Moreover, "the well-being of the individual and the preservation of the race" is only a usual characteristic, not a universal one, of the sort of movements that, from our point of view, are to be called instinctive; instances of harmful instincts will be given shortly.
To take extreme cases, every animal at birth can take food by instinct, before it has had opportunity to learn; on the other hand, no one can ride a bicycle by instinct, though, after learning, the necessary movements become just as automatic as if they were instinctive.
Next day you repeat the experiment, and you find that the cat gets out much more quickly than the first time, although it still makes some random movements. The third day it gets out still more quickly, and before long it goes straight to the latch and lifts it at once.
262-3) has an ingenious theory as to the way in which habit arises out of random movements. I think there is a reason why his theory cannot be regarded as alone sufficient, but it seems not unlikely that it is partly correct.
The animals in cages, which gradually learn to get out, perform random movements at first, which are purely instinctive.
Peckham have shown that the sting of the wasp is NOT UNERRING, as Fabre alleges, that the number of stings is NOT CONSTANT, that sometimes the caterpillar is NOT PARALYZED, and sometimes it is KILLED OUTRIGHT, and that THE DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT APPARENTLY MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE TO THE LARVA, which is not injured by slight movements of the caterpillar, nor by consuming food decomposed rather than fresh caterpillar."
(4) That instinct supplies the impulses to experimental movements which are required for the process of learning;
There is one movement, among those that James mentions at first, which is not subsequently classified, namely, the stumbling.
We may say that an "instinctive" movement is a vital movement performed by an animal the first time that it finds itself in a novel situation; or, more correctly, one which it would perform if the situation were novel.* The instincts of an animal are different at different periods of its growth, and this fact may cause changes of behaviour which are not due to learning.
On the other hand, a movement is "learnt," or embodies a "habit," if it is due to previous experience of similar situations, and is not what it would be if the animal had had no such experience.
The result is that the caterpillar is paralyzed, but not immediately killed, the advantage of this being that the larva cannot be injured by any movement of the caterpillar, upon which the egg is deposited, and is provided with fresh meat when the time comes.