instinct


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instinct

 [in´stinkt]
a complex of unlearned responses characteristic of a species. adj., adj instinc´tive.
death instinct Freud's concept of an unconscious drive toward dissolution and death, in opposition to the life instinct.
herd instinct the instinct or urge to be one of a group and to conform to its standards of conduct and opinion.
life instinct Freud's concept of all the constructive tendencies of the organism aimed at maintenance and perpetuation of the individual and species, in opposition to the death instinct.

in·stinct

(in'stinkt),
1. An enduring disposition or tendency of an organism to act in an organized and biologically adaptive manner characteristic of its species.
2. The unreasoning impulse to perform some purposeful action without an immediate consciousness of the end to which that action may lead.
3. In psychoanalytic theory, the forces or drives assumed to exist behind the tension caused by the needs of the id.
[L. instinctus, impulse]

instinct

/in·stinct/ (in´stinkt) a complex of unlearned responses characteristic of a species.instinc´tive
death instinct  in psychoanalysis, the latent instinctive impulse toward dissolution and death.
herd instinct  the instinct or urge to be one of a group and to conform to its standards of conduct and opinion.
life instinct  in psychoanalysis, all of the constructive tendencies of the organism aimed at maintenance and perpetuation of the individual and species.

instinct

(ĭn′stĭngkt′)
n.
1. An inborn pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific environmental stimuli: the spawning instinct in salmon; altruistic instincts in social animals.
2. A powerful motivation or impulse.

instinct

[in′stingkt]
Etymology: L, instinctus, impulse
an inborn psychological need, such as life instincts of hunger, thirst, and sex, as well as the destructive and aggressive death instincts.

instinct

Psychiatry Inborn drive An unreasoning response to an environmental cue, attributed to the Freudian id Primary human instincts Self-preservation, sexuality; per some, aggression, ego instincts, heroism, social instincts are also primary instincts. See Death instinct, Id.

in·stinct

(in'stingkt)
1. An enduring disposition or tendency to act in an organized and biologically adaptive manner.
2. The unreasoning impulse to perform some purposive action without an immediate consciousness of the end to which that action may lead.
3. psychoanalytic theory The forces assumed to exist behind the tension caused by the needs of the id.
[L. instinctus, impulse]

instinct

aspects of behaviour that are not learned, but which appear to be inherited, i.e. INNATE BEHAVIOUR. It is not now used commonly as a scientific term because of the difficulty of distinguishing between some aspects of learning and some aspects of so-called instinctive behaviour.

in·stinct

(in'stingkt)
Enduring disposition or tendency of an organism to act in an organized and biologically adaptive manner characteristic of its species.
[L. instinctus, impulse]

instinct

a complex of unlearned responses characteristic of a species.

herd instinct
the instinct or urge to be one of a group and to conform to its patterns of behavior.
References in classic literature ?
The possibility, or even probability, of inherited variations of instinct in a state of nature will be strengthened by briefly considering a few cases under domestication.
But this instinct retained by our chickens has become useless under domestication, for the mother-hen has almost lost by disuse the power of flight.
I will select only three, out of the several which I shall have to discuss in my future work,--namely, the instinct which leads the cuckoo to lay her eggs in other birds' nests; the slave-making instinct of certain ants; and the comb-making power of the hive-bee: these two latter instincts have generally, and most justly, been ranked by naturalists as the most wonderful of all known instincts.
It is now commonly admitted that the more immediate and final cause of the cuckoo's instinct is, that she lays her eggs, not daily, but at intervals of two or three days; so that, if she were to make her own nest and sit on her own eggs, those first laid would have to be left for some time unincubated, or there would be eggs and young birds of different ages in the same nest.
The occasional habit of birds laying their eggs in other birds' nests, either of the same or of a distinct species, is not very uncommon with the Gallinaceae; and this perhaps explains the origin of a singular instinct in the allied group of ostriches.
This remarkable instinct was first discovered in the Formica (Polyerges) rufescens by Pierre Huber, a better observer even than his celebrated father.
Smith, I tried to approach the subject in a sceptical frame of mind, as any one may well be excused for doubting the truth of so extraordinary and odious an instinct as that of making slaves.
Such are the facts, though they did not need confirmation by me, in regard to the wonderful instinct of making slaves.
Several cases also, could be given, of occasional and strange habits in certain species, which might, if advantageous to the species, give rise, through natural selection, to quite new instincts.
These domestic instincts, when thus tested by crossing, resemble natural instincts, which in a like manner become curiously blended together, and for a long period exhibit traces of the instincts of either parent: for example, Le Roy describes a dog, whose great-grandfather was a wolf, and this dog showed a trace of its wild parentage only in one way, by not coming in a straight line to his master when called.
Domestic instincts are sometimes spoken of as actions which have become inherited solely from long-continued and compulsory habit, but this, I think, is not true.
Hence, we may conclude, that domestic instincts have been acquired and natural instincts have been lost partly by habit, and partly by man selecting and accumulating during successive generations, peculiar mental habits and actions, which at first appeared from what we must in our ignorance call an accident.