Nature vs Nurture
The main paradigm about human behavior is we are predominantly driven by nurture - the culture, our social identity, and our family unit. If you asked to rate the influence between nature and nurture, most people (scientists included) would give you an answer of 80-90% nurture with the remainder nature. This means there is little behavior driven by our genetics and yet how do you explain commonalities across culture. Take xenophobia (the fear of outsiders) for example, every society suffers from the same dynamic regardless of culture.
What if human behavior is an outcome of natural selection? And if that is true we must consider the evolutionary forces that made some groups more successful than others. This premise is variants of hereditary traits increase or decrease an organism's ability to survive, and the survival instinct is prevalent among all species. These inherited behavioral mechanisms provide a species a greater chance of survival. It is true in the animal world and why not humans? And what if these inherited traits eventually become part of the social fabric or culture? A reversal of common belief.
The science is called Sociobiology and based upon two fundamental premises:
Look at the rhetoric we deal with today on topics like xenophobia, misogyny (dislike of women), or racism (superiority of certain racial groups). What if these are hard wired into all humans and it's the moderating force of culture and societal norms that keeps it in check? One of the reasons this view is in such disfavor is because it is interpreted as providing cover for eugenics (determining who can and cannot reproduce), something I consider a false straw-man (sorry for the gender reference).
Also we have entire sciences (social) that are founded on the premise that humans are blank slates and will become whatever their environments dictate. If that is true why have all attempts to create a new man failed? The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia, as three of many examples, was that the state would control all aspects of life to create the new man and then the state would dissolve into a classless society. You don't need a degree in history to know how those experiments fared.
Search for Meaning
We started this series with a conversation about the origins of behavior; is it predominantly nature or nurture? The majority of science (sociologists and psychiatrists) believe people are clean slates at birth and their environment - parents, family groups, local communities, etc. mold them into who they become by adulthood. However this model doesn't address why human behavior hasn't changed over history especially when conditioned by totalitarian states like the Soviet Union or Communist China. We offered a different interpretation of history using the science of sociobiology. We are not suggesting it is either / or, rather more human behavior is inherited and less is a function of nurture.
The next step is look at intriguing work by Viktor Frankl; a brief history.
Dr. Frankl held Phd's in medicine and philosophy and practiced as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in Vienna Austria in the 1930's. After the Nazi takeover of Austria it was a matter of time before he found himself in a series of concentration camps because of his Jewish faith. As Frankl observed the brutality and degradation around him, he observed those inmates who had some meaning in their lives were more likely to survive. He developed a theory from this experience that man had an innate need to find meaning in their lives. In fact it was a primal force that drives all human behavior - whether conscious or unconscious like food or personal safety.
This is our foundation when focusing on how to attract, select, develop, and compensate for the type of people we can build a business around.
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