Studies show human children are naturally altruistic:
"st you think he's asserting there is no such thing as the "terrible twos," Tomasello made clear the cooperative behavior he studies is "relative to nonhuman primates." In other words, kids are quite altruistic when compared to apes. They gesture to communicate that something is out of place. They empathize with those they sense have been wronged.
They have an almost reflexive desire to help, inform and share. And they do so without expectation or desire for reward, Tomasello said."
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/nove … 10508.html
So how do people become selfish? According to studies, altruism doesn't seem to be a learned behavior,and this is only found in humans.
A bee will give it's life defending it's hive, but that is an instinctual behaviour, and it's not likely they know ahead of time they will die if they sting you.
Children show altruistic behavior as early as 18 months:
"The evidence for altruism as a critical part of human nature isn’t limited to anthropology. Studies of 18-month-old toddlers show that they will almost always try to help an adult who is visibly struggling with a task, without being asked to do so: if the adult is reaching for something, the toddler will try to hand it to them, or if they see an adult drop something accidentally, they will pick it up."
http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/i … ltruistic/
It's the nature/nurture debate. Like many other human characteristics, selfishness is likely to be a combination of natural and learned behaviour.
Through the process of natural selection, the formation of cooperative social groups has become a biological imperative for human beings, because it increases an individual's chances of survival. But competing with 'others' who are part of different social groups has also become a biological imperative for the same reason. The result is a tendency towards cooperative (even altruistic) behaviour among individuals who are part of the same in-group, and competitive (even hostile) behaviour towards those of others who are part of other social groups (outgroups). Both these behaviours are 'selfish' in a sense because they both increase the chances our survival, and therefore the chances that our genes will be reproduce.
As a side note, the tendency to form cooperative social groups and compete with 'others' for resources, is the cause of every war in human history.
by cloudy_cool21 months ago
What is the difference between innate and learned behaviour in human infants? DiscussPlease feel free to refer any hub or article on this subject I've recently started to explore. Thanks!
by Grace Marguerite Williams4 years ago
This thread was inspired by an answer (answer 51) by illustrious hubber, Mr. John Holden, on the thread Republicanism vs Utopianism. Do YOU beieve that the nature of humans is selishness or cooperativeness...
by Credence219 months ago
I thought that this article, attached, was most revealing. It might just show that this problem is not just a figment of left's imagination. A politically conservative Black man from a politically Conservative state,...
by TruthDebater7 years ago
Is the conscience the origin of what is right and wrong? What is the origin of the conscience via evolution? Do other animals show conscience in altruistic behavior and why did we develop a conscience? Can the...
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.