Maladaptive Behavior

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Biology book series (BRIEFSBIOL, volume 1)


One of the great marvels of evolution is how finely matched every species is to the ecosystem in which it lives, for natural selection weeds out the genes of its less well-adapted members. Homo sapiens is an anomaly in this grand scheme of things, since we are prone to a wide range of maladaptive behaviors that diminish our well-being and survival, including consuming addictive substances, behaving irresponsibly, and ingesting more calories than we need. Although evolution has provided us with a brain that is able to use the information it detects to build models of how the world works, there is no mechanism for assuring that the information is correct or that the models are accurate. Most of our maladaptive behaviors are due to defects in the way we create symbolic representations, interpret meaning, and set goals for ourselves, since these processes are all subject to error.


Mental Illness Sickle Cell Anemia Maladaptive Behavior Addictive Substance Erroneous Belief 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South FloridaFloridaUSA

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