Baldwin Effect

Baldwin Effect is a concept in evolutionary biology which pertains to the ability of animals and humans to learn certain behaviors because of evolution.

For instance, being cautious as a trait may have been preserved and honed over generations since it has been instrumental in making less risky decisions and promoting survival through very watchful actions. Hence, those who were initially less cautious learned to be more apprehensive in response to a dangerous environment. Such learned behavior has then been assimilated into the genetic repertoire. This term is attributed to James Mark Baldwin, an American Psychologist, who explained the effect in his paper, “A New Factor in Evolution”.

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