Human Drives That Open Us to Memes

Here are a few second-order instinctual drives some people seem to have that are all opportunities for memes to take advantage of:

- Belonging. Humans are gregarious-that is, they like company. There are any number of evolutionary reasons for the existence of this drive, including safety in numbers, economies of scale, and simply the presence of more potential mates. Memes that give people a feeling of belonging to a group have an advantage over memes that don't.

- Distinguishing yourself. A drive to do something new, innovative, or significant makes an individual more likely to find food or shelter and makes him stand out from the crowd as a potential mate. Any memes that make people feel distinguished, special, or important have an edge in meme evolution.

- Caring. Since humans share the great majority of their DNA with all other humans, it makes sense that we evolved a drive to care about the welfare of other people.* Memes that take advantage of people's caring natures have an advantage in the battle for a share of our minds.

- Approval. A drive to do what others, or you yourself, approve of. As animals and humans evolved into societies, individuals fulfilling whatever their roles were did a better job of perpetuating their genes, and presumably the genes shared by others in their community, than those who didn't play by the rules. Successful memes hook into people's drive to get approval and play on the guilt, shame, and hurt that result if they don't get it.

- Obeying authority. It was in an individual's genetic interest -that is, in the interest of his DNA-to recognize the authority of someone more powerful or wiser than he is. Going along with that authority would increase his DNA's chance of survival and replication, while fighting the authority might get him killed or left out in the cold.


There are instinctual needs humans have that memes exploit to take root in our minds.

Folksonomies: memetics

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Gene (0.965903): dbpedia | freebase
Evolution (0.875807): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Meme (0.814879): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
DNA (0.790380): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Genetics (0.709948): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Natural selection (0.676510): dbpedia | freebase
The Selfish Gene (0.583144): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Human evolution (0.574755): dbpedia | freebase

 Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brodie , Richard (2011-02-15), Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme, Hay House, Retrieved on 2011-05-29
Folksonomies: memetics memes ideas