How do our instincts shape behavior?


Our instincts substantially shape our behavior, often without conscious awareness. explains that instincts are largely unlearned behaviors that emerge automatically, such as flinching at the sight of a snake. Instinctive behaviors, like the impulse for revenge or the urge to assert ownership, have been discussed historically and continue to be seen as significant influences on human activity 1.

Additionally, highlights that we have a biological architecture, such as the prefrontal cortex, which enables us to sometimes override instinctual urges. This capacity for self-control is a critical aspect of human behavior that distinguishes us from other animals 2.

Furthermore, instincts play a critical role in decision-making beyond survival, affecting even complex social interactions and personal development. For example, views the development of language and certain cognitive frameworks in humans as instinctive, developing naturally rather than through direct learning 3.

The Nature of Instincts

Explore the concept of instincts and their role in shaping human behavior. Paul Bloom discusses the definition of instincts and how they differ from learned behaviors, highlighting examples such as the instinct to flinch at the sight of a snake. The conversation delves into the idea that humans possess a range of instincts that influence various aspects of our lives.


Paul Bloom on Psych, Psychology, and the Human Mind

Overall, instincts are foundational to our behavior, influencing everything from basic survival reactions to complex social interactions and personal decisions.