HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Understanding biological foundation of human behavior critical to improving laws

Laws and public policy will often miss their mark until they incorporate an understanding of why, biologically, humans behave as they do, scholars from Vanderbilt and Yale universities argue in the March issue of Columbia Law Review.

"The legal system tends to assume that either people are purely rational actors or that their brains are blank slates on which culture and only culture is written. The reality is much more complicated and can only be appreciated with a deeper understanding of behavioral biology," said Vanderbilt law professor and biologist Owen Jones. He co-authored the article with Timothy Goldsmith, Yale professor emeritus of molecular, cellular and developmental biology.

All laws at their foundation are designed to influence human behavior, from how we interact with one another, to how we relate to our own property and that of others, to how government agencies interact with each other and with citizens, Jones said.

When developing laws, legislators and legal scholars have traditionally relied heavily on the social sciences, such as economics, psychology and political science, often responding to the popular or political trends of their time. They have rarely looked to incorporate the latest findings from fields such as biology, neuroscience and cognitive psychology, which have grown exponentially in recent years and have shed brand new light on how the human brain is structured and how it influences behavior.

One reason for this imbalance, Jones believes, is a false public assumption that acknowledging biological causes of behavior somehow denigrates human free will or minimizes the importance of social and cultural conditions.

"It may follow from demonstrably false dichotomies, such as 'nature versus nurture,' taking misleading hold in the public mind," he said. "It may also follow from a variety of misunderstandings about how genes, environments and evolutionary processes interact with implications for beha
'"/>

Contact: Melanie Catania
melanie.catania@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-2706
Vanderbilt University
14-Mar-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Understanding why C. difficile causes disease -- its hungry
2. Understanding the global carbon budget -- Woods Hole Research Center expert provides insights
3. Understanding occupational safety and health issues of nanotechnology
4. Understanding the Arctic -- NSF-funded expeditions cover new ground in climate science
5. Understanding climate change: Public forum in Philadelphia next week
6. Understanding food nutrition labels challenging for many people
7. Understanding of cell protection mechanism points to therapies to prevent heart attacks and strokes
8. Understanding the life of C. elegans
9. Drawing a crowd: Understanding the signals that bring inflammatory cells into the lung
10. Jane Lubchenco receives the 2005 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award
11. Understanding the oceans microbes is key to the Earths future

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/23/2015)... July 23, 2015 Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ... reported financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, ... 2015 was $4.5 million, a decrease of 33% compared to ... in the second quarter of 2015 was $0.3 million, or ... $0.04 per diluted share, in the same period a year ...
(Date:7/21/2015)... NEW YORK , July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... critical systems, as seen in the recent U.S. ... enterprises a solution to the infosec conundrum, but ... data is stored. To address this dilemma, Biometrics-as-a-Service ... of its Biometric Tokenization SDK for third party ...
(Date:7/9/2015)... Calif. , July 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... solutions, announced today that it will report financial results ... Thursday, July 30, 2015 after the close of market. ... analysts and investors at 2:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. ... To participate on the live call, analysts ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Aware, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results 2Aware, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results 3Aware, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results 4Aware, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results 5Aware, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results 6HYPR Corp. Launches Industry First Biometric Tokenization Platform 2HYPR Corp. Launches Industry First Biometric Tokenization Platform 3HYPR Corp. Launches Industry First Biometric Tokenization Platform 4Synaptics to Report Fourth Quarter, Fiscal Year 2015 Results on July 30 2
(Date:7/24/2015)... 2015 Ryan & Maniskas, LLP that ... District Court for the Northern District of California ... purchased the common stock of Avalanche Biotechnologies, Inc. ("Avalanche" or ... and June 15, 2015, inclusive (the "Class Period"). ... the Court for appointment as a lead plaintiff of the ...
(Date:7/24/2015)... , July 24, 2015 Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. ... results for the second quarter 2015 on Thursday, August ... will provide a business update and discuss the financial ... 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (5:00 a.m. Pacific Time). ... by calling (800) 447-0521 (domestic) or (847) 413-3238 (international), ...
(Date:7/24/2015)... ... July 24, 2015 , ... ... indispensable to any modern scientific or pharmaceutical laboratory. FreezerPro® is an intuitive, ... know precisely where a sample is located even before opening the freezer ...
(Date:7/23/2015)... ... , ... One hundred years ago this year, 18 model airplane clubs competed ... of winning the Henry S. Villard Trophy. The Academy of Model Aeronautics has plans ... to build a Free Flight fantasy club worthy of taking home the Villard Trophy. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Ryan & Maniskas, LLP Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Avalanche Biotechnologies, Inc. 2Ryan & Maniskas, LLP Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Avalanche Biotechnologies, Inc. 3RURO, Inc. Partners with Integrated Systems Engineering to Provide Comprehensive LIMS Software to Biobanks 2RURO, Inc. Partners with Integrated Systems Engineering to Provide Comprehensive LIMS Software to Biobanks 3RURO, Inc. Partners with Integrated Systems Engineering to Provide Comprehensive LIMS Software to Biobanks 4Academy of Model Aeronautics to Start Online Fantasy Flight Competition 2
Cached News: