Traits, Environments, and Adaptation

  • Gershon Berkson
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 3)


Individuals with chronic handicapping defects exist in societies of people and of animals. Estimates of the prevalence of handicapping conditions among humans vary broadly around 10%. Prevalence rates among animals have not been estimated but are significant at least in some populations. Conventional wisdom, derived from the theory of evolution, holds that defects are selected against. However, under certain circumstances, selection against defects is minimal and individuals with defects function normally in society. This is most true in human societies but also occurs in animal populations (Berkson, 1977).


Social Behavior Mental Retardation Social Affiliation Disable People Group Home 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gershon Berkson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois, Chicago CircleChicagoUSA

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