Monday, October 29, 2012

Burgulars and Outdated Evolution

Tossing off a quick thought for your consideration.

You know, I've always thought it's weird that when a person suspects that a person has trespassed into their home, even if in a silly fashion, like right after watching a horror movie, the common response is to be as quiet as possible and make no noise, and to either hide or meekly say ". . . hello?" This isn't logical.

While possible, it's probably rare to near non-existent that a person would break into your home with the express purpose of deliberately seeking you out to hurt you, so on the most common side the more likely psychology of a criminal would be that he's scared to death while he's committing his action, anxiety through the roof about getting caught. If he saw someone, even without them noticing or showing any sign of assertiveness, he'd more probably get terrified and flee, rather than shout "Ah ha! Got you!" and then go after you.

As such, doesn't it make far more sense that, if you were to sense someone in your home, regardless of whether or not it's true, to be as loud and assertive as possible, and to aggressively search them out? Imagine what a criminal would think in response to that. Here he is breaking into this home . . . and my god the home owner is actually after him! Oh my god he must have a gun or something! Better get the hell out!

I bet that the reason why people feel such paralyzing fear as the common response is because it could be an outdated biological measure from man's evolutionary history. The whole biological mechanism that paralyzes you into place or gives you an irresistible urge to run away is called "fight or flight," and it does make sense when dealing with wild animals. If you saw a wild lion in the jungle around some heavy foliage it would make sense to dash to the nearest bush and have your muscles tighten up so you don't risk making a single sound in the branches; confronting the lion is not a good idea. However, this biological urging continues in us in a technological age where it's really of little to no use. If someone breaks our window at night and enters, the temptation is to hide under the bed and freeze, and yet the most practical thing to do might be to shout angrily, turn lights on, and stomp around loudly. Criminals by their nature are mentally weak, so all this would probably be sufficient to drive them away in panic.

Though, isn't it funny that man can update his surroundings and technology faster than his biology can adapt to it?

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