mechanism

Mechanisms are automatic and underlie all of our behavior.

Understanding Mechanisms

Blinking is an example of a mechanism. Normally, we are unaware of our blinking. It does it's jobs — keeping our eyes moist and protecting our eyes — without us ever having to think about it. Blinking is one of a handful of mechanisms we can take conscious control of ( breathing is another ), most mechanisms work behind the scenes without us even knowing they exist or what they do.

Our Understanding is Incomplete

We simply don't know all of the mechanisms that drive human behavior. Others we have an inkling about but don't understand. One challenge in understanding them has been the individual selection model which is simply inadequate for analyzing them. The group selection model has shed quite a bit of light on mechanisms.

They're Out of Date

Most mechanisms we know about developed during a time when we lived in hunter-gatherer tribes. Quite of few of the mechanisms are so out of date they simply can't be understood unless they are looked at in this context. Most of these function in a way that isn't very useful and very often times not well suited to today's environment.

Types of Mechanisms

Some mechanisms are homeostatic ( need for sleep ), some are reactionary ( blinking or protecting your eyes ), and some only happen developmentally as we age. All the common themes of humanity are the result of mechanisms.

Cognitive biases are included in the definition of mechanisms. However, they are not so much complete mechanisms by themselves as a weight applied to the process of another.

Homeostatic

Homeostatic mechanisms are those mechanisms which have to do with keeping us alive and our most primal drives. They all most likely controlled from the hypothalamus.

Reactive

Developmental

Cognitive Biases

Functions of Mechanisms

Mechanisms are classified by how they work, mechanically, above. There is another way to classify mechanisms — by what they do.

Self-Preservation

Social

Bonding & Attachment

Communication

Perceptual

See Also

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Categories: behavior occult