Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Dan Ariely’s “Arming the Donkeys” podcast

Posted 15 Feb 2016 / 0

Today I have had to work on a really tedious, mindless task for hours on end, so I have tried to take advantage of this time by catching up on some podcasts. I am a big fan of Dan Ariely, both of his science and his efforts to make that science accessible to the public, Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Behavior, Cognitive Bias, Communication, Ethics, Human Uniqueness, Partner Choice, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Public Outreach, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Social Norms

Clever study shows how cooperative bacteria sanction — and therefore exclude — cheaters

Posted 08 Jan 2016 / 0

ScienceDaily “Cooperating bacteria isolate cheaters” This kind of study is where the field exploring how cooperation evolves should be headed: model predictions are verified by actual microbial microcosms, but the interactions of those microcosms are manipulated by genetically-engineering variation in behavior (what this article calls “synthetic ecology”). This approach helps overcome a common problem faced Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Competition, Cooperation, Methods, Microbial Ecology, Partner Choice, Reciprocity, Web

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

Asymmetrical interaction best explained by superrational rather than rational strategy

Posted 08 Sep 2015 / 0

This View of Life “How Fairness Depends On Your Social Status” I found this study — which I am discovering a bit late — to be really interesting in light of a paper I published with co-authors earlier this year. It seems that when interactions are asymmetric, players in a “dominant” position tend to be Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Cooperation, Game Theory, Multilevel Selection, Reputation, Social Capital, Social Norms, Web

Have we outgrown the scale of cooperation supported by the Big Gods of Big Religion?

Posted 08 Sep 2015 / 0

Cliodynamica “From Big Gods to the Big Brother” There are a bunch of really interesting ideas in this post, particularly related to the challenges associated with scaling up cooperation. As Turchin nicely points out, once you get past the tribal scale reputation alone — even fueled by the power of gossip — is not going Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Behavior, Belief, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Group Selection, History, Human Uniqueness, Multilevel Selection, Punishment, Religion, Reputation, Social Norms, Web

Should altruism have an effect on your final exam score?

Posted 17 Aug 2015 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “This ‘Extra Credit’ Question Does No Credit to Fairness” This seems like kind of a dumb stunt on the part of the psychology professor who posed it. I never really respected my professors who did not take very seriously the idea that students are pretty amped up by the experience Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Assessment Methods, Ethics, Game Theory, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-463, The Evolution of Cooperation

How stupid professorial attitudes towards Wikipedia are making students less savvy

Posted 03 Mar 2015 / 1

Recently I have come to realize that (too) many professors have a profound disdain for Wikipedia. Although I sometimes encounter this disdain directly, most of the time I see contempt for Wikipedia reflected through my students. These stupid professorial attitudes about Wikipedia tend to cast a pretty unflattering reflection off of their students. It is Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Information Literacy, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Norms, Teaching

E&E in A&D: The Armstrong Lie

Posted 18 Jan 2015 / 0

I just finished watching the 2013 documentary The Armstrong Lie. I do not get much time to watch movies — and my favorite genre of movie, documentaries — very much these days, but I used to be a big fan of pro cycling in the Armstrong era, so I knew that I had to check Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Behavior, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Film & Video, Game Theory, Group Selection, Play, Punishment, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Norms

Our paper on a super-rational solution to the tragedy of the commons published in Scientific Reports

Posted 14 Jan 2015 / 0

I am very pleased to announce that a paper that I worked on with collaborators Jun-Zhou He, Rui-Wu Wang, and Yao-Tang Li has been published in the open-access journal Scientific Reports. The paper, entitled “Asymmetric interaction paired with a super-rational strategy might resolve the tragedy of the commons without requiring recognition or negotiation“, considers how Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Coevolution, Cooperation, Game Theory, Multilevel Selection, My publications, Phenotypic Plasticity