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Essay on Social and Evolutionary Psychology

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Social and Evolutionary Psychology

In an attempt to define civilized man’s relationship to the jungle and primitive societies, one must first consider the theories of social psychologists who have offered interpretations of modern man’s reactions upon insertion into a primitive setting. The main contrast in human states that arises from this argument is the concept of civilization versus savagery. Much is uncovered about the path man tends to take when confronted with these two options when studying the research as to what arises from man’s savage tendencies when the restraints of society no longer tame human primal instincts.

One such field that explores the instinctual nature of the human psyche is
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This deduction might suggest that upon reinsertion into a primal environment, humans would be even more prone to resorting back to their “instincts” as uncivilized beings. Thus, we learn from theories in Evolutionary Psychology that human “instincts” are the underlying driving forces to human action that are more potent than the restraints imposed upon man by society, and even more prevalent in “human nature” than in the daily conduct of animals apart from humans.

Another field in which the distinction between civilized and primitive man is discussed is that of Social Psychology. Much emphasis is placed upon the effects of societal laws on the governance of human action. A major psychologist in this domain was William McDougall(1871-1938). In his work, An Introduction to Social Psychology, McDougall exposes various theories on the distinct aspects of civilized and primitive human tendencies:

“We may accept Bagehot’s dictum that it is difficult to exaggerate the difference

between civilised and primitive men (i.e., really primitive men, not the savages of

the present time) in respect to their innate law-abidingness, and while we may accept

also his view that the strict enforcement of law played a great part in producing this
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