Self-preservation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

 
Jump to: navigation, search

This article is about the natural instinct of an organism. For the video game based on the TV series, see The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Self-preservation is behavior that ensures the survival of an organism.[1] It is almost universal among living organisms.[citation needed] Pain and fear are parts of this mechanism. Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future.[2] Most pain resolves promptly once the painful stimulus is removed and the body has healed, but sometimes pain persists despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body; and sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.[3] Fear causes the organism to seek safety and may cause a release of adrenaline,[4][5] which has the effect of increased strength and heightened senses such as hearing, smell, and sight. Self-preservation may also be interpreted figuratively; in regard to the coping mechanisms one needs to prevent emotional trauma from distorting the mind (see: defence mechanism.)

Even the most simple of living organisms, such as single-celled bacteria, are typically under intense selective pressure to evolve a response to avoid a damaging environment, if such an environment exists. Self-preservation is therefore an almost universal hallmark of life. However when introduced to a novel threat, many species will have a self-preservation response either too specialised, or not specialised enough, to cope with that particular threat.[citation needed] An example is the dodo, which evolved in the absence of natural predators and hence lacked an appropriate, general self-preservation response to heavy predation by humans and rats, showing no fear of them.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/self-preservation
  2. ^ Lynn B. Cutaneous nociceptors. In: Winlow W, Holden AV. The neurobiology of pain: Symposium of the Northern Neurobiology Group, held at Leeds on 18 April 1983. Manchester: Manchester University Press; 1984. ISBN 0-7190-0996-0. p. 106.
  3. ^ Raj PP. Taxonomy and classification of pain. In: Niv D, Kreitler S, Diego B, Lamberto A. The Handbook of Chronic Pain. Nova Biomedical Books; 2007. ISBN 1-60021-044-9.
  4. ^ Henry Gleitman, Alan J. Fridlund and Daniel Reisberg (2004). Psychology (6 ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-97767-6. 
  5. ^ "Fear factors". CBC News. 31 October 2007. 

See also[edit]