sociobiology

[soh-see-oh-bahy-ol-uh-jee, soh-shee-]
noun
the study of social behavior in animals with emphasis on the role of behavior in survival and reproduction, engaging branches of ethology, population genetics, and ecology.

Origin:
1945–50; socio- + biology

sociobiological [soh-see-oh-bahy-uh-loj-i-kuhl, soh-shee-] , adjective
sociobiologically, adverb
sociobiologist, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
sociobiology (ˌsəʊsɪəʊbaɪˈɒlədʒɪ)
 
n
the study of social behaviour in animals and humans, esp in relation to its survival value and evolutionary origins
 
sociobi'ologist
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sociobiology   (sō'sē-ō-bī-ŏl'ə-jē)  Pronunciation Key 
The scientific study of the biological basis of the social behavior of animals, based on the theory that such behavior is often genetically determined and that the genes governing this behavior are subject to the usual mechanisms of evolution. Sociobiology posits that an animal will normally behave in ways that will increase the survival of its genes in the gene pool, either by increasing its own reproductive success or the reproductive success of an individual or group that is closely related and thus shares some of the organism's genes. Sociobiologists seek to find explanations for animal behaviors such as aggression and altruism in relation to the survival of the animal's genes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
sociobiology [(soh-see-oh-beye-ol-uh-jee)]

An area of inquiry in biology, still somewhat controversial but gaining wider acceptance. Its central tenet is that many human behavioral and social traits are genetically inherited and are thus determined by genetic makeup and not culture.

Note: Sociobiology is on the “nature” side in the nature-nurture controversy.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
He released a genie: in three terse papers, he founded the discipline known as sociobiology.
Sociobiology is more general but along the same lines.
However, he is more sympathetic to the new wave of sociobiology represented by evolutionary psychology.
As a biological explanation for society, this school of thought came to be known as sociobiology.
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