Chapter

How People Act and React

Roy F. Baumeister

in The Cultural Animal

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780195167030
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894147 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167030.003.0006
How People Act and React

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This chapter focuses on action control. It argues that we should understand the human being as having a behavior system, which the cognitive, emotional and motivational systems may or may not influence. Probably that view reflects how the human psyche actually developed. Even cockroaches, rats, and worms can make behavior, so behavior obviously does not require much intelligence or cultural learning. In order for human beings to be cultural animals, however, nature had to change the behavior-producing system so as to make it receptive to meanings. Meaning is the vehicle by which culture influences behavior. People use meaning to allow their behavior to benefit from culture.

Keywords: human psyche; action control; culture; human behavior; meaning; cultural animal

Chapter.  32089 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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