Universal Human Commonalities (UHC)

Expression of Inner States

Human beings have a fundamental need to express their inner states, including their beliefs, judgments, and feelings. The ability to understand the sentiments of other individuals is an "essential ingredient of human social life," as it allows people to form emotional connections based on their beliefs and feelings.

Moral Sentiments

Adam Smith, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, posited that there are common moral emotions and feelings that underlie human social behavior. Smith wondered if there existed an innate sense of morality in humans, independent of teaching or social norms. Scientists now believe that moral sentiments such as generosity, altruism, and empathy may indeed have physiological drivers.

Ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism is the judging of other cultures as abnormal and inferior when compared to one's own culture.

Altruism

The principles of evolution place emphasis on survival of the fittest, which theoretically should prevent one from behaving in a manner that benefits others at one’s own expense. However, the evolutionary value of altruistic behavior can be traced back to primitive times, where helping others was advantageous for families and groups as a whole. According to evolutionary theory, altruistic behaviors should be less frequent in modern society, where group dynamics and relationships are no longer essential for survival.

Submissiveness

Submissive behavior can result from innate personality traits or from special circumstances in one's environment. "Evolutionary theory conceptualizes submissive behavior as a fear-based self-protective strategy when in a subordinate position," to prevent conflict with dominant individuals. Therefore, submissiveness is typically characterized by deferral to more dominant individuals. However, submissive behavior may also arise in situations where an individual purposely defers to others despite being in a position of power.

Thought Processes and Inner Speech

Thought refers to an individual's subjective consciousness and imagination. The ability to consciously reflect on a problem or idea allows humans to interpret and manipulate the world in very unique ways. However, “thought and word are not connected with each other by a primary bond. A connection originates, changes, and grows with the development of thinking and speech”. The conversion of thought to speech is a detailed process, requiring the analysis of the sequence and development of thought before it is embodied in words.

Collective Identities

Collective identity refers to the idea that by participating in a group with like-minded people, an individual can gain a sense of belonging that ultimately influences his or her personal identity.

Misleading Language

The misinterpretation of language can be a result of many things, including confusing speech on the part of the speaker or a misunderstanding on the part of the listener. Any misinterpretation can cause the listener to develop a false awareness of a situation. Likewise, speakers may utilize certain words or phrases that are unclear or ambiguous, causing listeners to draw incorrect conclusions. Because of this, it is important to study how different words and forms of speech can alter the effectiveness of communication.

Numerals

In linguistics, numerals are a class of words that are used to represent numbers (for example, the word “six”). Numerals can be seen as symbols of language that exhibit forms specific to the language to which they belong. However, like language in general, numeral systems as a whole carry many similarities between different languages, likely due to the innate faculties of the human mind. Cross-linguistics studies have shown that numerals and “the order of the elements in numeral phrases” display “a high level of generalizations and regularity” between multiple languages.

Poetic Meter

In poetry, the meter is a set of rules and conditions that govern the rhythm of the lines and verses in the poem. “The defining feature of metrical poetry is that it involves restrictions on line length,” to ensure that the poem flows smoothly from line to line. Researchers who study poetry attempt to present “a unified account of the meters used in the world’s poetic traditions” by observing “the various ways in which lines are measured and patterned in the world’s poetic traditions”.

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