Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

My entry on the evolution of play will be added to the massive Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Posted 24 Jul 2018 / 0

I have been in a bit of a publication lull for the last few years. It isn’t that I haven’t been engaged in a variety of scholarly activities, it is just that it has been awhile since any of them have reached the publication phase. I am hoping that things will begin to pick up Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Communication, Cooperation, Emotion, Empathy, Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, MSCI-261, The Evolution of Play, My publications, Periodicals, Play, Psychological Adaptation

Gregory Tague to speak about Art & Adaptation at Pratt Institute

Posted 12 Apr 2017 / 0

Why do people make art? Given that human art-making emerged tens of thousands of years ago and is such an integral part of most human societies, why we make art is an important question. Philosophers have been trying to answer this question for a long time. More recently, scientists have begun to explore explanations for human Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Archaeology, Art & Design, Communication, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Department of Mathematics & Science, Emotion, Empathy, Evolutionary Psychology, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Human Uniqueness, Memetic Fitness, Multilevel Selection, Play, Pratt Institute, Psychological Adaptation, Social Networks

Arming the Donkeys on kids, parenting, and Burning Man

Posted 12 Sep 2016 / 0

Whenever I have a really mind-numbing task that I need to do, I turn to podcasts to save me from the tedium. One of my favorite respites is Dan Ariely‘s Arming the Donkeys podcast. Today I checked out a couple of great episodes for the parents out there. Just released a few days ago is an Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Development, Empathy, Game Theory, Human Evolution, Play, Public Outreach, Radio & Podcasts, Reputation, Social Norms

America Society of Primatologists condemns H. A. and Margret Rey, calls for Curious George boycott

Posted 01 Apr 2016 / 0

Curious George and his cooperative partner The Man in the Yellow Hat are widely loved by naive children In a scathing press release disseminated today, the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) condemned the work of the children’s author/artist duo Margret and H.A. Rey on their famous Curious George series. At issue are the frequent allusions to George Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Behavior, Cooperation, Empathy, Evolution, Fluidity of Knowledge, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Phylogenetics, Primates, Primatology, Professional Societies, Reciprocity

Primates — but not their rodent relatives — can infer the effects of other individuals on resource availability

Posted 23 Nov 2015 / 0

Image courtesy of Frans de Waal via Wikimedia Commons Journal of Comparative Psychology “Inference in a social context: A comparative study of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri), hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), and rats (Rattus norvegicus)” This is not a surprising finding, but it reinforces the fact that the ability to understand the effects Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Empathy, Primates

Religious children are less altruistic… or maybe not…

Posted 16 Nov 2015 / 0

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons A recent study published in Current Biology claims to have demonstrated that children raised in religious households are less altruistic and more vindictive than their peers raised in non-religious households. Using two different tests — a Dictator Game conducted with stickers and a task that measured reactions to watching interpersonal Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Cultural Evolution, Emotion, Empathy, Ethics, Group Selection, Human Nature, Multilevel Selection, Psychological Adaptation, Punishment, Religion, Reputation, Social Norms

Maybe infants don’t really care who helps and who hinders after all…

Posted 16 Nov 2015 / 0

PLoS ONE “Probing the Strength of Infants’ Preference for Helpers over Hinderers: Two Replication Attempts of Hamlin and Wynn (2011)” Great example of how studies need to be replicated! I am wondering if funding agencies should reserve particular lines for replication studies. Does this kind of funding opportunity exist?

A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Behavior, Cooperation, Development, Empathy, MSCI-463, The Evolution of Cooperation

A chance to learn how an understanding of empathy can inform design

Posted 10 Sep 2015 / 0

Pratt Brooklyn Evenings Timothy Gelling Talk I am always pitching to my students that their work needs to be “empathetic”, to be designed by anticipating the desires and needs of one’s user. This seems like a great talk on the topic!

A Minor Post, Art & Design, Empathy, Pratt Institute

Review of What We Made by Tom Finkelpearl

Posted 13 Aug 2014 / 0

I study cooperation. I can say this honestly only with some caveats. I am very interested in what allows cooperation to evolve in biological systems, as cooperation seems to defy the Darwinian imperative to serve the needs of self-replication and yet is unexpectedly prevalent in nature. In particular I am interested in human cooperation, which Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Art & Design, Books, Collaborative Art, Communication, Cooperation, Emotion, Empathy, Environmental Justice, Play, Public Art, Social Diversity, Social Networks

When Facebook performs a manipulative experiment on its users, the results are interesting, the methods disturbing

Posted 03 Aug 2014 / 0

Did you know that Facebook performs scientific research? If I told you that Facebook is constantly analyzing the activity of its users, that would probably not surprise you. But does Facebook go the next step by performing manipulative experiments on its users? A recent publication in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA Read More

A Major Post, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Communication, Consciousness, Emotion, Empathy, Ethics, Experiments (General), Happiness, Law, Methods, Psychological Adaptation, Sociology, Web