The Caveman Principle

Let me tell you about a concept I have when I try to analyze human group behavior as well as individual behavior.  I call it the Caveman Principle.

Our bodies, cognitive processes, and way of thinking are still geared towards our environment, pretty much like a caveman would live in. There will be wild animals, hunger, and there will be a group hierarchy or just a group that is important for your survival.  The relationship that you have with your kin or with your group, these will be important to your survival as well.  Everything is a bit amplified, just like your basic needs and how to get to those basic needs.

Finding Security in a Group

These are the things that I look at when trying to understand human behavior.  What are the dominant motives and goals?  It’s basically food, security and having a good relationship with your group.           It can actually mean a lot things and it doesn’t mean you always need to be the alpha male.  It also means you have to think about how you fit in the group and how you find security within the group.  It’s also about how you keep others from taking what is yours.

Having a Simpler Understanding of the Situation

The Caveman Principle is very handy when analyzing what is happening to social media today.  Often, technology and today’s society is just too much and it clouds the way for the basic principles which we, as humans, are drawn to.  Let’s say you have a problem.  Try to think about this problem from a caveman’s perspective.  It simplifies the problem because you will not be worrying about smart phones, or communication technologies.  You will not be worrying about MTV, the news or the Internet.  You bring it down to the very basic human survival in a society, in this case, your group.

Ask yourself how this can help you understand situations better and how this can help you understand how and why people act in a certain way.

Leave a Reply