On the Origin of Human Behavior
Numerous behavioral and decision-making theories have been proposed within various branches of physiology, psychology, and social sciences. However, few authors have studied the origin of behavior. It has been suggested that human behavior can be described as an algorithm, defining an action-execution process through a sequence of steps and feedback mechanisms. Given this premise, origins of human behavior are comparatively assessed to other forms of nature; to facilitate this comparison, algorithms were developed to sequence the functionality of inanimate matter (i.e. motionless or inoperative matter) and animate life (i.e. living organisms). Subsequently, the three developed algorithms – for matter, life, and mind – allowed to identify both their common and unique features, as well as to follow the evolutionary flow between the physical, biological, and psychological dimensions of nature. We postulate that algorithms of behavior of physical objects, biological organisms, and human beings are not standalone constructs but phases of the evolutionary process. Furthermore, in this evolutionary process, algorithms are continuously adjusted and enhanced through the addition of new steps and feedback mechanisms. The underlying commonality for these changes in behavior is rising prominence of future-orientation of actions, e.g., when an organism increasingly caters for its future well-being, rather than solely enhancing its transient state. This transformation takes place through shifts from immediate and predetermined reactions, to longer-term orientated and variable responses. Throughout this process, functional algorithms of higher complexity do not invalidate predecessors, but on the contrary, incorporate and build on them. The presented theory offers an explanation on how, and to what extent, operational algorithms are shared between various forms of nature. It also considers possible future directions for evolutionary development.
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