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Selfishness Is Learned - Issue 37: Currents - Nautilus

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Selfishness Is Learned - Issue 37: Currents - Nautilus
Many people cheat on taxes-no mystery there. But many people don't, even if they wouldn't be caught-now, that's weird. Or is it? Psychologists are deeply perplexed by human moral behavior, because it often doesn't seem to make any logical sense. You might think that we should just be grateful for it.

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Creating quantitative models

Creating quantitative models

Most of the psychological theories are verbal, but words can be imprecise. If "cooperation is intuitive", it needs to state when. And what does "intuitive" mean?

In order to solve this, compu...

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The Sims computer simulation

These models represent collections of individual people described by computer algorithms that capture a specific set of traits, such as a tendency to cooperate or not.

  • You can ...

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The human instinct to cooperate

There seems to be evolutionary logic to the human ability to cooperate but adjust if necessary. To trust, but verify. 

We generally collaborate with other people because it benefits u...

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Getting people to cooperate more

Our intuitions are not fixed at birth. We develop social rules of thumb for interpersonal behavior based on the interactions we have. 

Change those interactions, and you change be...

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Encouraging cooperation

In many situations, people are rewarded for backstabbing and ladder climbing.

In order to encourage cooperation where cooperation isn't the norm, companies might offer bonuses and recognition...

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Understanding morality

Psychologists do not understand human moral behavior, because it seldom makes any logical sense.

Using moral philosophy and psychology, biology, economics, mathematics, and computer science, ...

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Our default mode

Through a series of experiments, it was discovered that despite the temptation to be selfish, most people show selflessness.

This is particularly true when subjects were forced to make...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Bruce Lee

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”

Bruce Lee

Making mistakes

Mistakes are opportunities for learning and for creating something truly new.

And the trick for making good mistakes is not trying to hide them. Be honest with yourself and really know your own mistakes, so that you learn from them and that you'll never repeat them.

Reductio ad absurdum

It's a mode of argumentation or a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd conclusion. 

Take an assertion and see if you can inquire about any contradictions out of it. If you can, that proposition has to be discarded.

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The rational manner

When faced with a difficult dilemma, we should carefully assess our options and spend a few moments consciously deliberating the information. Then, we should choose the best fit for our preferences...

The emotional system

It's only in the last few years that researchers have demonstrated that the emotional system might excel at complex decisions, or those involving lots of variables.

This would suggest that the unconscious is better suited for difficult cognitive tasks than the conscious brain, that the very thought process we've long disregarded as irrational and impulsive might actually be "smarter" than reasoned deliberation.

How emotional decision-making works

Thinking in a rational manner is more effective when there are limited pieces of information.  However, those focused on feelings prove far better in complex conditions

The advantages of emotional decision-making could be undone by a subsequent bout of deliberation, which suggests that we shouldn't doubt a particularly strong instinct, at least when considering lots of information.

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Deduction and Mindfulness Go Together

Sherlock Holmes observed facts without being judgmental. He would construct a hypothesis about what he believed happened. He would then search for more evidence to logically validate his ini...

All Stories Are Possible — Until They Are Not

Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot encourages everybody to tell their story.  Stories help Poirot comprehend what kind of person the victim was. And to uncover the murderer’ motive.

Storytelling is powerful to uncover insights, not just the truth. Design Thinking — a process for creative problem solving — leverages the power of stories to detect human desires and needs.

Be Relentless

Sarah Linden is the least self-aware television detective.

Her dedication to her work and stubbornness are unbeatable. She never gives up. Even though she fails in many aspects of her life — like being a mother. But, she keeps showing up and trying to do better. She tries again, fails again, and fails better.

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