BALDWIN EFFECT

refers to the influence on intraspecies evolution of phenotypic plasticity. That is, the capability of an organism to be flexible and creative in adapting its behavior to a changing environment. One member of the species usually acquires a new ability that enables that species member to adapt to the environment better and hence increases its probability of survival. The propensity for acquiring this characteristic is conferred in turn to descendants of that species member until a genetic variation occurs and the characteristic itself becomes hereditary. This was originally called organic selection (as described in 1896 by James Mark Baldwin]

BALDWIN EFFECT: "The Baldwin effect suggests that one individual acquires adaptive characteristics, passes them down to offspring, and then eventually, all members of the species show this characteristic."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "BALDWIN EFFECT," in PsychologyDictionary.org, April 7, 2013, https://psychologydictionary.org/baldwin-effect/ (accessed December 7, 2019).
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