Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

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‘sĀ 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

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

That beard and deep voice may be to put him in his place, not attract her

Posted 09 Nov 2015 / 0

There have been a lot of evolutionary psychology experiments that have tried to define both female and male attractiveness to the opposite sex, an indirect way to get at the nature of sexual selection in humans. A new study published in Behavioral Ecology reminds us that sexual selection is not the only process that has Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Communication, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Uniqueness, MSCI-362, The Evolution of Sex, Psychological Adaptation, Quantifying Costs and Benefits, Reputation, Sex and Reproduction, Sexual Competition, Sexual Selection

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

Is the threat of regulation enough to incentivize cooperation from nitrogen polluters?

Posted 01 Jun 2015 / 0

National Public Radio All Things Considered “It’s Raining Nitrogen In A Colorado Park. Farmers Can Help Make It Stop” What I find interesting about this example is how the local nature of this problem creates greater incentives for “voluntary” measures taken by polluters to reduce the impacts of their polluting activities. Because the effects of Read More

A Minor Post, Cooperation, Environmental Justice, Eutrophication, Political Science, Pollution, Public Policy, Punishment, Reputation, Social Norms

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

The forces of cultural evolution push hard on political humor

Posted 07 Jan 2015 / 0 A Major Post, Belief, Cultural Evolution, Ethics, Memetic Fitness, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Reputation, Social Norms

Model evidence that third party punishment only makes sense in tight-knit groups

Posted 29 Jan 2014 / 0

Proceedings of the Royal Society B “High strength-of-ties and low mobility enable the evolution of third-party punishment“

A Minor Post, Altruism, Articles, Behavior, Evolutionary Modeling, Punishment, Reputation, Social Networks