Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Fascinating and clever study of how personal contact norms vary by relationship

Posted 10 Nov 2015 / 0

Image from PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “Topography of social touching depends on emotional bonds between humans” (Suvilehto et al. 2015) This is a really clever study in that it aggregates a lot of data that is collected rather efficiently from a lot of participants. This makes the results robust for this Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Communication, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Human Nature, MSCI-362, The Evolution of Sex, Social Networks, Social Norms

Malcolm Gladwell on the social contagion of mass shootings

Posted 13 Oct 2015 / 0

National Public Radio Morning Edition “How Riots May Help Us Understand School Shooters” This is a great example of how understanding our cultural evolution, and how we have evolved to live culturally, could allow us to solve a social problem. We need to figure out a way to break the cultural continuum from one mass Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Social Networks

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

Do humans form genetically similar social groups independent of kinship?

Posted 26 Jul 2014 / 1

Proponents of kin selection as the most parsimonious explanation of how cooperation evolves face a problem when it comes to humans: counter to the predictions of kin selection theory, humans aim a fair amount of altruism at non-kin. While we do not aim our helping behaviors solely at our relatives, we also do not randomly Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Articles, Behavior, Cooperation, Genetics, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Kin Selection, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Social Networks, Sociology

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

Does self organization of social networks foster cooperation in the face of cheating?

Posted 11 Oct 2013 / 0

Web Information Systems Engineering – WISE 2013 “A Study on the Evolution of Cooperation in Networks“

A Minor Post, Articles, Game Theory, Social Networks, System Stability

An anecdote that illustrates the tremendous power of human network reciprocity

Posted 13 Sep 2013 / 0

NPR Morning Edition StoryCorps “How One Man Continues To ‘Just Pass It On’” The story of this man’s life and how he has reacted to the kindness of a stranger nicely encapsulates the very powerful nature of human network reciprocity. Rather than focusing on “repaying the kindness”, Thomas Weller was charged to “pass it on”. Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Uniqueness, MSCI-463, The Evolution of Cooperation, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Social Networks, Social Norms

My review of “Origins of Altruism and Cooperation” is published in QRB

Posted 30 Aug 2013 / 0

I am excited to report that my review of Origins of Altruism and Cooperation was just published in the Quarterly Review of Biology. Although it requires some work to get through, this collection presents a really important counter-narrative to the prevailing attitude in evolutionary biology that altruism is simply self-interest in disguise. The book uses Read More

A Major Post, Altruism, Behavior, Books, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Empathy, Group Selection, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Kin Selection, Multilevel Selection, My publications, Primatology, Reciprocity, Social Networks, Social Norms

The benefits of a maintaining a relatively small in-group

Posted 29 May 2013 / 1

WNYC Micropolis “Hasidic Supermarkets and the Virtues of Insularity” Although I think that this is an interesting little feature, it mistakenly attributes the benefits of this trust to a lack of diversity. What allows this trust is a relatively small, highly-integrated society. If the larger city lacks anything, it is the level of social integration Read More

A Minor Post, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Economics, Ethics, Radio & Podcasts, Reputation, Social Networks, Sociology

Making the formation of social networks more realistic also makes them more cooperative

Posted 11 Nov 2012 / 0

Physical Review E “Building cooperative networks“

A Minor Post, Articles, Coevolution, Cooperation, Cultural Evolution, Evolutionary Modeling, Game Theory, Social Networks