by Douglas Moreman
A quick way to get the idea I wish to indicate by "instinct" is to imagine them as like the programmed, un-learned, capabilities of a robot. Then, we can go further ...
An instinct, B, can have its behavior, Behavior(B) and its releasing or guiding stimulus, represented in the number Conditions(B). A number, Urge(B), determines the priority of B relative to other behaviors the animal (or robot) might be doing. And there might be other instincts that facilitate or are facilitated by B. The expression of B in an individual can be shaped by factors, such as past experience, that are peculiar to that individual.
Urge(B) = Drive(B) * Conditions(B).Drive(B) would represent motivations such as a hunger-for-electricity and Conditions(B) would relate to everything else, such as stimuli, that the programmers have provided for. The behavior B having the highest value of Urge(B) would be performed next.
Konrad Lorenz has provided examples of inter-related instinctive drive mechanisms in animals.
Miscellaneous example of a set of possible instincts:
Some assume that human behavior is mostly devoid of instinct.