Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Fantastic piece on nature/nurture by Patrick F. Clarkin in TVOL

Posted 23 Sep 2017 / 0

There’s a lot that has been written about the nature/nurture dilemma, perhaps because misconceptions about the role that genes and environment play in biological development are so persistent. Patrick F. Clarkin recently published a couple of wonderful short essays on the topic: This View of Life “We Are Not Hard-Wired“ This View of Life “Evolution Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Articles, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Cultural Evolution, Development, Epigenetics, EvoDevo, Gene by Environment Interactions, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Genetics, Human Evolution, Language Evolution, Phenotypic Plasticity, Psychological Adaptation

Moral Sense III approaches, June 2nd at St. Francis College

Posted 25 May 2017 / 0

Alison Dell’s Moral Sense III cover art subjected a Richard Alexander figure to paper chromatography Next week, a variety of natural and social scientists will converge on Saint Francis for Moral Sense III, a one day colloquium exploring the human “moral sense”. In part inspired by the work of Richard Alexander, the colloquium marks the Read More

A Major Post, Conferences, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Human Nature, Human Uniqueness, Population Pressure, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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

NPR features Christopher Boehm on the love-hate relationship we have people in power

Posted 16 Jan 2017 / 0

This morning NPR dropped a truly eerie and not-so-subtly cautionary piece on how an understanding of chimpanzee behavior towards dominant individuals can shed light on how we regard both celebrities and our political leaders. Using some nice audio from anthropologist Christopher Boehm, the piece establishes that we humans are not alone in our love-hate relationship with Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Primatology, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Social Norms

Wars on climate change versus revolutions to address climate change

Posted 31 Oct 2016 / 0

The New York Times “We Don’t Need a ‘War’ on Climate Change, We Need a Revolution” I am excited about this opinion piece by my friend and colleague Eric S. Godoy. He and his co-author Aaron Jaffe are absolutely right: as much as we might “fight” to “capture” the right metaphor for the “battle” against climate Read More

A Major Post, Activism, Anthropogenic Change, Articles, Climate Change, Cooperation, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Mismatch theory, Philosophy, Public Outreach, Public Policy, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Social Dilemmas

My article on adolescence featured in the This View of Life culture series

Posted 29 Aug 2016 / 0

I am very excited to have an article that I wrote on the adaptive nature of adolescent behavior featured in a new culture series in the This View of Life (TVoL) online magazine. My piece, entitled “Adolescent behavior doesn’t make sense (except in the light of cultural evolution)” summarizes an argument that has been rolling around in Read More

A Major Post, Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Development, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Memetic Fitness, Mismatch theory, My publications, Neuroscience, Psychological Adaptation, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction, Sexual Competition, Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Web

Pratt students make the potential trip to Mars better designed

Posted 24 Jun 2016 / 0

Mars landscape image courtesy of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory via Wikimedia Commons Scientific American “Home Sweet Habitat: Students Help NASA Design Mars Spacecraft Living Quarters” Anyone who has regularly read my posts on the subject knows that I am a space exploration grump, particularly regarding the idea that humans ought to try to venture out Read More

A Minor Post, Architecture, Evolutionary Psychology, Human limits, Industrial Design, Mismatch theory, Pratt Institute, Psychology, Space Travel, Web

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

How do we know when people are actually happy?

Posted 15 Jan 2016 / 0

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Science “Conservatives report, but liberals display, greater happiness” This paper was published back in March, but I just discovered it. I am somewhat fascinated by psychological studies of happiness, because happiness is so hard to pin down. What is happiness, and can we rely on people to accurately report how Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Belief, Data Limitation, Emotion, Happiness, Psychology, Uncategorized

How the built environment influences our ability to sustain personal and environmental commitments

Posted 07 Jan 2016 / 0

“exercise is good in principle, but it’s almost never the case that it’s the best thing you could do right now.” -Dan Ariely There’s a really interesting experiment being conducted by behavioral economist Dan Ariely and the new WNYC program Only Human. Called “Stick to It!“, the experiment allows listeners to the show to volunteer to download Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Cultural Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Nature, Mismatch theory, Psychology, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Sustainable Transportation, Sustainable Urban Design