What one significant historical event that involved notable group behavior relates to the instinct theory?Choose one significant historical event that involved notable group behavior, and relate it...

What one significant historical event that involved notable group behavior relates to the instinct theory?

Choose one significant historical event that involved notable group behavior, and relate it to one or more specific theories of behavior using one or more theory identified.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Instinct theory is one of the behavioral motivation theories which suggests that the reason for a behavior within a particular species is a genetic predisposition.  This is one of the few theories which highly favors nature over nurture.  Think about it: instinct.  It is something innate within us that motivates us to act.

For humans, the most basic and arguably only true instinct we possess is the motivation to survive.  This instinct motivates infants to suck, and therefore eat, or cry when a need is unmet.

Adults, however, often go our entire lives without utilizing a survival instinct.  It is triggered by a threat on life (life or death situations), and it makes sense, therefore, that it comes out most often for large groups of people in times of war.

You could almost look at any war story for specific examples of the instinct theory, but two very obvious (and easily referenced) historical examples are stories of footsoldiers in WW1 and Holocaust survivors in WW2.

Time and again, similar stories of survival have been told, written, and passed down from entire groups of people who claim that something "animalistic" came over them in order to survive.

Though it is a fictional novel, Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front is an historically accurate portrayal of the instinct theory playing out in the lives and minds of soldiers simultaneously.  Night, by Elie Wiesel, is of course the memoir of a Holocaust survivor who gives many personal details of the Jews acting instinctively in order to survive.  Both books make use of animal imagery in the explanation of survival, which could be considered instinct theory.

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