papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief


Public schooling is situated at the intersection of two distinct rights which may come into conflict. On the one hand, parents have the right to rear their children in the manner and with the values to which they are committed. On the other hand, society has the right to establish a common schooling experience to prepare the population for continued social reproduction of a common set of economic, linguistic, cultural. and political institutions.


Spontaneous Communication

Buck and Ginsburg (1991,1 997) provide still another evolutionary explanation for altruism. Using evidence from ants, slime mold, dogs, wolves, and monkeys, they argue that genes for spontaneous communication have been selected. As examples, they describe chemical signals by which even individual slime mold cells communicate when food is inadequate. They use this information to merge into multicelled sluglike creatures capable of moving through the soil until sufficient nutrients are located.

Spontaneous communication in humans presumably includes nonintentional, noneffortful leakage of emotion from one person to another through the first person’s facial, bodily, and vocal cues. This communication is direct, not intended by the sender nor thought about in depth by the receiver. It happens because it is wired into people. At the bottom line, both sending and receiving abilities are essential for good social coordination and, ultimately, survival.

Buck and Ginsburg consider spontaneous communication a likely candidate for a biological characteristic that promotes helping within social groups. People help each other at least in part because they become aroused by other group members’ arousal. Because the sender and receiver of spontaneous communication both experience arousal, both are motivated to end the arousal, and the result is that the receiver helps the sender.

Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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