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Abstract and Figures Drive theories of motivation proposed by Lorenz and Tinbergen did not survive experimental scrutiny; however these were replaced by the behavioral systems framework. Unfortunately, political forces within science including the rise of sociobiology and comparative psychology, caused neglect of this important framework. This review revives the concept of behavioral systems and demonstrates its utility in the development of a uni#ed theory of human social behavior and social bonding. Although the term “attachment” has been used to indicate social bonds which motivate affiliation, four differentiable social reward systems mediate social proximity and bond formation: the affiliation (attachment), caregiving, dominance and sexual behavioral systems. Ethology is dedicated to integrating inborn capacities with experiential learning as well as the proximal and ultimate causes of behavior. Hence, the behavioral systems framework developed by ethologists nearly 50 years ago, enables discussion of a unified theory of human social behavior.
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Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014):1 pp-pp
eoretical Reviews
Liane J. Leedom
College of Arts and Sciences, University of Bridgeport, CT, USA
Drive theories of motivation proposed by Lorenz and Tinbergen did not survive
experimental scrutiny; however these were replaced by the behavioral systems
amework. Unfortunately, political forces within science including the rise of
sociobiology and comparative psychology, caused neglect of this important amework.
is review revives the concept of behavioral systems and demonstrates its utility in the
development of a unied theory of human social behavior and social bonding. Although
the term aachment” has been used to indicate social bonds which motivate
aliation, four dierentiable social reward systems mediate social proximity and bond
formation: the aliation (aachment), caregiving, dominance and sexual behavioral
systems. Ethology is dedicated to integrating inborn capacities with experiential
learning as well as the proximal and ultimate causes of behavior. Hence, the behavioral
systems amework developed by ethologists nearly 50 years ago, enables discussion of a
unied theory of human social behavior.
Key words: aachment, caregiving, dominance, sex, behavioral systems
e last 50 years has seen the waning of ethology in the United States, accompanied by
the growth of sociobiology, comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology
(Barlow, 1989; Burkhardt, 2005; Greenberg, 2010). Sociobiologists, in particular,
proclaimed the death of ethology and promised their nascent discipline and genetic
mechanisms would provide an understanding of human social behavior (Barlow, 1989;
E. O. Wilson, 2000). It has been 13 years since the sequencing of the human genome
(Venter et al., 2001), sociobiology has fallen into disarray” (D. S. Wilson & Wilson,
2007) and a unied theory of human social behavior is still lacking. Although Chomsky
was not speaking of either ethology or social behavior in the quote below, his words
uered in 1959 articulate nicely what is still missing:
One would naturally expect that prediction of the behavior of a complex
organism (or machine) would require, in addition to information about external
stimulation, knowledge of the internal structure of the organism, the ways in
which it processes input information and organizes its own behavior. ese
characteristics of the organism are in general a complicated product of inborn
structure, the genetically determined course of maturation, and past experience
(Chomsky, 1959, p. 26, emphasis added).
ese words wrien in response to Skinner’s behaviorism emphasized the importance of
understanding the organization of behavior and the neural networks responsible for that
organization. Four years later, ethologist, Tinbergen (1963) added questions of adaptive
value and ultimate causation to those regarding organization of internal structure, and
dened ethology as the discipline concerned with an integrated understanding of the
proximate and ultimate causes of behavior. Both Chomsky and Tinbergen were far ahead
of their time - noting the evolved interplay between genetics and developmental
experience that determines “internal structure” or the brain circuits that organize sensory
input, process information and produce behavior.
is paper asserts that behavioral systems as conceived of by ethologists Baerends
(1976), Hinde (2005; 1982), Bischo (1975), and others (Hogan, 1994; Waters, 1981)
provide a framework for a unied theory of human social behavior vis-à-vis the
processing of social information and social reward. is unied theory organizes the
body of literature and has direct application to human psychological disorders where
social reward, social bonding, and social information processing is impaired. Research in
social behavioral systems has focused primarily on the aachment system since Harlow’s
(1973) discovery that contact comfort and not food reward forms the basis of the
infant’s tie to its mother. e discovery of this unconditioned reward proved the
existence of the aachment behavioral system as distinct from the feeding system1 and
furthered our understanding of clinical anxiety and depression - which Bowlby had
previously linked to early loss, maternal deprivation and aachment (van der Horst,
LeRoy, & van der Veer, 2008). Although Bowlby was a psychoanalyst, his theory of
aachment was developed using the ethological framework described herein (Hinde et
al., 2005).
While dening and understanding the aachment behavioral system has been
extremely important, other human social behavioral systems, their intrinsic rewards,
motivations, behaviors and pathologies have been relatively neglected. ere is emerging
consensus that four diering classes of social reward organize human social information
processing via four behavioral systems that have been subject to the evolutionary forces
that shaped Homo sapiens. us, in addition to the aachment behavioral system, there
exist, caregiving, dominance and sexual systems that can be understood using the same
ethological framework (Goodson & Kabelik, 2009; Johnson, Leedom, & Muhtadie,
2012; Kenrick, 2006; MacDonald, 1995; O’Connell & Hofmann, 2011a, 2011b; Shaver
& Mikulincer, 2011). ese four behavioral systems explain and organize all of human
social behavior both normative and pathological; they mediate four adaptive social goals:
safety through aliation (aachment behavioral system) (Depue & Morrone-
Strupinsky, 2005), care of others (care-giving behavioral system) (Preston, 2013),
competition (dominance behavioral system) (Johnson et al., 2012; Weisfeld & Dillon,
2012) and mating (sexual behavioral system) (Aron et al., 2005).
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
1 Freud postulated that the infants tie to its mother was based on food reward; this postulate was
denitively refuted (see hp://
e Behavioral System Framework
“Before we can study how behavior develops, or what causes it, or how it aects an
animal's ability to survive and reproduce, we must know what the behavior
is” (“Ethograms of Mice,2000). In the 150+ years since the publication of the Origin of
Species (Darwin, 1859), ethologists have expertly created ethograms or detailed
inventories of species typical behavior (Gordon, 1985) for many species including
humans (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1989). Lorenz, originally trained as a comparative anatomist,
brought theories of anatomy into the study of behavior. He posited that just as
homologies occur in morphological structures, species typical behaviors are also
homologous and are substrates for natural selection (Burkhardt, 2005). Homologous
morphological “structures might dier in shape or even composition, but they were to be
recognized by the constancy of relationships to surrounding organs and
structures” (Hall, 2012, p. 45). Homologous behaviors are identied by constancy in co-
occurrence and context.
As he created detailed descriptions of behavior, Tinbergen realized that although
there is considerable plasticity, behaviors could be hierarchically organized into what
Baerends (1976) later termed systems and subsystems. Because detailed descriptions
allow for inferences regarding the organization, causes, and goals of behavior, the
creation of ethograms was an important rst step. Inference of goals and causes enabled
hypotheses regarding the nature of motivation. Although Lorenz’s successes made
essential contributions to ethology, his failures were damaging - especially his “hydraulic
reservoir” theory of drives/motivation (Bolduc, 2012; Hinde, 1956). e behavioral
system framework described herein replaced the experimentally rejected drive models of
motivated behavior, proposed by Lorenz and also Tinbergen (Baerends, 1976; Bolduc,
2012; Burkhardt, 2005; Hinde, 1956). However, with the prominence of behaviorism in
the United States and the rise of sociobiology and comparative psychology (Lehrman,
1953), ethology’s behavioral system framework has received lile recognition. Baerends’
important papere functional organization of behaviororiginally published in 1976
has been cited only 197 times2. In a widely cited 1994 paper, Crick and Dodge presented
a model of “social information processing” that is similar to that proposed herein (Figure
1); Crick and Dodge did not acknowledge the work of ethologists that predated their
model, nor did they discuss the inborn social motives that drive and organize
information processing (Crick & Dodge, 1994).
e behavioral systems framework recognizes hierarchical structure and context
with respect to behavior and conceptualizes “the motivation and control of a group of
behavior paerns that are closely and more or less causally (and oen also functionally)
related to each other” (Hinde et al., 2005, p. 6)3. A behavioral system is an innate
“species-universal behavioral program that governs the choice, activation and
termination of behavioral sequences” and that has adaptive advantages for survival and
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
2 (if Google Scholar is correct)…Fortunately, the paper was recently reprinted in Perspectives in Brain
Reseach (Baerends, 2011).
3 Historically, behavioral systems theory was inuenced by “adaptive control systems” theory
developed in engineering. In the early 1950s the need to design autopilots for high performance
aircra motivated the development of adaptive controllers that could learn and accommodate to
changes in aircra dynamics (Ioannou & Fidan, 2006).
reproduction (Mikulincer, 2006, p. 23)4. Behavioral systems appear to be governed by
the principles of adaptive control systems (Baerends, 1976; Waters, 1981). ree
functions are inherent to adaptive control systems: continuous monitoring (by sensors),
comparison between actual state and desired state (by comparators), and output to
achieve the desired state (by enactors). Figure 1 is an abstract schematic diagram of a
behavioral system as an adaptive control system. Note that thecomparator” function
cannot be unitary and is likely performed by a network of subsystems.
Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the components of a behavioral system.
Stimuli that signal the presence of reward relevant to behavioral systems uniquely
capture aention and motivate behavior. Behavioral systems are each dened by a set of
rewards that reect an adaptive goal that is embodied in neural circuits that function as a
comparator.ese neural circuits receive input from both internal and external sensory
systems, compare the “desired state” of the system with the perceived state, and then
regulate motivation, aention and strategy selection accordingly. e “desired state” is
dynamic, not static and is inuenced by a number of factors including (but not limited
to) hormones and the presence of reward (Baerends, 1976). A set of goal-directed
behaviors and physiological responses constitute the output of behavioral systems - the
strategies used to aain the particular reward (achieve the goal). Learning occurs with
respect to conditioned reward and optimal strategy selection and leads to development
and renement of internal working models (Hogan, 1994). Hence, behavioral systems,
via their respective neural circuits, organize information processing, learning and goal
directed behavior. Sensation, aention, conscious processing, and memory are all highly
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
4 Behavioral Systems are “instincts.
selective as the behavioral systems direct social information processing5. Because of its
central role in reinforcement, the mesolimbic reward circuit, together with the social
behavioral network (paralimbic system) (Kiehl, 2006; Nishimura, Yoshii, Watanabe, &
Ishiuchi, 2009; O’Connell & Hofmann, 2011b), functions as the “comparator” for social
behavioral systems as these integrate sensory input and motor output (Depue & Collins,
1999). Dopamine (DA) has the general function of facilitating neural processes
subserving motivation (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). Dopamine increases
desire (motivation) to obtain rewards and, therefore, the number of aempted
behavioral strategies and the acquisition and maintenance of approach behavior
(Schultheiss & Wirth, 2008). e neural circuitry of the aachment, caregiving,
dominance and sexual systems is under the regulation of and in turn regulates specic
hormones. ese hormones direct the interplay between the behavioral systems as they
increase the likelihood that particular goals will become salient in the presence of
incentive stimuli. Hormones also motivate individuals to seek opportunity with respect
to specic goals (Schultheiss & Wirth, 2008).
e neural circuitry of human social behavioral systems dictates paerned
conscious and non-conscious cognitions and emotions. ese cognitions and emotions
constitute an individual’s “internal working model” of the manner in which social
interactions unfold (Mikulincer, 2006; Waters, 1981). Developmentally acquired
working models include beliefs and expectations regarding the reward value of social
interactions, and the ease with which rewards are aained. Ongoing experience is
interpreted within the context of internal working models. Although they are subject to
revision, working models are a relatively stable aspect of personality (Waters, 1981).
Consciousness is to a degree modular because each behavioral system has its own set of
associated sensations, actions and memories. Behavioral systems are discrete and have
been subjected to dierential selection pressures at dierent evolutionary time points.
Importantly though, behavioral systems must also integrate within individuals to bring
organization and coherence to behavior. is integration means both conjoint activity
and antagonism as context may dictate compatible or incompatible social goals.
In summary, the behavioral systems perspective has several advantages; it:
1. Organizes the body of knowledge that surrounds the set of functionally-grouped
behaviors that are enacted in a recurring social context.
2. Organizes paerns of cognitions and emotions relevant to social behavior.
3. Provides a framework for answering all four of Tinbergen’s questions.
4. Generates hypotheses for physiological and genetic studies.
5. Recognizes interrelationships between and regulation of social and non-social
6. Provides a framework for characterizing and categorizing psychopathology
(behavioral disorders).
7. Provides for mathematical modeling and computer simulations of behavior.
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
5 Evolutionary psychologists have noted the modularity of the mind, and the existence of modules
devoted to domains of the social life (Blunt Bugental, 2000; Kenrick, 2006). e modularity
perspective aligns with the behavioral systems framework that was developed rst, and yet is not
cited by evolutionary psychologists.
e four human social behavioral systems and their intrinsic rewards,
motivations, behaviors and pathologies are briey outlined in the sections that follow. In
this discussion the diverse nature of human social bonds and the nesting of social bonds
within social behavioral systems will be demonstrated.
e Aachment Behavioral System
Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1989, p.167) described best the role of the aachment behavioral
system and its counterpart, the care-giving system, in the evolution of vertebrate
A highly signicant event for the development of vertebrate sociability was the
evolution of maternal care by which friendliness came into existence. For only
with the appearance of parent-ospring signals, infantile appeals, and
corresponding aectionate responses behavior became available that permied
adults to create friendly and aectionate relationships.
Sco studied the aachment behavioral system in dogs, calling it the et-epimeletic, or
care-soliciting behavioral system. He stated, “One of the most general conclusions of this
sort of study is that behavioral capacities overlap periods of development beyond those
in which they are primarily useful (Sco & Bronson, 1964, p. 175). Although the
mammalian aachment behavioral system evolved in the context of care-solicitation
during infancy, this system persists into adulthood in social mammals and fosters
sociability. e aachment behavioral system in primates and other social mammals
functions adaptively to insure safety from threat and provision of necessities such as
milk, warmth, hygiene, and sensory stimulation through motivating individuals to
remain in close proximity (Bowlby, 1988). e contention that the aachment and
aliation systems are one (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005) is also supported by
the observation that the incentive stimuli, rewards (safety and intimacy) and output
behaviors related to “general aliation” are not qualitatively dierent from those related
to “aachment.
Aachment Behavioral System: Assessment and Measurement
Aachment research has been carried out from several dierent perspectives, primarily
developmental, biological, ethological and psychopathological; these are not yet well
integrated and few have addressed how the aachment behavioral system in humans may
dier from that of other primates (the reader is referred to Cassidy and Shaver (2008)).
In all four perspectives, aachment is conceptualized in terms of interpersonal bonds
that promote safety and survival and that alleviate fear/anxiety. Using data from
observational methods including the strange situation procedure (Ainsworth, Blehar,
Waters, & Wall, 1978), ethologists have created extensive ow diagrams of the human
aachment behavioral system (Bischof, 1975; Waters, 1981). In such diagrams this
system is linked to the fear system and to the exploration6 system. When individuals
derive security from their aachments, the fear system is inhibited and the exploration
system is able to become activated; the infant uses the mother as a “secure base” from
which to launch exploratory expeditions. e connection between aachment and safety
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
6 e exploration system is also called the “curiosity” system (Schultheiss & Wirth, 2008).
from threat arises due to the vulnerability of infants, and because group social life
evolved in response to threat from predation.
e aachment system has also been assessed using self-report questionnaires
(Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998) and with the Adult Aachment Interview (Main,
Hesse, & Kaplan, 2005). In spite of the dierences in assessing adults and children and
the dierences between observational, interview and self-report measures, there is
consensus regarding the concept of “aachment styles” that reect individuals’ internal
working models of aachment and the interactions between the aachment system and
the fear system (for a description of aachment styles see Bartholomew & Horowitz
Aachment Behavioral System and Social Bonding
In humans, the attachment behavioral system mediates both a general tendency to
affiliate with others and dyadic bonding; these two variables are correlated within
individuals (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). When an “attachment” bond
forms, the person who is a source of attachment reward takes on special
significance and stimuli associated with that person acquire special salience. That
process is herein termed special significance and salience acquisition (SSSA), but
is commonly called “bonding” (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky, 2005). A bond is
indexed both by proximity seeking and distress in separation. In all primates there
is a sensitive period in infancy where caregivers acquire special significance and
salience and this acquisition affects sociability in adulthood (Depue & Morrone-
Strupinsky, 2005; Harlow, 1973; van Ijzendoorn, Bard, Bakermans-Kranenburg,
& Ivan, 2009). That early attachment experiences with mother affect sociability in
adulthood is evidence for the proposition that the attachment behavioral system
mediates both infant et-epimeletic responses and aspects of adult sociability.
Furthermore, the neurochemical process of SSSA itself is affected by deficient
early attachment experiences such that disruption in the attachment behavioral
system may impair future SSSA to adult social stimuli (Depue & Morrone-
Strupinsky, 2005). Although the term “bond” is used synonymously with the word
“attachment,” the present work rejects the theory that all social bonds involve the
attachment behavioral system. This review hypothesizes that special significance
and salience acquisition (bonding) can occur in each of the four social behavioral
systems and as a result, social bonding is not a singular phenomenon. Across
mammalian species, many social contacts occur but bonding is differentially
present and differentially associated with the attachment, caregiving, dominance
and sexual behavioral systems (Carter & Cushing, 2004; Leedom, Geislin, &
Hartoonian Almas, 2013; Leedom & Swedell, 2013). For example, herd animals
incline toward conspecifics but may not always recognize individuals; rat dams do
not show bonding with respect to specific pups, not even their own; instead
maternal behavior, once hormonally initiated, is directed toward any pup
(Schultheiss & Wirth, 2008). In mammals, bonding occurs with mating in
monogamous species (Carter & Cushing, 2004) but this is relatively rare (Fraley,
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
Brumbaugh, & Marks, 2005). Bonding or special significance and salience
acquisition thus seems to be a general property of social behavioral systems
(Berridge & Robinson, 1998), is adaptive for a given species and is not unique to
the attachment behavioral system. Special significance and salience acquisition
may be a diffuse property of the mesolimbic reward system with much individual
variation (Nedelisky & Steele, 2009). Special significance and salience
acquisition in the human caregiving and sexual systems leads to the formation of
bonds which some differentiate from “attachment” (Aron et al., 2005; Bartels &
Zeki, 2004; Kobak, 2009). Bonding occurs with respect to individuals of other
species (Zhou, Zheng, & Fu, 2010), especially dogs (Kurdek, 2009), and
inanimate objects (van Ijzendoorn et al., 2009), especially homes (Windsong,
2010), as well as to people. There are also important individual differences in
bonding that may underlie the development of addiction (Goldstein & Volkow,
2002) and are associated with developmental psychopathology, which also
increases risk for addiction (Blum et al., 2000; Skinstad & Swain, 2001). It is
unknown why disruption in special significance and salience acquisition caused
by aberrant early attachment experiences enhances bonding to substances of abuse
and inanimate objects (Lomanowska et al., 2011).
Aachment Behavioral System: Aective/Emotional Responses
The English language lacks a word for the emotion associated with activation of
the attachment system. In Japanese, the emotion is called amae; the verb amaeru
means to depend and presume upon another's love, and to rely on that other for
care (Doi, 1973). Amae develops in toddlers when they learn to use their mothers
as “a secure base” from which to explore the environment (Doi, 1973). Secure
children leave their mothers to explore the environment, since the hedonic pull of
exploration is stronger than that of mother once security is achieved (Cassidy,
2008). The reward value of intimacy with attachment figures for humans may be
underestimated by conceptualizing “mother” as a secure base. Although the
“security” functions of attachment are important, positive hedonic experiences
also contribute to the formation and maintenance of human attachment bonds
(Mayes, Magidson, Lejuez, & Nicholls, 2009; Troisi, Alcini, Coviello, Nanni, &
Siracusano, 2010). Ethologist Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1989, p. 188) opined, ”Physical
care is not the predominant criterion in establishing (attachment), but rather
behavioral patterns of loving attraction, such as cuddling, kissing, speaking to
inciting dialogue, and, of course, play.” More studies of the attachment behavioral
system are needed to differentiate components of the system related to positive
and negative reinforcement, and to explore the manner in which the attachment
system of humans differs from that of other primates.
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
Aachment Behavioral System and Psychopathology
The attachment behavioral system has been linked to psychopathology (Dozier,
Stovall-McClough, Albus, Cassidy, & Shaver, 2008).7 In borderline and
dependent personality disorders excessive or aberrant et-epimeletic behavior
occurs, and working models of attachment may be disordered (American
Psychiatric Association, 2000; Levy, 2005). In schizoid personality and autism
spectrum disorders, deficient attachment behavior and motivation occur; this
deficiency may connect to excessive anxiety, since the attachment behavioral
system is not available to inhibit threat sensitivity (American Psychiatric
Association, 2000; Capps, Sigman, & Mundy, 1994; Rutgers, Bakermans-
Kranenburg, van IJzendoorn, & van Berckelaer-Onnes, 2004). Loss of
attachments is related to propensity to develop major depressive episodes,
pathological grief and reactive attachment disorder (American Psychiatric
Association, 2013; Bowlby, 1988).
e Caregiving Behavioral System
e caregiving behavioral system began with motherhood (cf. Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1989, p.
167)) and functions in humans (both men and women) to provide protection and
support to others, especially ospring and mates; accordingly the goal of the care-giving
behavioral system is protection and fostering the growth and development of others.
Activation of the care-giving behavioral system necessitates a shi in aentional focus
from the self to the other and taking the perspective of the other through empathy, and
the goals of this system may conict with immediate self-interest (Collins & Ford, 2010).
e care-giving behavioral system has been studied in terms of its component parts such
as empathy, maternal behavior, paternal behavior, spousal caregiving and altruism.
Hence, few researchers place their data within the context of the care-giving behavioral
system. Altruism, broadly dened as unselsh regard for or devotion to the welfare of
others, is mediated by the care-giving behavioral system (Mikulincer, Shaver, Gillath, &
Nitzberg, 2005). “e caregiving system is focused on another person’s welfare and
therefore directs aention to the other’s needs, wishes, emotions, and intentions rather
than to one’s own emotional state (Shaver & Mikulincer, 2006, p. 40).In a recent theory
paper, Preston presents a cogent case that altruism in humans is due to the functioning of
the care-giving behavioral system (2013). In most mammalian species, caregiving is
restricted to mother-infant relationships and males lack the care-giving behavioral
system (or it is suppressed by testosterone (Archer, 2006)).
Care-Giving behavioral system: Assessment and Measurement
e care-giving behavioral system has been studied in terms of its component parts using
physiologic, observational and self-report measures (Britner, Marvin, & Pianta, 2005;
Greimel et al., 2010; Preston, 2013). e system has also been examined using
physiological, observational and self-report techniques in studies of parenting . Self-
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
7 is list of psychopathologies in each behavioral system is not meant to be exhaustive but rather
to exemplify the utility of the behavioral system framework.
report and other report measures have been used to assess spousal care-giving (Kunce &
Shaver, 1994; Mikulincer et al., 2005). In spite of the many dierent approaches, there is
emerging consensus regarding individual dierences in the care-giving behavioral system
and cross situational consistency in care-giving behavior (Bell & Richard, 2000;
Solomon & George, 1996); these relate to personality traits (see below).
Care-Giving behavioral system and Social Bonding
A care-giving bond reects special signicance and salience acquisition in the care-giving
behavioral system and greatly increases the likelihood that this system will be activated
by another’s expression of need. e role of oxytocin in cortical remodeling and the
formation of bonds within the care-giving behavioral system has been extensively
studied in ewes - which strongly bond to and care for only their own ospring (Nowak,
Keller, & Levy, 2011). Humans have the most broad-based caregiving of any existing
species, this capacity being fully developed in men and both sexes demonstrating true
altruistic behavior even toward adult strangers (Sampson, 2003). Alloparental care and
the prolonged post-weaning provisioning of subadults by related adults were important
to human evolution and likely explains the extreme caregiving in humans (O’Connell,
Hawkes, & Blurton Jones, 1999; Van Schaik & Burkart, 2010). Although care-giving
bonds exist in humans, care-giving behaviors may be directed toward individuals with
whom no preexisting bond exists.
Care-Giving behavioral system: Aective/Emotional Responses
Shioa and colleagues (2006, p. 64) dened compassion as the emotion associated with
the caregiving behavioral system. “is positive emotion is dened by feelings of concern
for another’s well-being, stimulates nurturant behavior toward ospring and signicant
others in need, and is elicited by cues of vulnerability, helplessness, cuteness, and
distress.Bell and Richards (2000) proposed that the emotion caring be conceptualized
as the aect and motivation for caregiving. ey further suggested that sensitivity and
responsiveness arise from this emotion-motive. Caring is dened as:
an enduring dyadic emotion that continues over the long term and that serves as
an autonomous motivation to see that the needs of a specic partner are met…
First caring constitutes a motivation for the caregiving process. Second, caring
grounds caregiving in emotion rather than in cognition and information
processing (p. 75).
Bell and Richard’s ideas received much criticism; Youngstrom (2000) pointed out that
emotion theorists do not consider caring to be a universal primary emotion (cf. Weisfeld
& Goetz (2013)) and it is unclear how caring relates to the primary emotions that have
been identied8. Although in healthy individuals, caregiving behavior endures, the
emotion of caring as a positive aect is not always present during caregiving (Finkenauer
& Meeus, 2000). e proposal that caring is an emotion that motivates behavior also
appears to be circular (Noller & Feeney, 2000); as Bell and Richard state, “e caregiving
bond endures because it is the enduring emotion of caring.On the other hand, critics of
caring as an emotion have not explained why it is a reported feeling state in children and
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
8 It is unclear how any of the emotions described herein relate to the very narrow denition of
primary emotions (Weisfeld & Goetz, 2013)
adults that is indeed connected with the performance of care-giving behaviors.
Subjectively, caring appears to motivate caregiving. Youngstrom (2000) suggested that Bell
and Richards used the term caring in the same context as Shaver et al. use the term love,
and so proposed that caring and love are the same emotion. Others, such as Trivers
(1971) and some developmental psychologists, employ the term sympathy (or
In light of the identity theory of mental and neural processes (Shaer, 1961),
there is a logical resolution to the arguments that surround caring and love as emotions.
is resolution also eliminates the need for circular reasoning regarding “feeling caring,
interpersonal bonds and performing care-giving behaviors. Caring likely represents
cognitive labeling of the activation of the caregiving behavioral system. It follows that
activation of each social behavioral system is associated with a particular aect that
corresponds to cognitive labeling of behavioral system activation (cf. amae in the
aachment system). Rephrasing Bell and Richard’s proposition to eliminate circularity:
the emotion caring reects the activation of the caregiving behavioral system usually in
the context of an enduring bond.
Care-Giving Behavioral System and Psychopathology
Considering the importance of the care-giving behavioral system to human social
behavior, there are few studies of caregiving behavior, altruism and parenting within the
context of mental illness, though many dierent disorders negatively impact parenting
(Brown & Roberts, 2000; Laurent & Ablow, 2013; Leedom, Bass, & Almas, 2013; Ostler,
2010). e connection between social reward and the experience of empathy is
illustrated by the disorders in which both of these are impaired - substance abuse,
depression, autism spectrum disorders, and antisocial disorders. e antisocial disorders
are associated with impaired emotional empathy, although not all antisocial individuals
completely lack emotional empathy (White & Frick, 2010). Decety and Meyer (2008)
contrast the apathetic responses toward others’ distress in individuals with autism with
the aggressive responses toward others’ distress seen in those with antisocial disorders.
Psychopathy is a severe form of antisocial personality disorder which is characterized by
impaired empathy and lack of empathetic care-giving (Blair, Mitchell, & Blair, 2005;
Cleckley, 1964; Leedom, Geislin, et al., 2013). It appears that both autistic and antisocial
disorders involve disruption in social reward, empathy and the care-giving behavioral
system. However, only antisocial individuals are characteristically instrumentally
aggressive. Individuals with autism may aggress when frightened but they do not seek
opportunity to aggress as is central to the antisocial disorders. ese observations speak
against decits in empathy as directly causal to aggression in antisocial disorders. Instead
a specic motive to aggress linked to activation of the dominance behavioral system
(Johnson et al., 2012) is likely causal to aggression in antisocial disorders (Decety,
Michalska, Akitsuki, & Lahey, 2009) as will be discussed.
e Dominance Behavioral System
Boehm (1999, p. 147) aptly states, ere is in fact a ‘universal drive to dominance’ in
our species in the sense that we readily learn both domination and submission…
behavior that because of our genes is more readily learned in our particular species.” e
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
dominance behavioral system is the reason behaviors related to status are so readily
learned (Johnson et al., 2012). e dominance behavioral system, also called the “rank
regulation system” (Zuro, Fournier, Patall, and Leybman, 2010), evolved to motivate
individuals to gain control over rewards and punishments as applied to self and others in
the group; as such it is concerned with the achievement of rank, privileged access to
resources, aainment of interpersonal power, and autonomy of the self (within a social
context)9. Resistance to external control termed reactance by social psychologists is a
process of the dominance behavioral system and reects the active avoidance component
of this system (Baumeister, Catanese, & Wallace, 2002). e goal of the dominance
behavioral system is understood herein to be both resource control and interpersonal
power. Schultheiss (2007, p. 177) points to the individual dierences in dominance
behavioral system function, “Individuals high in power motivation have a capacity to
derive pleasure from having physical, mental, or emotional impact on other individuals
or groups of individuals and to experience the impact of others on themselves as
aversive… power-motivated individuals are quick to pick up and retain behaviors that
helped them dominate others, but equally quick to inhibit behaviors that in the past have
been associated with their being defeated by others.
Dominance Behavioral System: Assessment and Measurement
For a complete discussion of dominance behavioral system assessment and measurement
see Johnson et al. (2012). Dominance motivation has been studied using implicit,
physiologic and self-report methods; implicit methods use word searches and the Picture
Story Exercise to tap unconscious motivational processes (Schultheiss, 2007; Sellers,
Mehl, & Josephs, 2007). In a series of elegant studies Hawley used observational and
self-report methods to study dominance behaviors in humans across development
(Hawley, 1999). e behavioral strategies of the dominance behavioral system have been
a source of confusion for those trying to parse social motives. e term dominance
implies, as Adler (1976) says,a quest for superiority.Operationally, this superiority is
broadly dened; humans and other primates share resources to achieve control over
other individuals. Only a thorough examination of inter-individual dynamics over time
reveals the connection between this sharing and aained “superiorityand reveals that
sharing, while appearing “altruistic,” may be a dominance behavior. us, apparently pro-
social behaviors, such as “aection,” and anti-social behaviors, such as aggression or
coercion, may be behavioral outputs of the dominance behavioral system as these all
reect eective strategies for dominance (Hawley, 2002).
Hawley (2009) has identied ve subgroups of human individuals based on
power strategies employed: bistrategic controllers employ both prosocial and aggressive
strategies to a high degree relative to peers, coercive controllers employ coercive
strategies to a high degree, prosocial controllers employ prosocial strategies to a high
degree, and non-controllers are low on both relative to others (i.e., they are not
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
9 Humans are a cooperatively breeding species (Van Schaik & Burkart, 2010), as such the group is a
“resource” for reproductive success. Furthermore, since humans engage in intergroup warfare,
control of the group may confer adaptive advantage (Bowles, 2009). Cooperative breeding and
warfare may be connected and together these make the possession of power central to social
dominance in humans.
particularly power motivated). Typical controllers are the largest remaining group and
are average on both strategies. Bistrategic controllers are the most successful in gaining
power across all age groups in American society. Hawley’s results have implications for
the study of reciprocal altruism (resource exchange) and suggest that the term “altruism
be reserved for behaviors of the care-giving behavioral system (West, Grin, & Gardner,
2007). Reciprocal altruism, in the form of resource exchange, appears to reect
dominance behavioral system activity. Primates including Pan have remarkable memory
for paerns of resource exchange that enable punishment of cheaters (de Waal, 1998).
Generally speaking, in primates, prosocial strategies, such as negotiating and allocating
resources justly, are requirements for procuring power and the injudicious use of
aggressive strategies can backre (Boehm, 1993; de Waal, Aureli, & Judge, 2000).
Dominance Behavioral System and Social Bonding
ere are two important characteristics of the human dominance behavioral system that
warrant emphasis. First, the dominance behavioral system and its hedonic experience is
inherently social, thus the dominance behavioral system belongs in any discussion of
social reward. In non-social mammals competition leads to aggression followed by
dispersion; however, social mammals must compete while aached. Coalitions between
individuals that aid in resource acquisition also link social reward and bonding to the
dominance behavioral system. at the dominance behavioral system in humans is social
may explain why individual trait dominance links to extraversion and aliation (Depue
& Collins, 1999) as discussed below. Second, that bonding can occur within the
dominance system may be responsible for confusion over the coercion that occurs
within intimate relationships once “romantic love” wanes (Duon & Goodman, 2005;
Leedom, Geislin, et al., 2013; Leedom & Swedell, 2013). Since power is inherently
rewarding, stimuli from subordinate individuals become salient; and bonding in the
dominance system is a likely mechanism through which subordinates and intimate
partners come to be regarded as “possessions” (cf. slavery).
Dominance Behavioral System: Aective/Emotional Responses
A diverse group of emotional responses link to dominance behavioral system activation
and inactivation. Activation of the dominance behavioral system is associated with
positive aect, namely euphoria (Johnson & Carver, 2012) or, more specically, pride
(Weisfeld & Dillon, 2012). Dysphoria, shame and guilt are associated with deactivation
of the system (Johnson et al., 2012; Weisfeld & Goetz, 2013). Frustration of dominance
motives is accompanied by negative aect: anger, envy and humiliation (van de Ven,
Zeelenberg, & Pieters, 2012; Walker & Knauer, 2011). Anger, envy and humiliation
motivate behaviors to restore or gain status or power. For more complete discussion of
dominance motivation and emotion see Gilbert (1992), Gilbert et al. (2002), Johnson et
al. (2012) and Weisfeld and Dillon (2012).
Dominance Behavioral System and Psychopathology
Both activation and deactivation of the dominance behavioral system contribute to
clinical disorders; see Johnson et al. (2013) for a comprehensive discussion. Depression
and anxiety may result from social defeat and deactivation of the dominance behavioral
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
system (Gilbert, 1992). Note that heteronomy is due to the need for defeated individuals
of social species to remain in the group rather than to ee their oppressors. It may be
adaptive for individuals with less access to rewards to enter a state of relatively low
motivation and refrain from wasting energy on fruitless competition (Gilbert, 1992).
e symptoms and pathophysiology of depression are certainly consistent with such a
state of decreased responsiveness to reward.
Mania on the other hand, includes excessive pursuit of reward and a focus on
extrinsic goals such as fame and wealth even while not in the manic state (Johnson &
Carver, 2006). Dominance behavioral system function in animal models has furthered
understanding of mania, as dominance behavior is reduced by mood stabilizing (anti-
manic) drugs like lithium, anticonvulsants and dopamine blocking agents (Malatynska &
Knapp, 2005). Narcissistic personality and antisocal disorders are oen comorbid with
mania and are associated with excessive dominance motivation and aggressive
dominance strategies (Johnson et al., 2012).
e Sexual Behavioral System10
e goal of the sexual behavioral system is sexual arousal, intercourse and ultimately
reproductive success. e sexual behavioral system is the most studied of the social
behavioral systems; sexual arousal, reward and behavior have been extensively
investigated in animal models (Pfaus et al., 2012; Pfaus, Kippin, & Coria-Avila, 2003)
and humans (Aron et al., 2005; Goldey & van Anders, 2012; Masters & Johnson, 1966).
is extensive body of research supports the utility of the behavioral systems model with
respect to understanding sexuality (Georgiadis & Kringelbach, 2012). Work on the
sexual behavioral system of rodents demonstrates that (similar to the aachment
behavioral system) although the requisite neural circuitry, sensory and behavioral
propensities are inborn, developmental experiences strongly inuence the structure of
the system in adulthood (Pfaus et al., 2012). Sexual stimuli are highly salient and their
processing [is] rapid and potentially automatic” (Gillath & Canterberry, 2012, p. 934)
(see also Legrand, Del Zoo, Tyrand, & Pegna (2013)). ese stimuli are interpreted in
the context of internal working models that include “(memories of) experiences,
feelings, expectations, and beliefs about the self, the sexual partner, and sexual activity
with the partner (or potential partner) (Birnbaum & Gillath, 2006, p. 677).” Sexual
strategies are also part of the internal working model and consist of sexual scripts
(McCormick, 1987) and behaviors.
Sexual Behavioral System: Assessment and Measurement
e use of observational methods to assess the sexual behavioral system dates to e
Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (Darwin, 1871). Observational methods
have been used to study human sexual behavior both in the eld (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1989)
and in the laboratory (Masters & Johnson, 1966). Self-report methods including
questionnaires and behavioral diaries have yielded important insights regarding the
interactions between the sexual, aachment and caregiving behavioral systems
(Birnbaum, Mikulincer, Reis, Gillath, & Orpaz, 2006; Goldey & van Anders, 2012;
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
10 is discussion of the sexual behavioral system is by necessity very brief and is focused on aspects
that relate to the other three social behavioral systems.
Rubin & Campbell, 2012; Shaver & Mikulincer, 2006; Simpson & Gangestad, 1992).
Experiments have examined individuals’ reactions to sexual stimuli, and self-report
studies have been used to investigate the characteristics of preferred mates (Buss, 1989;
Dixson, Halliwell, East, Wignarajah, & Anderson, 2003). More recently, functional MRI
studies have revealed the neural correlates of sexual motivation, sexual reward and sexual
bonding (Cacioppo, Bianchi-Demicheli, Frum, Pfaus, & Lewis, 2012; Georgiadis &
Kringelbach, 2012; Gillath & Canterberry, 2012; Ortigue, Bianchi-Demicheli, Patel,
Frum, & Lewis, 2010).
Sexual Behavioral System and Social Bonding
Sociosexuality refers to individual dierences in willingness to engage in sexual relations
with strangers and casual acquaintances (Simpson & Gangestad, 1992). e Sociosexual
Orientation Inventory (SOI) measures willingness to engage in uncommied sex along a
single bipolar continuum - from unrestricted to restricted (Simpson & Gangestad,
1992). Restricted individuals require greater closeness and commitment prior to having
sexual relations. Sociosexuality therefore indexes the capacity for signicance and
salience acquisition within the sexual behavioral system. Individuals with a restricted
sociosexual orientation are the most biologically monogamous and readily develop
bonds toward sex partners. at individuals who appear “sexually bonded” dierentially
engage in aachment, caregiving, (Feeney & Collins, 2001) and dominance of their
partner (Leedom, Bass, et al., 2013; Leedom & Swedell, 2013) is evidence for bonding
being a property of the sexual system itself (see Fisher’s research below). at sexual
behavior promotes bonding in monogamous mammals is not disputed (Carter &
Cushing, 2004). In humans sexual bonds are evidenced by research indicating a
correlation between sexual intimacy and relationship quality measures (Costa & Brody,
2007; Mikulincer, 2006). Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1989) opined that near continuous sexual
receptivity in women and concealed ovulation relate to the bond promoting function of
sexual activity in humans.
Sexual Behavioral System: Aective/Emotional Responses
Sexual jealousy is a negative emotion linked to intimate partner violence and mate
guarding (Duon & Goodman, 2005; Shackelford, Goetz, Buss, Euler, & Hoier, 2005).
Positive emotions associated with the sexual behavioral system include sexual arousal,
pleasure/euphoria with consummation (orgasm) and bonding (romantic love) (Fisher,
2006). Felt sexual desire/arousal reects an individual’s motivation to seek out sexual
partners or to engage in sexual activities. Sexual desire is dierentiable from romantic
love - the emotion applied to powerful feelings of infatuation and bonding between
intimate partners (Diamond & Dickenson, 2012). Romantic love is identied by
“heightened interest in and preoccupation with a specic individual, characterized by
intense desires for proximity and physical contact, resistance to separation, and feelings
of excitement and euphoria when receiving the partner’s aention (Diamond &
Dickenson, 2012, p. 117). Fisher dierentiates romantic love from what she calls
aachment” or love associated with care-giving of partners and ospring (that emotion
is herein referred to as caring); she makes a compelling case for romantic love and
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
aachment” (caring) being dierentiable with respect to neural circuitry (Aron et al.,
2005; Fisher, 2006).
Other primates may also experience the emotion of romantic love. Consortships
are temporary liaisons that occur between males and estrous females in multi-male
multi-female groups (Manson, 1997). Consort partners coordinate their activities and
engage in grooming and courtship behavior. Consort partners may also seek proximity to
one another outside of a mating context (Buchan, Alberts, Silk, & Altmann, 2003;
Smuts, 1985). It appears that in Papio, male-female pair bonds evolved out of longer
term associations between consort partners (Bergman, 2006). e developmental
trajectory of pair-bonding in Papio hamadryas is similar to the developmental trajectory
proposed for human romantic love - socioemotional/araction bonding develops prior
to genital arousal linked to external causes which develops prior to sexual reward (Pfaus
et al., 2012). Sub-adult hamadryas males are strongly aracted to juvenile females and
maintain bonds with them years before any sexual activity begins (Kummer, 1968).
Sexual Behavioral System and Psychopathology
Psychopathologies of the sexual behavioral system involve deactivation, excessive
activation, aberrant object choice and aberrant sexual strategies. “Sex addiction” or
hypersexual disorder was considered for placement in DSM 5; although ultimately the
disorder was not included in the manual, multicenter eld trials were conducted and an
operational denition and rating instruments were developed for future research (Kaa,
2013; Reid et al., 2012).
Personality Traits, Dyadic Behavior and Social Behavioral System Interactions
Within individuals, the four social behavioral systems and their regulation determine the
Big 5 personality traits of extraversion and agreeableness, and dyadic bonding paerns.
Within a society, the functioning of the behavioral systems within individuals, and social
bonds between individuals, impact social structure. e orthogonal relationship between
dominance and care-giving motivation has been dened since Wiggins et al. (1988)
introduced the interpersonal circumplex, and is supported by observations that
testosterone levels decline in men to promote care-giving responses (Booth & Dabbs,
1993; Gray, Kahlenberg, Barre, Lipson, & Ellison, 2002). Using the self-report IAS-R,
Wiggins et al. represented interpersonal interactions in terms of two dimensions,
dominance and nurturance. In their formulation, nurture contains elements of
aachment and sociability as does the dominance dimension. e plane of the
interpersonal circumplex therefore may also be rotated to represent the Big Five (NEO-
PI) trait facets, extraversion (containing elements of dominance, sociability and
nurturance) and agreeableness (compliant, caring sociability) as orthogonal factors
(Wiggins & Pincus, 2002). Alternatively, removing the aliation-aachment dimension
from dominance and nurturance and giving this dimension its own axis, results in a three
dimensional interpersonal circumplex with the dominance behavioral system and care-
giving behavioral system in the Y-X plane and the aachment behavioral system on the Z
axis (Figure 2). is three dimensional system more accurately places Big Five
extraversion into the dominant, gregarious quadrant extending three dimensionally into
the nurturant quadrant due to “warmth;” and Big Five agreeableness into the nurturant,
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
gregarious quadrant extending three dimensionally into the submissive quadrant due to
compliance.e observation that Big Five personality traits are best represented by
three rather than two interpersonal dimensions reects behavioral system integration
and the normative tendency of humans toward heteronomy, aliation and nurturance
(Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1989).
Behavior towards mates and ospring reects interactions between all four social
behavioral systems. Individuals with decient care-giving motivation and empathy and
excessive dominance motivation are at high risk to abuse their partners and children
(Leedom, Geislin, et al., 2013). In Fisher’s model, care-giving and “aachment” (caring
based) love replaces romantic love in long term sexual partnerships (since romantic love
tends to wane). In some individuals, the capacity for this caring is lacking, and when
romantic love wanes, dominance responses maintain the bond (Leedom, Geislin, et al.,
2013; Leedom & Swedell, 2013), including exchange of favors. Coercive control of
partners also known as intimate partner terrorism begins in marriages aer the
“honeymoon phase” and involves emotional, physical, sexual and nancial abuse of
partners (Duon & Goodman, 2005).
Figure 2. ree dimensional interpersonal circumplex reecting the aachment/aliation,
caregiving and dominance behavioral systems.
is paper sought to revive the behavioral systems framework and to discuss the human
aachment, care-giving, dominance and sexual behavioral systems. ese systems,
shaped by developmental experiences and hormones such as testosterone and oxytocin,
direct information processing and the situational expression of personality. In each
system, stimuli derived from other people and associated with reward take on special
signicance and salience. e sight, smell, feel, taste and sound of special others acquire
salience, these others become emotionally signicant and social bonds form. is
Leedom: Human Social Behavioral System, Human Ethology Bulletin 29 (2014) 1 : pp-pp
process of bonding occurs dimensionally and is subject to individual variation. e
functioning of the social behavioral systems within the individuals that comprise a social
group inuences the social organization of the group. A unied theory of human social
behavior is derived from dening the social behavioral systems: aachment, care-giving,
dominance and sex, and their interrelationships and linking these to social structure. It is
important to acknowledge the pivotal role ethology has played in our understanding of
these systems and their implications for society as well as normative and pathological
behavior. e disciplines of social psychology, evolutionary psychology and sociobiology
have neglected important aspects of proximal causation, and have not integrated
proximate and ultimate causation with social structure; they have therefore not replaced
I would like to thank Editor Glenn Ellis Weisfeld and two anonymous reviewers for
many helpful suggestions that improved the quality of this manuscript.
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... The power system (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2012), or dominance system (Leedom, 2014), is conceived as a system allowing the individual to acquire and control psychological or physical resources that are important to increase the chances of survival. The power system is activated when resources are limited, and people compete to control them or when an event or a social interaction is perceived as a threat to the person's power (Leedom, 2014). ...
... The power system (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2012), or dominance system (Leedom, 2014), is conceived as a system allowing the individual to acquire and control psychological or physical resources that are important to increase the chances of survival. The power system is activated when resources are limited, and people compete to control them or when an event or a social interaction is perceived as a threat to the person's power (Leedom, 2014). ...
... The main goal of the sexual system is achieving through sexual interaction the sexual pleasure and the reproductive success (Birnbaum et al., 2014;Leedom, 2014). Thus, when the person meets a sexually suitable partner, the system is activated and goal-directed behavioral strategies for achieving sexual access are implemented (Birnbaum et al., 2014). ...
We describe a two-dimensional model of activation of the behavioural systems according to which four prototypical activation styles can be identified within a system by positioning an individual on two main dimensions. A functional style, characterized by primary strategies of activation, a hyperactivated style, by hyperactivation strategies, an inhibited style, by deactivating strategies, and a fourth style, the problematic style, characterized by coexistence of hyperactivating and deactivating strategies. Here, we focus on the problematic style representing a dysfunctional expression of the behavioral systems leading to chaotic and unpredictable behaviors, and also relating to higher rates of psychopathology and reduced ability to participate to therapy. The present model could help the clinician to identify problematic behavioural activations undermining the therapeutic process.
... (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007, p. 198) Positive internal working models of attachment figures, as illustrated in Table 2, are the foundation for a secure base from which students can explore and build new relationships. Bowlby's attachment theory arose from his interaction with ethologists studying animal behavior (as cited in Leedom, 2014); as such attachment behavior is considered to be an inborn characteristic of humans. The attachment behavioral system can be best understood in relationship to the exploratory system, the fear system and the sociable system (Cassidy, 2002;Leedom, 2014). ...
... Bowlby's attachment theory arose from his interaction with ethologists studying animal behavior (as cited in Leedom, 2014); as such attachment behavior is considered to be an inborn characteristic of humans. The attachment behavioral system can be best understood in relationship to the exploratory system, the fear system and the sociable system (Cassidy, 2002;Leedom, 2014). That children develop bonds to both responsive and abusive caregivers highlights how attachment styles can be influenced by external factors (Cassidy, 2002). ...
... The belief that an attachment figure is available if needed enhances the exploration, whereas not knowing if they are available might reduce exploration (Cassidy, 2002). The fear system is thus interrelated with the attachment system (Leedom, 2014). Without fear, survival and reproduction would be reduced, however excessive fear and reduced exploration may also negatively impact survival (Leedom, 2014). ...
Emerging adulthood is a critical developmental time as individuals strive to form an identity and establish important social ties. The balance among motives to achieve, gain social power, and connect with others shapes the course of early adulthood as these motives determine how individuals spend their time and energy. This study investigated whether attachment styles, resource control strategies and achievement motivation predict adjustment to college. One hundred and thirteen domestic undergraduate students from a small private university in an urban setting in the Northeast were recruited in different level courses to fill out a series of previously validated measures, assessing their social dominance (resource control strategies), attachment style, achievement motive (explicit and implicit) and adjustment to college. A multiple regression analysis was performed to determine how these constructs predicted adjustment to college. The results of this study showed that adjustment to college was significantly negatively predicted by attachment anxiety and coercive resource control strategies. This study informs strategies that can be used by faculty and staff to enhance students’ personal growth and increase their success. Keywords: Adjustment to college, attachment styles, resource control strategy, achievement motive
... These systems are innate but important maturational experiences guide their normative development. (For a complete discussion of human social behavioral systems see Ref. [11].) Although all four human social behavioral systems contribute to behavioral disorders [11][12][13] only the attachment/affiliation system is recognized widely by clinicians due to the work of Bowlby [14,15]. ...
... (For a complete discussion of human social behavioral systems see Ref. [11].) Although all four human social behavioral systems contribute to behavioral disorders [11][12][13] only the attachment/affiliation system is recognized widely by clinicians due to the work of Bowlby [14,15]. Bowlby, a psychoanalyst was strongly influenced by ethologist Robert Hinde [16]. ...
... Reinforcement processes operate through the brain reward system to reify the behavioral strategies of the social behavioral systems [11]. Research on addiction has provided much insight into the psychobiology of reward and therefore social behavioral systems. ...
Full-text available
Abstract Why do they do that? is the question theories of psychopathy should answer. Current theories of psychopathy fail to answer this question because they focus on affective and inhibitory deficits rather than on motivation. Antisocial behavior is appetitive and therefore can only be explained with a motivational theory. This chapter presents a motivational theory of psychopathy that draws on the ethological framework. The chapter answers all four questions of ethology as applied to psychopathy. Keywords: psychopathy, love, attachment, caregiving, dominance, behavioral systems
... These systems are innate but important maturational experiences guide their normative development. (For a complete discussion of human social behavioral systems see Ref. [11].) Although all four human social behavioral systems contribute to behavioral disorders [11][12][13] only the attachment/affiliation system is recognized widely by clinicians due to the work of Bowlby [14,15]. ...
... (For a complete discussion of human social behavioral systems see Ref. [11].) Although all four human social behavioral systems contribute to behavioral disorders [11][12][13] only the attachment/affiliation system is recognized widely by clinicians due to the work of Bowlby [14,15]. Bowlby, a psychoanalyst was strongly influenced by ethologist Robert Hinde [16]. ...
... Reinforcement processes operate through the brain reward system to reify the behavioral strategies of the social behavioral systems [11]. Research on addiction has provided much insight into the psychobiology of reward and therefore social behavioral systems. ...
Full-text available
The effectiveness of winery operations in a wine cellar and their impact on wine quality depend closely on the technology used. A correct application of refrigeration systems is perhaps the best guarantee of a correct processing process. In this work, a review of the refrigeration engineering in warehouse is carried out, calculating the refrigeration needs of each one of the main stages of elaboration, according to the different winemakings. The energy requirements for the cold maceration and debourbage in white winemaking, the cooling of the crushed-grapes in the elaboration of red wine, as well as for the temperature control during fermentation and physical-chemical stabilization of the finished wine are calculated. The main cold production techniques in the winery are also addressed to respond to those needs. Keywords: winemaking, refrigeration, fermentation, tartaric stabilization, wine refrigeration exchanger
... With reference to Bakan's concepts of agency and communion [195], the atlas' concept of affiliation could be reframed as trust-in-other(s), and dominance could be reframed as trust-in-self (see Fig 2). Reframed in this manner, it is immediately observable that this model parallels and bears a striking resemblance to attachment theory, that uses the two orthogonal dimensions view-of-self and view-of-other(s) [196,197]. The atlas reframed with latent orthogonal dimensions trust-in-self and trust-in-other(s) forms a parsimonious basis for modelling personality using Bayesian inference and Game theory. ...
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This thesis addresses two long-standing dilemmas in personality psychology. The first dilemma is that of identifying the latent dimensions of personality. The second is to identify how best to measure psychological constructs. Novel solutions to both of these problems are presented in two articles. The first article (published), ‘An atlas of personality, emotion, and behaviour’ proposes a two-dimensional taxonomy, with strictly orthogonal dimensions affiliation and dominance. The second article (unpublished), ‘Metrology applied to personality, emotion, and behaviour’, proposes two quantitative measures. The measures are consistent with both the lexical hypothesis and metrology, the science of measurement. In study 1, methods included cataloguing adjectival descriptors of personality, abstract noun descriptors of feelings and emotion, and verb descriptors of behaviour. Sociobiological and neurobiological evidence was further used to identify two orthogonal dimensions, each of which was divided into five ordinal categories. Using the Delphi Method, 20% of the catalogued words were scored by clinical psychologists, whilst the remaining 80% of words were scored using a tailored network approach. A technique was then developed to visualise a wide range of existing psychological and social constructs in two dimensions. Finally, a simulation technique was then developed to identify an alternative approach to psychological testing. Results: The identified dimensions of affiliation and dominance were derived from the cataloguing of over 20,000 English language words, including 7,000 adjectival descriptors of personality, 3,000 abstract noun descriptors of emotion, and 8,000 verb descriptors of behaviour. All 20,000 catalogued words were able to be classified according to the ordinal scale. A wide range of psychological and social constructs was visualised and delineated, including the Dark Triad, Five-Factor Model, leadership, criminality, and many DSM-5 personality disorders. The simulation approach facilitated the formation of a psychological testing methodology that minimises the number of questions that must be asked to encompass a broad spectrum of personality, whilst minimising confounding and maximising statistical power. In study 2, two quantitative psychological measures were proposed that strictly conform to metrological standards and the lexical hypothesis. The first measures semantic distance, inspired by the small world problem more popularly known as ‘six degrees of separation’. The second measures the geometric distance between constructs according to the atlas. Both measures are theory realistic and address known issues with existing measures of psychological constructs, such as definitional circularity and reification. The method involved a crowdsourcing study of all 1,506 IPIP items. Respondents (N=1,814) were asked to identify the single best adjectival descriptor relevant to each item. The responses were then measured according to both newly proposed quantitative measures. It was found that participant responses were significantly heterogeneous across many IPIP items, calling into question these items’ suitability for psychological testing purposes. The crowdsource responses were further used to test the hypothesis that five-factor models are hierarchical. Results did not support the notion that the five-factor model is hierarchical, contrary to popular opinion. Considered together, the conclusion of both studies is that a two-factor model of personality may have advantages over the prevailing five-factor model.
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Evidence of care for the ill and injured amongst Neanderthals, inferred through skeletal evidence for survival from severe illness and injury, is widely accepted. However, healthcare practices have been viewed primarily as an example of complex cultural behaviour, often discussed alongside symbolism or mortuary practices. Here we argue that care for the ill and injured is likely to have a long evolutionary history and to have been highly effective in improving health and reducing mortality risks. Healthcare provisioning can thus be understood alongside other collaborative ‘risk pooling’ strategies such as collaborative hunting, food sharing and collaborative parenting. For Neanderthals in particular the selective advantages of healthcare provisioning would have been elevated by a variety of ecological conditions which increased the risk of injury as well their particular behavioural adaptations which affected the benefits of promoting survival from injury and illness. We argue that healthcare provisioning was not only a more significant evolutionary adaptation than has previously been acknowledged, but moreover may also have been essential to Neanderthal occupation at the limits of the North Temperate Zone.
Romantic couples (N = 194) participated in an investigation of caregiving processes in adulthood. In Phase 1, couple members completed questionnaires designed to identify attachment style differences in caregiving behavior and to explore the underlying (personal and relationship) mechanisms that lead people with different attachment styles to be effective or ineffective caregivers. Results revealed that social support knowledge, prosocial orientation, interdependence, trust, and egoistic motivation mediated the link between attachment style and caregiving. In Phase 2, responsive caregiving was assessed behaviorally by exposing one member of the couple to a stressful laboratory situation and experimentally manipulating his or her need for support. Results revealed that attachment style and mediating mechanisms identified in Phase 1 also predicted observable support behavior in a specific episode in which a partner had a clear need for support.
Advocates the use of operationalized structural models of personality in the interpretation of dimensions that underlie the interrelations among conceptions of personality disorders. An overview of empirical studies of the structure of personality disorders is presented and two major perspectives on the nature of these disorders are considered. An overview of dimensional approaches to personality and consider four theoretical perspectives on the five-factor model (FFM) of personality is provided. The relations between personality structure and the structure of personality disorders are considered in detail. The advantages of a combined five-factor and interpersonal circumplex model in the assessment of personality disorders are illustrated. Throughout the chapter, reanalyses of the authors' previously published data that illustrate the specific points of the discussion are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
A Primer on Biopsychology and Its Methods DEFINITION As a discipline, biopsychology aims to explain experience and behavior based on how the brain and the rest of the central nervous system work. Biopsychological approaches to motivation, then, seek to explain motivational phenomena based on an understanding of specific functions of the brain. Most research in this area uses mammalian animal models, such as rats, mice, and sometimes primates, on the assumption that the way motivational processes and functions are carried out by the brain is highly similar across related species, and that findings obtained in other mammals will therefore also hold for humans. When studying motivational processes, biopsychologists often use lesioning (i.e., selective damaging) techniques to explore the contributions of specific brain areas or endocrine glands to motivational behavior, reasoning that if destroying a specific brain area or gland alters a motivational function, then the lesioned substrate must be involved in that function. Other techniques often utilized in this type of research include direct recordings from neuron assemblies in the behaving animal to determine, for instance, which brain cells fire in response to a reward, and brain dialysis, which allows the researcher to examine how much of a neurotransmitter is released in a behaving animal in response to motivationally relevant stimuli. Finally, biopsychologists frequently use pharmacological techniques; for instance, to increase synaptic activity associated with a specific neurotransmitter by administering a transmitter agonist (which mimics the action of the neurotransmitter) or to decrease synaptic activity by administering a transmitter antagonist (which blocks neurotransmitter activity).