evolutionary psychology

evolutionary psychology


Altruism in Action: Helping Others is a Virtue

altruism February 19th, 2019

Altruism is one of the most intriguing virtues. I have always found it to be “upon high,” very worthy, truly excellent. It has been called “selfishness in reverse,” and is basically when a person is helpful to another when “no benefits are expected or offered in return.” It sometimes involves self-sacrifice (for example, if you give money to someone, you don’t have that money any longer, or if you run into a burning building, you may be injured). It’s human beings helping human beings, and choosing to allocate valuable resources in such a way that one does not expect to keep a lion’s share of it. Is it real? How does is mesh with capitalism and the “rugged individualism” that the wealthy and powerful have fomented in this country since the very beginning? Is love really the answer?

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Explaining Human Behavior: Genes, Environment, Choice, Luck

explaining human behavior September 2nd, 2017

We have all seen children who are different from one or both of their parents. We know people who are happy and buoyant; others tend to be depressed, shy, or anxious. Some persons go on to do very well in life and in career while others end up as suicides, in jail, or marginal at best. Why human beings do what they do is a fascinating phenomenon that people speculate about all the time. Even something as apparently clear and simple as height is in fact, complex. When it comes to explaining human behavior, we would do well to look to psychology – originally “the study of the soul” to discover explanations that are based in science. The results are interesting indeed. Read on for a summary of what behavior genetics can elucidate about you, me, and all the rest. 

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Our Constitution and Development

April 9th, 2017

How much of a person’s development is accounted for by genes, and how much by environment? Is there much room for us to improve ourselves as individuals by our will and our decisions? In other words, how can we consciously develop to our potential? How can we live a meaningful life of values and ethics?

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