Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Sociobiology

  • James Michael Menke
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1580-2

Synonyms

Definition

Sociobiology is the study of the extent to which natural selection might affect population-level social and cultural norms and behaviors.

Introduction

In 1859, Darwin published his theory of evolution that described how inherited changes in living forms (morphology) and function (physiology) provide either advantages or disadvantages for the reproductive success of individuals. In turn, individual forms and functions affect behaviors that lead to complex social structures and cultures that are, in this sense, inherited.

Since ants do not teach their young ones how to form and maintain social structure, we may justifiably deduce that their social structure is inherited. Out of his study of ants, entomologist Edward O. Wilson conceived the idea that non-insect species might also transfer highly developed social organization and divisions of labor to some degree. To what degree might mammals, including humans, also inherit sociability, social...

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References

  1. Alcock, J. (2001). The triumph of sociobiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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  3. Darwin, C. (1859). On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  4. Menke, J. M., &, Skrepnek, G. H. (2009). Complexity. In: Kattan M, ed. Encyclopedia of Medical Decision Making. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, 144–149.Google Scholar
  5. Popper, K. (1959/2002). The logic of scientific discovery. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Symons, D. (1979). The evolution of human sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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  9. Wilson, E. O. (1975). Sociobiology the new synthesis. Cambridge, MA: Belknap/Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Wynne-Edwards, V. C. (1962). Animal dispersion in relation to social behavior. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.A.T. Still Research InstituteMesaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jon Sefcek
    • 1
  1. 1.Kent State UniversityKentUSA