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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/24/2017)... -- The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller ... (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology ... object recognition technologies, today announced the release of ... (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition using up ... on a single computer. The new version uses ... improve accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... ... flow controllers based on capillary thermal mass flow technology provide exponentially more accurate ... applications. Over 80% of all industrial processes—such as those involving chemical reactions, ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Volunteers supported by ... engineers, and industry professionals in visiting U.S. Congressional offices in Washington, D.C., yesterday ... world photonics industry. , This year, National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Congressional ...
(Date:4/27/2017)...  Pendant Biosciences, Inc. (formerly Nanoferix, Inc.), a privately-held ... delivery technologies, today announced that it has been accepted ... Toronto . Shawn Glinter , ... "We are excited to become part of the JLABS ... honored to be the first Tennessee ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Looking ... team-building and cooking events company, offers one-of-a-kind gifts, ranging from gourmet cooking experiences ... California cuisine, and guests leave inspired with new cooking tips and techniques, thanks ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: