Variation Conditioning ↔ Instinct

intrinsic unconditioned responses

Instinct describes those built-in responses to situations and circumstances that are not learned, yet drive one to comply with their urges. How much sway they have over an individual depends both upon the nature of the instinct and the intensity of conditioning against the instinct that he has experienced by accident, design, or choice. When one acts or responds according to instinct, there is no conscious consideration beforehand. Only after the fact does the consciousness become aware that an instinct has been triggered. Nonetheless, one can learn to inhibit instinctual commands until the consciousness has the opportunity to consider the propriety of conforming to it.

syn. involuntary drive, innate impulse, unconditioned response, automatic response, unconditioned motivation