior is chosen not because there is an innate drive to do so (like a herring gull pecking at a red dot) but rather it's chosen because one sex is capable whereas the other is not. Thus, this is a cultural behavior.

DavidMcC wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:So, wanting to feed a baby naturally by the nipple is a cultural behaviour? Without this cultural influence, women would be more inclined to use a bottle? Am I getting this right?


I understood David's argument to be suggesting that women are more likely to take the breastfeeding role rather than men, and since there is no instinctual or genetic component to this behaviour, it's technically a fairly universal cultural behaviour.

What makes you think that the sex chromosomes have nothing to do with having lactating breasts or using them? You must be some kind of "hyper blank-slatist" to think that.


I never stated nor hinted at the idea that hormones have nothing to do with breast lactation. The reason I claim that there is no biological cause behind the behavior of using them is simply because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest it's possible and a lot of reasons to expect that it's unnecessary to assume as much.

I'm not a blank slatist, nothing at all that I've said even vaguely resembles blank slatism.

DavidMcC wrote:I also wonder whether you are still hooked on the false idea that mammalian instincts don't exist, just because they are not like the insectile direct, "command" instincts that do not work via emotions.


I've never claimed that mammals don't have instincts and just a fews posts above I explicitly stated that I didn't reject the existence of instincts in mammals.

DavidMcC wrote:
Doubtdispelled wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:I wonder if having breasts has anything to do with who does the breastfeeding.

:lol: I was wondering the same thing, Lucid!


Sure, but just as NS does not give us reproductive organs without any urge to use them, so you wouldn't expect it to give you boobs without any urge at all to use them.


We wouldn't expect NS to 'program' an urge into a species when the existence of certain traits is enough to generate a certain behavior (e.g. women having breasts when men don't). NS is not wasteful and science warns us against favouring unparsimonious explanations.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#367  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 02, 2013 11:40 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:Yep, and this is a trait-specific constraint that shapes behavior. In other words, the behavior is chosen not because there is an innate drive to do so (like a herring gull pecking at a red dot) but rather it's chosen because one sex is capable whereas the other is not. Thus, this is a cultural behavior.

So a new mother feeds her baby because she feels "lumbered" with the chore, right?
I never stated nor hinted at the idea that hormones have nothing to do with breast lactation. The reason I claim that there is no biological cause behind the behavior of using them is simply because there is absolutely no evidence to suggest it's possible and a lot of reasons to expect that it's unnecessary to assume as much.

What you are missing is that if a mother isn't interested in using her breasts, she may well try to avoid doing so. Lucid Flight may have had problems related to the breast-feeding learning curves for both mother and baby - eg, leaving the baby to cry for milk for too long could cause over-enthuisiastic suckling when it finally does happen, while too much reliance on bottle feeding could prevent the baby from learning how hard it to grip - bottles don't complain from over-hard suckling.

(EDIT: There is also a fine dividing line between pain and pleasure!)
I'm not a blank slatist, nothing at all that I've said even vaguely resembles blank slatism.

Yes, it does! You argue that we have no "instincts" at all. No instincts = blank slate.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#368  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 02, 2013 11:48 am

My ex did not wanted to breastfeed. It was abhorrent to her.

Also it meant I was lumbered with feeding times.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#369  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 02, 2013 11:58 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:My ex did not wanted to breastfeed. It was abhorrent to her.

Also it meant I was lumbered with feeding times.

OK, another anecdote.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#370  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 02, 2013 12:00 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:My ex did not wanted to breastfeed. It was abhorrent to her.

Also it meant I was lumbered with feeding times.

OK, another anecdote.


So?
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#371  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 02, 2013 12:09 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:My ex did not wanted to breastfeed. It was abhorrent to her.

Also it meant I was lumbered with feeding times.

OK, another anecdote.


So?

Well, what do you think? It's just another individual story.
Modern women have factors to take into account that their distant ancestors would not - such as work and remaining attractive.
As a man, you probably do feel lumbered with feeding time, if you have to do it, but most mothers do not take that attitude unless they working, say. That can over-ride any small pleasures they get from it.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#372  Postby tuco » Mar 02, 2013 12:55 pm

Lots of opinions, little data in the thread. Too bad, differences, as well as similarities, between men and women are of (almost) everyone concern, and interesting in a larger picture of evolution and, ultimately, life as we know it. As usual, do not mind me and carry on at own leisure.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#373  Postby TMB » Mar 02, 2013 1:03 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:There is a difference between coming up with a theory of behavior, and an explanation for an individual's behavior. To say that some guy out there might buy a car because he thinks it will get him women is most likely true. The troubling part is when the claim becomes more general, like "men buy cars as a product of a desire to have sex with women". It's also problematic to try to explain a behavior by way of a complex and convoluted causal factor; like the idea that even though men (or a particular man) thinks he's working hard to ensure he has some kind of financial stability, in reality it is an attempt to satisfy some subconscious need to obtain status and increase the likelihood of sexual encounters, when there's really no evidence to suggest that such an idea is true.


Because it is problematic trying to explain a behaviour thorough a causation stack or the making of invalid generalisations, does that mean we are unable to make valid generalisations or define the causation stack with various caveats? Surely there must be a consistent cause and effect pathway between the base biology and various levels of behaviours?

Mr. Samsa wrote:Behavior is generally controlled by 'reinforcers'. Some of these are "primary" reinforcers, like food and water, which require no real learning to acquire their motivating properties, whereas some are "secondary", like money or other tokens, which require a learning process to acquire a positive association.

If the primary reinforcers require no real learning, I assume this means they are innate and presumably there is less or no choice when compared to the secondary reinforcers? Are there defined links between primary and secondary, I am assuming the numbering indicates that there is at least a partial layer of primary and secondary arise from these?

Mr. Samsa wrote:So "base needs" and "higher behaviors" are essentially equal when it comes to causes of behavior. The important factor is the power of the particular reinforcer, not whether it's a base need or not.

What do you mean by equal? That a base need for water can be matched/cancelled out by the need for status? Or do you mean that they all operate independently and the effects might be quite unrelated?
Mr. Samsa wrote:Yes it's a difference in degree, and I'm using the term animal to refer to all members of the animal kingdom. Even things like insects respond according to the same laws of behavior, and things like fruit flies and worms serve as some of the best animal models for behavioral and learning research.

As I understand it, chimps are supposed to have some sense of self although not as advanced as ours. However is the human ability to understand the past, present and future not unique and wouod presumably give rise to unique behaviours?
Mr. Samsa wrote:Sorry, I'm not quite sure what you're asking here. Conditioning processes are equal across humans and other animals so the conditioned behavior can be very similar; the only limiting factors are things like the physical design of the organism (e.g. we can't teach an eagle to clap because it has no hands) and the general cognitive abilities of the organism. That is, there are genetic constraints to learning which is why nature and nurture are both important factors to consider when explaining a behavior.

This depends upon your perception of conditioned behaviours. If you believe that people do no or very little free will due to their subjection both to biology or environmental conditioning which results in our behaviour – in which case we would suggest that equally animals also have no free due to the same forces. Or if you believe that humans are able to arise above their biology and conditioning and be autonomous, free willed individuals does it mean animals can do the same?
Mr. Samsa wrote:This is a fair point. Other animals are, as you suspected, also capable of cheating and deceiving others (as well as identifying cheats) but the ability of language does bring a unique tool to the cheat.

Are humans also able to not only deceive others, but also themselves, however depending upon your view of conditioning, possibly they are simply marching to the beat of the social drum? It also raises the question of animals being able to deceive themselves, something I am not aware they can do.
Mr. Samsa wrote:It's not exactly that I believe without society we'd be equal to all other animals but rather I think society is a huge confounding factor that needs to be considered when comparing the innate capabilities of humans and other animals. There are other social animals that display similarities to human societies but the main component I was trying to highlight was the cultural transmission in human society. This is found in some other animals, like bees passing down a certain dance waggle, or crows teaching their young different and new tool designs, the lack of language and ability to write really puts our cultural transmission on a different level. Even in our own recent history, the invention of the printing press brought about massive cultural change and innovations, so we need only imagine what the creation of language itself would have done for our ancestors.

I agree, and assuming that the original split from other primates occurring some millions of years ago would have been caused by a combination of innate ability and some limited social conditioning. Given the limited ability for scaling society in the other primates, I would imagine it was something innate in origin? Even given the multiple steps it has taken to arrive today as human and where we were at the time of the split, it brought profound changes through a series of cause and effect.
Mr. Samsa wrote:It's just a physiological reaction, like the activation of digestive enzymes when they come into contact with food. I'm not sure if there is any kind of particular terminology that describes it.

I cannot see how all these work given there must be differences of type. If someone is drowning, they react in a way that tries to save their life. Is it just a physiological reaction when this happens, a simple reflex that evolved and survived in people (and their ancestors) that were able to survive drowning, or being eaten by predators, or not jumping off a cliff?
Mr. Samsa wrote:There is no known instinct to have sex or stay alive. Those "instincts" are examples of how the term has been misused in history and is part of the reason why science dropped the term for more precise terminology (like referring to something as a fixed-action pattern, or a reflex, rather than the broader, vaguer term "instinct"). They are "instincts" in the same way people have a "mothering instinct" or a "bargain-hunting instinct" - what people mean is that there are general behavioral patterns in people or groups of people (but often these patterns aren't actually due to any innate component). Although it's a little old now, parts of this article are relevant here:

So a person taking fairly consistent and predictable steps to prevent themselves from drowning is not an instinct to stay alive, rather it is a FAP or something similar that is still designed to assist in survival? Since my interest is in how the whole process works, I am not fussed which words get used to describe these and I can see how the liberal misuse of the term ‘instinct’ creates issues. Are there a limited number of these that tend to operate at the base level, like one that works to keep a person or animal alive as well as one that operates to procreate?

Mr. Samsa wrote:What we would generally consider to be "instincts" do occur in animals but I'm not sure it's enough to consider humans and other animals to significantly differ behaviorally. Instincts like fixed-action patterns (e.g. the herring gull example I gave earlier) do occur in other animals but they form such a small part of the animal's behavioral repertoire that it shouldn't really be considered a fundamental difference. If, on the other hand, all or some animals responded purely in these fixed stimulus-response patterns, like mindless automata, then that would be enough to claim a difference in kind, in my opinion.

So you are saying that if animals responded in all cases like mindless automata, then this would be a difference in kind to humans. You say that there are very few FAPs, yet surely they form a critical part of behaviour without which they would not survive. Unless all behaviours then ultimately assist the animal to survive, surely there must be a foundation of behaviours in place that provide part of the causation stack? You are also saying that humans do not respond like mindless automata, however surely the whole principle of conditioning means that we are subject and a product of our environment (subject to its influence on our nature), surely this provides a case for a range of behaviours that only exist because of this environment/biological mix?
Mr. Samsa wrote:I meant drives but I'm just referring to the concept you were discussing. Drives, in the sense you were using, aren't instinctive behaviors. That is, if it were true that men buy cars in order to achieve some level of status and have sex with women, then that wouldn't be an "instinct". It would be something like an innate predisposition which is like a priming towards a certain behavior given certain environmental conditions, whereas an "instinct" would be more rigid and fixed; e.g. when a man sees a car, he is forced (even against his will) to buy it.

You are saying that if it were an instinct it would be fixed and rigid, much as we might expect from a person trying to avoid drowning are rigid and fixed. What do you mean by the term ‘will’? If a person has been conditioned to behave in certain ways by their environment acting upon his biology, his will must be a complex mix of both of these forces, and while everyones biology is different, as is their environment, I cannot see where something like a will (assuming some degree of autonomy and choice) fits in here, and how it can be seen to be something separate to common mechanisms.

Mr. Samsa wrote:If there was a FAP that was triggered upon seeing a shark, then you would see every individual of the human race react in the exact same way everytime they see a shark (or even a picture or film of a shark). If the proposed reaction is something like, "try to swim away" then we should see aquarium staff doing this every time they try to feed a shark or audiences of Jaws trying to swim away in their seats.

Surely the key factor would be the reality of being faced by a shark as opposed to facsimiles of sharks. I understand that gulls can be deceived to some degree by the red spot into a FAP, but surely when faced with actually drowning people behave in a way similar enough to be a FAP?

Mr. Samsa wrote:The kind of innate reaction that humans are claimed to have in regards to dangerous animals, like spiders or snakes, is more along the lines of an idea called "prepared learning" or "preparedness". The idea is that whilst there is no instinctual relationship with those creatures, we have been primed by evolution to be able to easily make the association between "that animal" and "danger". There are major problems with this hypothesis, the main being that there is no real evidence that humans pick up a fear of spiders or snakes easier than other things, and there's the more fundamental problem in the fact that the idea of "preparedness" in learning theory has largely been rejected. Instead of organisms being "prepared" (or "unprepared" and "counterprepared"), it seems that there are just methodological issues surrounding experimental designs which determine how effective a learnt association is.

So once again humans are conditioned by their environment and society to react to various stimuli, once again this raises the question of ‘will’. Depending upon what the function of our will is, surely it would be something that allows us not to be conditioned, in which case its surely a matter of being part of our common biology, and while we do have different biologies, you would then expect to find vast numbers of people unmoved by conditioning? As regards animals, see this link that says that mice have an innate ability to identify predators smells and respond. If this is the case then surely if we are different to animals in kind, we might also have innate reactions to some stimuli?
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 162701.htm

Mr. Samsa wrote:Sexual responses are incredibly complex and certainly can't be reduced to an instinct (otherwise people would be forced to have sex whenever aroused). There are definitely biological components involved, and these would be considered "primary reinforcers". In regards to the "undergoing a readiness for sex response", this would largely just be a physiological reaction like getting goosebumps when cold or having an increase in heartbeat when scared.

So you are saying that something like an instinct will force a behaviour to happen? Why does the act of sex have to occur for this to be ‘enforced’. Surely any reaction that it innate and taken to a certain point can be considered. You have said that in order for a sexual response to be considered instinctive (or similar), we need to be forced to have sex. Why is stopping before this point make it invalid as an ‘instinct’? What criteria defines that the act of sex is the point at which we judge. If a person is sexually attracted to another, why is this not considered the entire behaviour. The fact that this does happen, and most people then control their ‘sexual urges’ and prevent themselves from actually performing the sex act not qualify as a ‘instinct’ or similar because at least the first stage of the process is autonomic?

Mr. Samsa wrote:What are these behaviours (as distinct from innate responses), and what happens at 6 months for them to disappear. If there are other things that exist that were previously known as instincts, like a desire to stay alive or have sex, how are these defined and described?
Most of them are basic behavioral responses that are termed the "primitive reflexes" like the stepping response (where a baby will make a "walking" motion when the pad of their feet are touched) or the suckling response (where they start to suck whenever something is pressed against their lips). Even though some of these are termed "reflexes", it's a bit of a misnomer as behaviors like the suckling response are better described as fixed-action patterns (but that's probably not overly relevant to this discussion).

As I said earlier my interest is understanding how it all hangs together. Intuitively I do not believe that it is possible to have something, a behaviour, or reflex that arises in a vacuum. I believe that every effect is preceded by a cause(s), however complex and inscrutable it might appear and when it comes to behaviour, regardless of the complex interaction between nature and nurture, that most if not all behaviours will be subject to innate biology, however remotely. This does not mean that a person wants to wear a yellow cycling jersey because he has a ‘yellow jersey’ gene, but you can be sure if he has no genes, he wont have a jersey either.
Mr. Samsa wrote:Why do they disappear? That's a difficult question to answer and I don't think a concrete answer has been presented yet. The main theories at the moment suggest that they are either lost as a result of inhibiting processes (like the massive amounts of culling that goes on in a babies' life could clean out unneeded neural space or new learnt behaviors are incompatible with the instinct and block it from appearing) or they are integrated into new behaviors and are still there on a fundamental level but simply aren't as obvious.

Does this mean that it will only operate on certain of these reflexes/FAPs and not others? Presumably the tendency to try and avoid drowning would be very difficult to overcome even with much learning. People are able to commit suicide using various means thus overcoming a reflex to live, but I do not think too many people could hold their head under water long enough to die. I can see that certain reflexes become redundant at various ages and stages, in which case they get culled and then tested to see if the individual survives without them.

Mr. Samsa wrote:I'm not saying that the difference would definitely disappear but rather that it's a massive environmental confound that could explain the difference. And it's not just less women being prepared to put in the same degree of work (because they are affected by negative social pressures) but also the fact that many women drop out of sport entirely because of those social pressures. So from a purely statistical perspective, even if both groups were equal but the women had a significant drop-off rate early on in these athlete's careers, then we should expect that world records are held primarily (or even entirely) by men.

In other words, I was just highlighting the obvious problem with trying to use records and stats to demonstrate an innate difference.

What about other differences that might explain the differences in results?
The hip and shoulder/arm structures are different between men and women, womens wider hips being less suitable for sprinting. Also the fact that the differences in records/times etc are replicated at every level of the sport, at school level, state, club etc. Olympic level is the most easy to measure as it represents the elite. Here the other difference that comes out is the consistent differences depending upon the discipline, track events are different by around 10% while track events like the hammer, javelin etc are different by around 30%. I don’t see a lot of evidence that the differences are as a result of conditioning or bias.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#374  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 02, 2013 5:05 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:If there was a FAP that was triggered upon seeing a shark, then you would see every individual of the human race react in the exact same way everytime they see a shark (or even a picture or film of a shark).

A. Mammalian instincts are not insectile FAPs.
B. Fear would be triggered by the seeing sharp, pointy things coming at you. Likewise, hunger is what provides the motivation to find food, albeit not the know-how, or the know-how to catch it.
You obviously haven't even now, worked out the fundamental difference between insect instincts and mammal instincts.
I'm sory about that, but I did try.

Back to to the issue of mothers' motivation to suckle their babies. What all of you seem to be missing is the fact that having the equipment for doing something does not in itself provide the motivation to use it. Thus, women do not care for their babies just because they are the ones with the boobs. If they did not have the motivation often lacking in the male, then the baby would starve. Women are not being motivated by bullying by someone who is actually less motivated than they are!
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#375  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 02, 2013 5:32 pm

The main problem with Mr.S is rather like that I saw certain other posters years ago - a refusal to recognise that when a conference of specialists decides to change the "official" definition of a word, that does not invalidate arguments based on the original word usage. All that is necessary is to change the word in question. Thus, in this case, if the word, "instinct" was replaced with the phrase "mammalian instinct" (EDIT: or "drive"), there would be no problem, given that such an "instinct" involves the use of learning the details of the response, because mammals do not have an insect-style "mushroom body" in their brains that I think contains "programmable fixed patterns".
Last edited by DavidMcC on Mar 02, 2013 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#376  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 02, 2013 5:37 pm

TMB wrote:So once again humans are conditioned by their environment and society to react to various stimuli,

But that can only happen via the brain. It is absurd to claim that there is some magic direct connection for conditioning direct from the environment! As if the environment somehow reaches in and changes us all by itself!
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#377  Postby DavidMcC » Mar 03, 2013 1:19 pm

The science issue I have with Mr.S on this is that he assumes that what I have called "mammalian instinct" (and he calls drive), is going to be exactly the same (in behavioural terms) in all individuals if it is of genetic origin. I have tried to explain that that is not correct, because it is only the motivation that is of genetic origin, not the detailed behaviour (which is mainly learned, and therefore subject to cultural influences, even if the motivation is not). Maybe Scot Dutchy's ex had her emotional bias over-ridden by learned cultural influences to make her feel revulsion at breast-feeding in spite of the simple pleasure obtainable by it in appropriate conditions (baby not too hungry, and not used to a bottle).
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#378  Postby TMB » Mar 04, 2013 11:09 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:
scott1328 wrote:@[color=#CC0000][b][color=#CC0000][b]Mr.Samsa,[/b][/color][/b][/color] you said that there are no demonstrable instincts in humans over 6 months of age, However, Steven Pinker made a lot of money with his best seller The Language Instinct was he incorrect in calling language acquisition in toddlers "the instinct to acquire an art"?


Yeah, calling language acquisition an "instinct" is catchy and results in a lot of book sales but it's not an accurate use of the term in the scientific sense. I think Pinker even mentions that it's not an instinct in the actual sense of the word and instead he's just arguing for the nativist perspective on language (and, realistically, he attempts to speak far beyond the evidence when trying to support his position which is why his position isn't the mainstream position in psychology or linguistics).

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
On what basis would you say all of the above? Anything more than preconceived notions and common sense?


I'm going to take a stab in the dark and assume he's referring to Robert Trivers' ideas on sexual selection and parental investment. It has some support in the biological characteristics of animals, but breaks down when addressing behavioral evidence and there is really no current support in humans.


I might be reading into your post things you do not mean but it appears you have dismissed sexual selection and parental investment on the basis that Robert Trivers supports it. As does Dawkins and a number of others who are certainly better qualified that anyone on this forum both to propound their ideas and respond to any criticism of them. It sounds like the schoolyard 'my Dad can beat up your Dad' syndrome. I do not see much value in dismissing or validating ideas by name dropping. This approach would mean we can simply refer any attempt at argument to our negative or positive champion. I am aware of the impasse between behaviorist like Skinner versus Dawkins and his merry men, and (despite the many learned insights and undoubted scientific brilliance) it reduces to a contest between two gangs of stubborn kids who refuse to step away from their pet theory and advance everyones knowledge.

I cannot see any logical flaws in the sexual selection model, however I have not delved into the behaviorist counter arguments. Mr Samsa since I assume you have, would you be interested in looking at the actual arguments put forward? I am happy to condense the salient points of sexual selection and I would be interested in the behaviorist counters to these?
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#379  Postby TMB » Mar 04, 2013 11:21 am

DavidMcC wrote:
TMB wrote:So once again humans are conditioned by their environment and society to react to various stimuli,

But that can only happen via the brain. It is absurd to claim that there is some magic direct connection for conditioning direct from the environment! As if the environment somehow reaches in and changes us all by itself!


Note that I am just trying to clarify Mr Samsas ideas before I either agree or disagree with them. My position is that cultural conditioning does have a massive impact upon people, however it is (perhaps always) colored by our genetic base. As I said in an earlier post, the luminaries of the behaviorist gang and neo Darwinians seem to be at fundamental loggerheads. I am sure both sides know a lot more than any of us here do so being a proxy for them will not teach us very much. I know very little about the behaviorist side of things, and I admit I am seduced by the argument from Dawkins and his mates. I would like to learn more about behaviorism, hence my questions.
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Re: What cultural behavior do most women have in common

#380  Postby mindhack » Mar 04, 2013 4:03 pm

Why is this thread in the sociology section?
(Ignorance --> Mystery) < (Knowledge --> Awe)
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