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Author Topic: Why will the same situation cause some people to choose a fight response and other to choose a flight response?  (Read 316 times)

Offline thedoc

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Lovisa Bergman  asked the Naked Scientists:

I love your podcast, and I have a few questions I would love to have answered:

How does nature make sure that 20% of the population (within all species) is born HSP (highly sensitive person)? How come we don't take over or go extinct?

Why is it that sensitivity is mistaken for fragility a lot of the time? After all, sensitivity is a higher ability to recognize cues (e.g. Social), while fragility has to do with break-ability (like glass).

What gene(s) decide who prefers to take up fights and who prefers to step back? You can even see it in really small children. This sticks with a person the entire life. My friend say that fighting takes more energy than backing down. I on the other hand feel like taking the fight is the most energy efficient choice because the feeling of accepting submission is hurting me more.

Why does bullying happen? It's incredibly weird that a group is terminating members of their own species...

Have a nice day!
Sincerely Lovisa

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 08/08/2016 15:53:02 by _system »


Offline evan_au

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In game theory and evolution, the hawk and dove model suggests that in a given population, there are some individuals who will benefit from being aggressive, and some individuals who will benefit from being timid.
- If every individual were always aggressive, they would tear each other to pieces
- If every individual were always timid, there would be opportunities that are not taken up
- There is an optimum somewhere in the middle, where some are more aggressive than others

If the environment changes, the balance between these traits can change.

But like most behavioral traits, they will be governed by many genes (and their interaction with environment), provide a wide range of behaviors with fine gradation between them.

And like most models, it is a simplification of the real world. Humans have come to dominate much of the world not through competition with each other, but by cooperation; this harnesses both the timid and the aggressive to work together for a common good. Unfortunately, it often results in seeing the natural world as the enemy to be overcome and dominated.


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