Enjoy playing Pokemon Go and catching imaginary creatures? If so, you may simply be expressing your inner hunter, says new study.
Looks like millions of people around the world have an inner hunter. Catching Pokemon in Pokemon Go may simply be expressing your inner hunter. So says a new study from Vladimir Dinets, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, research assistant professor of psychology.
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inets used himself as a case study to demonstrate that at least some humans do have a hunting instinct -- or, more precisely, an innate interest in finding and catching prey.
"To prove such a theory, you don't need a large sample size; you need just one well-documented case," he said of the unconventional method.
The study was published recently in the open-access journal Humanimalia.
Hunting has played a major role in human history, helping humans survive and populate the world. But do we have an inherited hunting instinct, like dogs, cats and other predators?
"It is possible that we all have the hunting instinct, but it has never been proven," Dinets said.
Hunting and gathering are certainly very common in humans. The popularity of mobile farming games underline the human drive to collect stuff. Niantic's Pokemon Go, or Pokemon in general is not just about hunting, it is also about collecting. The game combines two of the root instincts of humans.
"The recent explosive popularity of the Pokemon Go game, which allows players to hunt for virtual animals across a real terrain, shows how addictive such proxies can be and how many people can enjoy hunting-like behavior despite being city dwellers completely isolated from natural environments," Dinets said. "The take-home message of the study is that we have predatory instincts and have to be aware of them. But this doesn't mean that we have to be real predators; instead, we can follow these instincts in more intelligent ways."
Dinets would like to further the research by conducting a study to see if identical twins are more similar in their hunting behavior than nonidentical twins.
"If this is the case, it would provide much stronger evidence that hunting instinct is innate," he said. "I'm looking for collaborators with experience in anthropological research." Read more Pokemon Go News.