Evolution of Behavior

Behavior is thought to have evolved through the principles of natural selection: the behaviors that help organisms survive are more likely to appear than those with no benefits. Behaviors that aided in the survival of distant human ancestors were likely passed down to offspring, eventually forming the set of behaviors that make up natural instinct. However, humans are able to consciously act in ways that contradict instinct, either enhancing or harming chances of survival. Throughout history, the constant blending of inherited, instinctual behaviors and non-instinctual, learned behaviors has guided the evolution of human behavior to its current state.