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Sociobiology

Definition

Sociobiology is an approach to studying the biological bases of social behavior that focuses on applying evolutionary theory and the principles of genetics to explain specific instances of social behavior in a wide variety of species.

Background

John P. Scott coined the term sociobiology in 1948, but it was not until 1964 that William Hamilton laid the theoretical foundations of the field. Hamilton introduced the idea that, in the evolution of species, the transmission of genes from one generation to the next matters much more than any individual organism's success in survival and reproduction. He and others went on to conclude that, because social behaviors may aid in the passing on of genes, such behaviors may have evolutionary, and ultimately biological, bases.

The modern era of sociobiology effectively ...

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