Distinctively human motivation and another view on human evolution

Prudkov, Pavel N. (2006) Distinctively human motivation and another view on human evolution. (Unpublished)

Full text available as:



Human evolution is a multidisciplinary problem, one of its aspects is the origin and development of distinctively human psychological features. Cognitive properties (language, symbolic thinking) are considered as such features and numerous authors hypothesize its evolution. We suggest that the most important human characteristic is connected with motivation rather than cognition; this is the ability to construct and maintain long-term goal-directed processes having no biological basis. Once emerged, this new ability determined evolution. Human language arose from the need to subserve group activities directed at achieving long-term goals. Abstract thinking resulted from the extraction of nonperceptual features through the regular and purposive usage of various objects. The comparison of this hypothesis against other evolutionary models is discussed.

Item Type:Other
Keywords:evolution, social, motivation, language, symbolic thinking
Subjects:Biology > Evolution
ID Code:1171
Deposited By:Prudkov, Pavel N.
Deposited On:29 Apr 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Arbib, M. A. (2005) From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 105-124.

Bridgeman B. (1992) On the evolution of consciousness and language. PSYCOLOQUY , 3,

Byrne R. W. (2000) Evolution of primate cognition. Cognitive Science, 24 (3) , 543–570.

Byrne R. W. (2003) Imitation as behaviour parsing. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B 358:529–36.

Calvin, W. H. (1993) The unitary hypothesis: A common neural circuitry for novel manipulations, language, plan-ahead, and throwing? In Gibson K. R. and Ingold T. (Eds.) Tools, Language, and Cognition in Human Evolution, (pp. 230-250). Cambridge University Press

Calvin, W.H (2001). Pumping up intelligence: Abrupt climate jumps and the evolution of higher intellectual functions during the ice ages, in R. J. Sternberg (Ed). The Evolution of Intelligence, (pp. 97-115). Erlbaum.

Chomsky, N. (1988) Language and problems of knowledge The Managua Lectures. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Corballis, M. C. (2003) Laterality and human speciation. In: T. J. Crow (Ed) Speciation of modern Homo sapiens. Proceedings of the British Academy 106:137–52.

Crow, T.J. (2000) Did Homo Sapiens speciate on the y chromosome? PSYCOLOQUY , 11,

Donald, M. (1991). Precis of Origins of the modern mind: Three stages in the evolution of culture and cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16 (4), 737-791.

Dunbar, R. I. M. (1993) Coevolution of neocortical size, group size, and language in humans. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16, 681-735.

Gabora, L. (1998) Autocatalytic closure in a cognitive system. PSYCOLOQUY 9,

Heckhausen, H. (1980). Motivation und Handeln. Springer-Verlag

Kohler, W. (1917) The mentality of apes, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. (1927) (Original work published 1917).

Kon, I.S. (1979). The psychology of young age. Moscow: Prosveschenye (in Russian).

Kon, I.S. (1980). The psychology of the high school student. Moscow: Prosveschenye (in Russian).

Leont’ev A. N. (1979) The problem of activity in psychology. In Wertsch, J. V. (Ed), The concept of activity in soviet psychology. (pp. 37-71), Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe

Lucas, M. (1999) Selection pressures for language prerequisites: Constraints and limitations. PSYCOLOQUY 10,

Niewoehner, W. A., Bergstrom, A., Eichele, D., Zuroff, M., Clark, J. T. (2003) Manual dexterity in Neanderthals. Nature, 422, 395

Pinker, S. Bloom, P. (1990) Natural language and natural selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13, 707-784.

Place, U. T. (2000) The role of the hand in the evolution of language. PSYCOLOQUY 11,

Prudkov, P.N. (1999a) Human evolution expanded brains to increase motivational ability not expertise capacity. PSYCOLOQUY 10,

Prudkov, P.N. (1999b) Origin of culture: Evolution applied another mechanism.PSYCOLOQUY 10,

Prudkov, P.N. (2005) Motivation rather than imitation determined the appearance of language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 142-143.

Sheets-Johnstone, M. (1994) Precis of: The roots of thinking. PSYCOLOQUY 5,

Suddendorf, T. Corballis, M. C. (1997) Mental time travel and the evolution of the human mind. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs 123(2),.133-167.

Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., Call, J., Behne, T., Moll H. (2005) Understanding and sharing intentions: the origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences(in press)

Vedenov, A.A. (1988). Simulation of the elements of thinking. Moscow: Nauka (in Russian).

Waal de, F.B.M. (1995) Bonobo sex and society. The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution. Scientific American 3, 82-88


Repository Staff Only: item control page