Recent research into the evolution of higher cognition has piqued an interest in the eﬀect of natural selection on the ability of creatures to respond to their environment (behavioral plasticity). It is believed that environmental variation is required for plasticity to evolve in cases where the ability to be plastic is costly. We investigate one form of environmental variation: frequency dependent selection. Using tools in game theory, we investigate a few models of plasticity and outline the cases where selection (...) would be expected to maintain it. Ultimately we conclude that frequency dependent selection is likely insuﬃcient to maintain plasticity given reasonable assumptions about its costs. This result is very similar to one aspect of the well-discussed Baldwin eﬀect, where plasticity is ﬁrst selected for and then later selected against. We show how in these models one would expect plasticity to grow in the population and then be later reduced. Ultimately we conclude that if one is to account for the evolution of behavioral plasticity in this way, one must appeal to a very particular sort of external environmental variation. (shrink)
The transfer of food among group members is a ubiquitous feature of small-scale forager and forager-agricultural populations. The uniqueness of pervasive sharing among humans, especially among unrelated individuals, has led researchers to evaluate numerous hypotheses about the adaptive functions and patterns of sharing in different ecologies. This article attempts to organize available cross-cultural evidence pertaining to several contentious evolutionary models: kin selection, reciprocal altruism, tolerated scrounging, and costly signaling. Debates about the relevance of these models focus primarily on the extent (...) to which individuals exert control over the distribution of foods they acquire, and the extent to which donors receive food or other fitness-enhancing benefits in return for shares given away. Each model can explain some of the variance in sharing patterns within groups, and so generalizations that ignore or deny the importance of any one model may be misleading. Careful multivariate analyses and cross-cultural comparisons of food transfer patterns are therefore necessary tools for assessing aspects of the sexual division of labor, human life history evolution, and the evolution of the family. This article also introduces a framework for better understanding variation in sharing behavior across small-scale traditional societies. I discuss the importance of resource ecology and the degree of coordination in acquisition activities as a key feature that influences sharing behavior. Key Words: behavioral ecology; cooperation; costly signaling; food sharing; foragers; reciprocal altruism. (shrink)
The various behavioral disciplines model human behavior in distinct and incompatible ways. Yet, recent theoretical and empirical developments have created the conditions for rendering coherent the areas of overlap of the various behavioral disciplines. The analytical tools deployed in this task incorporate core principles from several behavioral disciplines. The proposed framework recognizes evolutionary theory, covering both genetic and cultural evolution, as the integrating principle of behavioral science. Moreover, if decision theory and game theory are broadened to (...) encompass other-regarding preferences, they become capable of modeling all aspects of decision making, including those normally considered “psychological,” “sociological,” or “anthropological.” The mind as a decision-making organ then becomes the organizing principle of psychology. (Published Online April 27 2007) Key Words: behavioral game theory; behavioral science; evolutionary theory; experimental psychology; gene-culture coevolution; rational actor model; socialization. (shrink)
In the metaphor of behavioral momentum, the rate of a free operant in the presence of a discriminative stimulus is analogous to the velocity of a moving body, and resistance to change measures an aspect of behavior that is analogous to its inertial mass. An extension of the metaphor suggests that preference measures an analog to the gravitational mass of that body. The independent functions relating resistance to change and preference to the conditions of reinforcement may be construed as (...) convergent measures of a single construct, analogous to physical mass, that represents the effects of a history of exposure to the signaled conditions of reinforcement and that unifies the traditionally separate notions of the strength of learning and the value of incentives. Research guided by the momentum metaphor encompasses the effects of reinforcement on response rate, resistance to change, and preference and has implications for clinical interventions, drug addiction, and self-control. In addition, its principles can be seen as a modern, quantitative version of Thorndike's (1911) Law of Effect, providing a new perspective on some of the challenges to his postulation of strengthening by reinforcement. Key Words: behavioral momentum; clinical interventions; drug addiction; preference; reinforcement; resistance to change; response strength; self-control. (shrink)
In this study, we examine the philosophical bases of one of the leading clinical psychological methods of therapy for anxiety, anger, and depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We trace this method back to its philosophical roots in the Stoic, Buddhist, Taoist, and Existentialist philosophical traditions. We start by discussing the tenets of CBT, and then we expand on the philosophical traditions that ground this approach. Given that CBT has had a clinically measured positive effect on the psychological well-being of (...) individuals, it becomes important to study the philosophical foundations on which this therapy is based. (shrink)
The literatures on both authentic leadership and behavioral integrity have argued that leader integrity drives follower performance. Yet, despite overlap in conceptualization and mechanisms, no research has investigated how authentic leadership and behavioral integrity relate to one another in driving follower performance. In this study, we propose and test the notion that authentic leadership behavior is an antecedent to perceptions of leader behavioral integrity, which in turn affects follower affective organizational commitment and follower work role performance. Analysis (...) of a survey of 49 teams in the service industry supports the proposition that authentic leadership is related to follower affective organizational commitment, fully mediated through leader behavioral integrity. Next, we found that authentic leadership and leader behavioral integrity are related to follower work role performance, fully mediated through follower affective organizational commitment. These relationships hold when controlling for ethical organizational culture. (shrink)
Should people include beef in their diet? This chapter argues that the answer is “no” by reviewing what is known and not known about the presence in cattle of three psychological traits: pain, desire, and self-consciousness. On the basis of behavioral and neuroanatomical evidence, the chapter argues that cattle are sentient beings who have things they want to do in the proximal future, but they are not self-conscious. The piece rebuts three important objections: that cattle have injury information but (...) not pain; that cattle have goal-directed behavior but not desire; and that the absence of evidence for bovine self-consciousness should not be taken as evidence that cattle lack self-consciousness. In sum, what is known about cattle cognition shifts the moral burden of proof on to the beef eaters. (shrink)
Perceived behavioral integrity involves the employee’s perception of the alignment of the manager’s words and deeds. This meta-analysis examined the relationship between perceived behavioral integrity of managers and the employee attitudes of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, satisfaction with the leader and affect toward the organization. Results indicate a strong positive relationship overall (average r = 0.48, p<0.01). With only 12 studies included, exploration of moderators was limited, but preliminary analysis suggested that the gender of the employees and the (...) number of levels between the employee and the manager are potential moderators of the relationship. In the current sample of studies, country where the research was conducted did not seem to have any moderating effects. In addition to suggesting further investigation of potential moderators, we call for research that examines the relationship between behavioral integrity and outcomes that include individual behavior and organizational performance. (shrink)
Hypothesized relationships among reports by employees of moral distress, their perceptions of their manager’s behavioral integrity (BI), and employee reports of job satisfaction, stress, job engagement, turnover likelihood, absenteeism, work-to-family conflict, health, and life satisfaction were tested using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (n = 2,679). BI was positively related to job satisfaction, job engagement, health, and life satisfaction and negatively to stress, turnover likelihood, and work-to-family conflict, while moral distress was inversely related to (...) those outcomes. The magnitudes of relationships with job satisfaction, job engagement, and life satisfaction were greater with BI than with moral distress. Moral distress mediated the relationships between BI and the employee outcomes, supporting the view that employee’s perceptions of their manager’s BI might influence the employee’s behaviors as well as their attitudes. (shrink)
Behavioral integrity (BI) is the alignment pattern between an actor’s words and deeds as perceived by another person. Employees’ perception that their leader’s actions and words are consistent leads to desirable workplace outcomes. Although BI is a powerful concept, the role of leader referents, the relationship between perceived BI of different referents, and the process by which BI affects outcomes are unclear. Our purpose is to elaborate upon this process and clarify the role of different leader referents in determining (...) various outcomes. To understand the impact of referents, we explicitly compared the BIs of two leader referents: senior management and supervisor. In contrast to previous research findings where supervisory BI was found to have a stronger relationship with outcomes than senior management, we find that both referents are important. However, their impact varies based upon the outcome studied. Only senior management BI predicted organizational commitment, while senior management BI, supervisory BI and supervisory trust predicted organizational cynicism. Only trust in supervisor, and not supervisory BI, impacted organizational citizenship behaviors. When senior management is the referent, trust and not BI might play an important role for outcomes that require extensive employee investments, such as organizational commitment. In contrast, when the outcome measured does not require employee investments, BI might have a direct impact on the outcome. We also uncovered that trust in supervisor substantially influences the trust employees have in their senior management. (shrink)
This chapter examines two premises of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - that emotions are caused by beliefs and that those beliefs are represented in the mind as words or images. Being a philosophical examination, the chapter also seeks to demonstrate that these two premises essentially are philosophical premises. The chapter begins with a brief methodological suggestion of how to properly evaluate the theory of CBT. From there it works it way from examining the therapeutic practice of capturing the mental representations (...) that supposedly elicit emotional reactions to examining the assumption that emotions are caused by beliefs. The chapter ends by briefly pointing to some consequences of what has been said to the practice of CBT. (shrink)
Based on theory of planned behavior, we develop a theoretical model involving love of money (LOM), job satisfaction (attitude), coping strategies/responses (perceived behavioral control), work environment (subjective norm), and work-related behavioral intentions (behavioral intention). We tested this model using job satisfaction as a mediator and sector (public versus private), personal character (good apples versus bad apples), gender, and income as moderators in a sample of 515 employees and their managers in the Republic of Macedonia. For the whole (...) sample, both coping strategies and helpful work environment were related to high job satisfaction. The relationship between work environment and job satisfaction was the strongest link in all subsequent analyses. High LOM is associated with unfavorable work environment for employees in the private sectors and people with low income and is positively associated with coping strategies for bad apples. A favorable work environment was related to less corrupt intent for people in the public sectors, good apples, and with low income, but not for their counterparts. Coping strategies were related to high job satisfaction for males, but not for females. Our counterintuitive results showed that bad apples’ high LOM was related to low corrupt intent. Our theoretical model sheds new light and provides novel theoretical, empirical, and practical implications to Macedonian managers’ corrupt intent. (shrink)
Relationships between the behavioral integrity of managers as perceived by employees and employee attitudes (job satisfaction and life satisfaction), well-being (stress and health), and behaviors (absenteeism) were tested using data from the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce (n = 2,820). Using multivariate and univariate analysis, perceived behavioral integrity (PBI) was positively related to job and life satisfaction and negatively related to stress, poor health, and absenteeism. The effect size for the relationship with job satisfaction was medium-to-large (...) while the effect sizes with respect to the other variables were small-to-medium. There was no support for the hypotheses that women would perceive lower levels of behavioral integrity and that the strength of the relationships between PBI and the outcomes variables would be stronger among women than among men. (shrink)
The main purpose of this article is to elucidate the bright connotation of the self-conscious emotion of pride, namely authentic pride, in the broader context of behavioral governance literature. Scholars in the field of psychology suggest that authentic and hubristic pride represent two facets of the same emotional construct. Yet, our review indicates that in the extant governance research pride has been treated as an exclusively dark leadership trait or self-attribution bias, thereby placing hubris among the main causes of (...) managerial failure. After conceptually differentiating the two aspects of pride, we identify and discuss the myriad of positive governance implications stemming from firm members' tendency toward authentic pride. We argue that the examination of both positive and negative facets of pride constitutes a critical complement to the existing governance landscape largely dominated by economic theories and formal mechanisms of control. This article allows practitioners to better understand the emotional processes involved in governance that are needed to predict the workplace effectiveness of employees, identify individuals prone to experience authentic pride in the early stages of the recruitment process, and design specific interventions for acting upon and putting emotional energy into productive use. (shrink)
Recent work in behavioral economics and psychology provides valuable resources for religious ethicists. This book discussion examines contributions by Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman, George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton, Uri Gneezy and John A. List, and Douglas Hough. This literature raises important questions about ethical decision-making, moral agency and responsibility, and the ethics of life in global capitalism. It also opens up promising areas for interdisciplinary dialogue between economics and religious studies. This book discussion concludes that religious ethicists have much (...) to contribute to the conversations about moral anthropology that are now being held in behavioral economic research, and to the broader political economic debates in which this research participates. (shrink)
We examined cynicism as a mediator of the influence of managers’ mission-congruent communication and behavior about ethical standards (a form of supervisory behavioral integrity) on employee attitudes and intended behavior. Results indicated that cynicism partially mediates the relationship between supervisory behavioral integrity and organizational commitment, but not the relationship between supervisory behavioral integrity and intent to comply with organizational expectations for employee conduct.
Using data collected from 280 full-time employees from a variety of organizations, this study examined the effects of employee perceptions of the behavioral integrity (BI) of their supervisors on job tension. The moderating effect of procedural justice (PJ) on this relationship also was examined. Substitutes for leadership theory (Kerr and Jermier, 1978) and psychological contract theory (Rousseau, Empl Responsib Rights J 2:121–139, 1989) were used as the theoretical foundations for the hypothesized relationships. Results indicated a negative relationship between BI (...) and job tension. PJ moderated this relationship such that it was weakened under conditions of high PJ. Implications for research and managers are discussed. (shrink)
Is behavioral integration a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from over 5,000 people across 26 samples, spanning 22 countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross-cultural robustness of our findings, we argue that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first taken into account, and when an agent sincerely asserts that p, nonlinguistic behavioral evidence is disregarded. In light of (...) this, we take ourselves to have discovered a universal principle governing the ascription of beliefs in folk psychology. (shrink)
Two hundred forty-four male undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory psychology class completed surveys assessing animal abuse tendencies, bullying behaviors, and victimization by bullying during their K-12 school experience. Participants also completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which evaluated their behavioral difficulties. Results revealed a significant relationship between animal abuse and bullying and victimization experiences. Moreover, animal abusers, bullies, and victims of bullying displayed significantly more behavioral problems when compared to nonabusers, nonbullies, and nonvictims. Multivariate analysis revealed a (...) complex pattern of main effects for animal abuse, bullying, and victimization on the SDQ subscales. In addition, a three-way interaction between animal abuse, bullying, and victimization was identified for the SDQ Conduct Problems subscale. These results can be utilized to help identify areas of psychological functioning that may be of concern for this population. (shrink)
In their article “The Concept of Voluntary Consent,” Robert Nelson and colleagues (2011) argue for two necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for voluntary action: intentionality, and substantial freedom from controlling influences. They propose an instrument to empirically measure voluntariness, the Decision Making Control Instrument. I argue that (1) their conceptual analysis of intentionality and controlling influences needs expansion in light of the growing use of behavioral economics principles to change individual and public health behaviors (growing in part by the (...) designation of “The Science of Behavior Change” as a new National Institutes of Health [NIH] Roadmap Activity); and (2) that their measure of voluntariness that relies on self-perceived intentionality and extent of control is unreliable, given findings from behavioral economics and cognitive science that show that our perceptions about the intentionality and control of our own and others’ decisions and actions are remarkably skewed and un-insightful. (shrink)
The prevailing concept in modern cognitive neuroscience is that cognitive functions are performed predominantly at the network level, whereas the role of individual neurons is unlikely to extend beyond forming the simple basic elements of these networks. Within this conceptual framework, individuals of outstanding cognitive abilities appear as a result of a favorable configuration of the microarchitecture of the cognitive-implicated networks, whose final formation in ontogenesis may occur in a relatively random way. Here I suggest an alternative concept, which is (...) based on neurological data and on data from human behavioral genetics. I hypothesize that cognitive functions are performed mainly at the intracellular, probably at the molecular level. Central to this hypothesis is the idea that the neurons forming the networks involved in cognitive processes are complex elements whose functions are not limited to generating electrical potentials and releasing neurotransmitters. According to this hypothesis, individuals of outstanding abilities are so due to a lucky combination of specific genes that determine the intrinsic properties of neurons involved in cognitive functions of the brain. (shrink)
Stakeholder theorists distinguish between normative stakeholders, those who gain moral standing by making contributions to the firm, and derivative stakeholders, those who can constrain the corporate association even though they make no contribution. The board of directors has the legal authority to distinguish among these stakeholder groups and to distribute rights and obligations among these stakeholder groups. To be sure, this stakeholder formulation appropriately seizes on the firm’s voluntary, associative character. Yet, the firm’s constituents contribute assets and incur risks to (...) participate in market, economic activities. And, as such, the firm’s “stakeholders” must share an imperfect language to assist in making two key economic decisions: (1) who are the legitimate and who are the derivative stakeholders; and (2) who should sit on the board? Still, stakeholder theorists have good reason to be skeptical of neoclassical economics. Its assumptions that all act opportunistically and that all can calculate rationally and fully hardly correspond to studies on the managerial experience of corporate coordination. However, advances in behavioral law and economics now provide a cogent economic logic that readily fits into a stakeholder mode. In brief, we argue that (1) the firm’s economic purpose designates legitimacy to core stakeholders, to those who add value, assume unique risk, and can incur harm; (2) the board serves as the principal who coordinates these core stakeholders to sustain competitive advantage and new wealth creation; and (3) state incorporation law, Delaware in particular, reinforces the board’s function. These, in turn, supply selection criteria for board membership. We aim to synchronize concepts from behavioral law and economics with stakeholder theory. (shrink)
In this article, we show that behavioral features can be obtained at a group level even if they do not appear at the individual level. Starting from a standard model of Pareto optimal allocations, with expected utility maximizers but allowing for heterogeneity among individual beliefs, we show in particular that the representative agent has an inverse S-shaped probability distortion function as in Cumulative prospect theory.
Governments and non-govermental organizations (NGOs) that plan projects to conserve the environment and alleviate poverty often attempt to modify rural livelihoods by halting activities they judge to be destructive or inefficient and encouraging alternatives. Project planners typically do so without understanding how rural people themselves judge the value of their activities. When the alternatives planners recommend do not replace the value of banned activities, alternatives are unlikely to be adopted, and local people will refuse to participate. Human behavioral ecology (...) and behavioral economics may provide useful tools for generating and evaluating hypotheses for how people value economic activities in their portfolios and potential alternatives. This is demonstrated with a case example from southwestern Madagascar, where plans to create a Mikea Forest National Park began with the elimination of slash-and-burn maize agriculture and the encouragement to plant labor-intensive manioc instead. Future park plans could restrict access to wild tuber patches, hunting small game, and fishing. The value of these activities is considered using observational data informed by optimal foraging theory, and experimental data describing people’s time preference and covariation perception. Analyses suggest that manioc is not a suitable replacement for maize for many Mikea because the two crops differ in terms of labor requirements, delay-to-reward, and covariation with rainfall. Park planners should promote wild tuber foraging and stewardship of tuber patches and the anthropogenic landscapes in which they are found. To conserve small game, planners must provide alternative sources of protein and cash. Little effort should be spent protecting lemurs, as they are rarely eaten and never sold. (shrink)
Previous scholars seem to assume that Mengzi’s 孟子 four sprouts are more or less homogeneous in nature, and the four sprouts are often viewed as some sort of desires for or instinctive inclinations toward virtues or virtuous acts. For example, Angus Graham interprets sìduān 四端 as “incipient moral impulses” to do what is morally good or right, or “spontaneous inclinations” toward virtues or moral good. However, this view is incompatible with the recently proposed more sound views that regard Mengzi’s four (...) sprouts as a particular type of emotions or feelings having some “cognitive” or “rational” aspects. In this essay I develop this new approach to Mengzi’s four sprouts, and specifically argue that respect in Mengzi should be considered neither as a moral desire nor as a behavioral tendency to do deferential acts but as some sort of ethical sensibility that is responsive to the relevant features of a worthy person. (shrink)
Behavioral geneticists sometimes use metaphorsto describe the role of genes in humanbehavior. In this paper, five sample texts areanalyzed: a popular book, a textbook, ascientific review article, and two originalscientific articles representing differentapproaches in behavioral genetics. Metaphorsare found in all the different kinds of sampletexts, not only in the popular book and thetextbook. This suggests that metaphors are usednot only for rhetorical or pedagogical purposesbut play a more fundamental role in scientificunderstanding. In the sample texts, themetaphors tend to (...) be antideterministic, i.e.,they do not imply genetic determinism butstress the interaction of multiple genes andmultiple environmental factors. No conclusioncan be drawn, however, as to whetherantideterminism is representative ofpresent-day behavioral geneticists in general.Certain historically important metaphors thatmay imply genetic determinism are qualified,avoided, or explicitly rejected. There aretensions between some of the metaphors, makingthem difficult to combine. All the metaphorsthat are used appear empirically apt, howeversometimes only with certain qualifications. (shrink)
Causal inference plays a central role in behavioral science. Historically, behavioral science methodologies have typically sought to infer a single causal relation. Each of the major approaches to causal inference in the behavioral sciences follows this pattern. Nonetheless, such approaches sometimes differ in the causal relation that they infer. Incremental causal inference offers an alternative to this conceptualization of causal inference that divides the inference into a series of incremental steps. Different steps infer different causal relations. Incremental (...) causal inference is consistent with both causal pluralism and anti-pluralism. However, anti-pluralism places greater constraints the possible topology of sequential inferences. Arguments against causal inference include questioning consistency with causation as an explanatory principle, charging undue complexity, and questioning the need for it. Arguments in favor of incremental inference include better explanation of diverse causal inferences in behavioral science, tailored causal inference, and more detailed and explicit description of causal inference. Incremental causal inference offers a viable and potentially fruitful alternative to approaches limited to a single causal relation. (shrink)
Human behavioral ecology (HBE) began as an attempt to explain human economic, reproductive, and social behavior using neodarwinian theory in concert with theory from ecology and economics, and ethnographic methods. HBE has addressed subsistence decision-making, cooperation, life history trade-offs, parental investment, mate choice, and marriage strategies among hunter-gatherers, herders, peasants, and wage earners in rural and urban settings throughout the world. Despite our rich insights into human behavior, HBE has very rarely been used as a tool to help the (...) people with whom we work. This article introduces a special issue of Human Nature which explores the application of HBE to significant world issues through the design and critique of public policy and international development projects. The articles by Tucker, Shenk, Leonetti et al., and Neil were presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Washington, D.C., in December 2005, in the first organized session of the nascent Evolutionary Anthropology Section (EAS). We conclude this introduction by summarizing some theoretical challenges to applying HBE, and ways in which evolutionary anthropologists can contribute to solving tough world issues. (shrink)
Concepts and experimental results taken frombehavioral pharmacology, functional brain imaging,brain physiology, and behavioral neuroscience, wereused to develop the hypothesis that behavioraltolerance can, in part, be attributed to cellulartolerance. It is argued that task specific activationof circumscribed neuronal populations gives rise tocorresponding increases in regional cerebral bloodflow such that neurons related to task performance areexposed to higher effective doses of blood-borne drugthan neuronal groups not highly activated by thebehavioral task. Through this cerebral hemodynamicregulatory mechanism cellular tolerance phenomena canat least partially (...) account for behavioral tolerance(i.e., tolerance conferred through drugged practice). (shrink)
Our claim in this paper is that a theory of “pretense” (in all its crucial uses in human society and cognition) can be built only if it is grounded on the general theory of “behavioral implicit communication” (BIC), which is not to be confused with non-verbal communication (with distinct notions being frequently conflated, such as “signs” vs. “messages”, or goal as “intention” vs. goal as “function”). Pretense presupposes some BIC-based human interaction, where a normal, practical behavior is used for (...) signifying something, based on a sign that is not a conventional one. In light of BIC interaction theory, one can exploit this sign or message in a deceptive way in order to induce the other to believe that he/she is performing a given behavior or has a given mental state. -/- . (shrink)
There is growing interest in whether and how sunk-cost effects for purely behavioral investments occur. In this article, we further discuss Cunha and Caldieraro’s (2009) Behavioral Investment Sunk Cost (BISC) model and reconcile Otto’s (2010) results with the BISC model predictions. We also report new data from two unpublished experiments that are consistent with the BISC model, and we discuss the conditions under which purely behavioral sunk-cost effects are likely to be observed.
Research from the social and behavioral sciences shows that the drivers and impacts of climate change, as well as society’s responsiveness to it, are all profoundly governed by social and behavioral dynamics. Nevertheless, scientometric and research funding data from the United States and the European Union suggest that the social and behavioral sciences are noticeably underrepresented in mainstream climate research. We argue that a better understanding of social and behavioral dynamics, especially those that temper society’s response (...) to the scientific evidence, is fundamental for climate policies to be successfully adopted. (shrink)
Ideas about heredity and evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. New findings in molecular biology challenge the gene-centered version of Darwinian theory according to which adaptation occurs only through natural selection of chance DNA variations. In Evolution in Four Dimensions, Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb argue that there is more to heredity than genes. They trace four "dimensions" in evolution -- four inheritance systems that play a role in evolution: genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, and symbolic. These systems, they argue, can (...) all provide variations on which natural selection can act. Evolution in Four Dimensions offers a richer, more complex view of evolution than the gene-based, one-dimensional view held by many today. The new synthesis advanced by Jablonka and Lamb makes clear that induced and acquired changes also play a role in evolution.After discussing each of the four inheritance systems in detail, Jablonka and Lamb "put Humpty Dumpty together again" by showing how all of these systems interact. They consider how each may have originated and guided evolutionary history and they discuss the social and philosophical implications of the four-dimensional view of evolution. Each chapter ends with a dialogue in which the authors engage the contrarieties of the fictional "I.M.," or Ifcha Mistabra -- Aramaic for "the opposite conjecture" -- refining their arguments against I.M.'s vigorous counterarguments. The lucid and accessible text is accompanied by artist-physician Anna Zeligowski's lively drawings, which humorously and effectively illustrate the authors' points. (shrink)
Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments from around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the university students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public goods, and dictator games in a range of (...) small-scale societies exhibiting a wide variety of economic and cultural conditions. We found, first, that the canonical model – based on self-interest – fails in all of the societies studied. Second, our data reveal substantially more behavioral variability across social groups than has been found in previous research. Third, group-level differences in economic organization and the structure of social interactions explain a substantial portion of the behavioral variation across societies: the higher the degree of market integration and the higher the payoffs to cooperation in everyday life, the greater the level of prosociality expressed in experimental games. Fourth, the available individual-level economic and demographic variables do not consistently explain game behavior, either within or across groups. Fifth, in many cases experimental play appears to reflect the common interactional patterns of everyday life. Key Words: altruism; cooperation; cross-cultural research; experimental economics; game theory; ultimatum game; public goods game; self-interest. (shrink)
In our response to the 28 (largely positive) commentaries from an esteemed collection of researchers, we (1) consolidate additional evidence, extensions, and amplifications offered by our commentators; (2) emphasize the value of integrating experimental and ethnographic methods, and show how researchers using behavioral games have done precisely this; (3) present our concerns with arguments from several commentators that separate variable from or ; (4) address concerns that the patterns we highlight marking WEIRD people as psychological outliers arise from aspects (...) of the researchers and the research process; (5) respond to the claim that as members of the same species, humans must have the same invariant psychological processes; (6) address criticisms of our telescoping contrasts; and (7) return to the question of explaining why WEIRD people are psychologically unusual. We believe a broad-based behavioral science of human nature needs to integrate a variety of methods and apply them to diverse populations, well beyond the WEIRD samples it has largely relied upon. (shrink)
This article reports on the third phase of a comparative epistemological, ontological, and social analysis of a variety of approaches to investigating human behavior. In focusing on the fate of scientific ideas once they leave the context in which they were developed, I hope not only to show that their communication for a broader audience imposes a shape on their interrelations different than they seem to have in the research context, but also to suggest that a study comparing different approaches (...) to the same phenomenon is more illuminating than one that focuses on a single approach. (shrink)
A wave of recent work in metaphysics seeks to undermine the anti-reductionist, functionalist consensus of the past few decades in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. That consensus apparently legitimated a focus on what systems do, without necessarily and always requiring attention to the details of how systems are constituted. The new metaphysical challenge contends that many states and processes referred to by functionalist cognitive scientists are epiphenomenal. It further contends that the problem lies in functionalism itself, and that, to (...) save the causal significance of mind, it is necessary to re-embrace reductionism. We argue that the prescribed return to reductionism would be disastrous for the cognitive and behavioral sciences, requiring the dismantling of most existing achievements and placing intolerable restrictions on further work. However, this argument fails to answer the metaphysical challenge on its own terms. We meet that challenge by going on to argue that the new metaphysical skepticism about functionalist cognitive science depends on reifying two distinct notions of causality (one primarily scientific, the other metaphysical), then equivocating between them. When the different notions of causality are properly distinguished, it is clear that functionalism is in no serious philosophical trouble, and that we need not choose between reducing minds or finding them causally impotent. The metaphysical challenge to functionalism relies, in particular, on a naïve and inaccurate conception of the practice of physics, and the relationship between physics and metaphysics. Key Words: explanation; functionalism; mental causation; metaphysics; reductionism. (shrink)
For two decades, the integrated causal model of evolutionary psychology (EP) has constituted an interdisciplinary nucleus around which a single unified theoretical and empirical behavioral science has been crystallizing – while progressively resolving problems (such as defective logical and statistical reasoning) that bedevil Gintis's beliefs, preferences, and constraints (BPC) framework. Although both frameworks are similar, EP is empirically better supported, theoretically richer, and offers deeper unification. (Published Online April 27 2007).
In our target article, we discussed the standards of evidence that could be used to identify adaptations, and argued that building an empirical case that certain features of a trait are best explained by exaptation, spandrel, or constraint requires the consideration, testing, and rejection of adaptationist hypotheses. We are grateful to the 31 commentators for their thoughtful insights. They raised important issues, including the meaning of “exaptation”; whether Gould and Lewontin's critique of adaptationism was primarily epistemological or ontological; the necessity, (...) sufficiency, or utility of design evidence, phylogenetic analyses, homology, and molecular genetics in distinguishing exaptations from adaptations; whether adaptationists accept adaptationist hypotheses too quickly; and the real utility of adaptationism to human behavioral science. We organize our response along the major points of the target article, in some situations defending our original claims and in others modifying them. While debate on these issues will undoubtedly continue, we are cautiously optimistic that the main points of the target article (as modified by our response) will help move the debate in a positive direction. (shrink)
According to Jones & Love (J&L), Bayesian theories are too often isolated from other theories and behavioral processes. Here, we highlight examples of two types of isolation from the field of word learning. Specifically, Bayesian theories ignore emergence, critical to development theory, and have not probed the behavioral details of several key phenomena, such as the effect.
My response to commentators includes a suggestion that an additional principle be added to the list presented in the target article: the notion of human society as a complex adaptive system with emergent properties. In addition, I clear up several misunderstandings shared by several commentators, and explore some themes concerning future directions in the unification of the behavioral science. (Published Online April 27 2007).