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rojo's avatar

Fight or Flight: Which is the go-to response for Homo Sapiens?

Asked by rojo (22066points) July 16th, 2014

Just wondering which way the majority of the human population would react in any given situation and does that mean the minority response is more or less evolved on the evolutionary scale?

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10 Answers

hominid's avatar

There is no such thing as more or less evolved. This is not how evolution works.
Are you asking what the behavioral response would be during the physiological response described by the flight-or-fight response? I’m not sure what you’re asking here.

rojo's avatar

In any given dangerous situation a person will most likely do one or the other to survive. Which will be the most common response?

I understand what you are saying and I should not have used the terms “more or less” in this manner. I agree 100% with what you said.

What I meant was is the minority response more likely to become the majority response over time and vise-a-versa or was the minority response the majority response in the past and evolving out of the gene pool?

UnholyThirst's avatar

One should always choose fight. If without dignity or integrity, what do you have…?

ibstubro's avatar

I think it all depends on the variables.

I think a single human, confronted with a natural enemy will usually flee.
I think a group of humans, confronted with a natural enemy will usually fight.

I think a single human faced with a threat from another single human will tend to fight, unless the odds are too great.
I think a group of humans faced with a threat from another group of humans will almost certainly fight.

Humans depend a lot on knowing human nature.

hominid's avatar

I’m still not entirely sure what you’re asking. But it sounds like you are specifically talking about the behavior that was taken as a result of the physiological “flight or fight” response that occurs when an emotional or physical threat is perceived. If you are isolating it to a very narrow band of experiences (life-threatening situations) and attempting to…determine a behavioral response to this threat that is the most common…

Wait. I thought I might have understood for a moment. I don’t think you’re talking about what we describe as “flight or fight” response. And I am not sure about “majority” and “minority” responses here. Flight or fight is a physiological response, and it was adaptive because it gave animals (also non-human animals) a better chance at surviving to age of reproducing.

I suspect (and I could be wrong) that what you are somewhat touching on here is related to game theory (?).

ragingloli's avatar

Both alone and in crowds.
A human will only fight if it believes it can win.
Drop a Tyrannosaurus into a mall, and see what happens. The apes all go apeshit and flee.
Like dogs.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@UnholyThirst is completely erroneous in this matter.
There is quite often great dignity in flight.

Pandora's avatar

I think the gut reaction to most people is to choose flight unless flight isn’t possible. You forgot the scenario where people choose to also freeze. Well not really a choice but rather just a reaction.
Only way I would see evolution coming into play is if the person has considered what is the best response and has calculated what each response would mean in the situation. But honestly, in a dangerous situation requiring and instant reaction, I don’t think people take the time to access what is necessary. You also forget there is the response of trickery or simply using knowledge to get out of a dangerous situation. Doing either of those may prove a person to be more evolved rather than running, fighting or freezing.

ucme's avatar

I have one policy which I like to call Operation Savearse, served me well.

Safie's avatar

Survival mode is what every human goes into whether it be fight or flight even the animals know this..the majority would fight.

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