Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

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

I will speak about the tension between biological and cultural evolution at St. Francis College (December 11th, 2015 @ 3pm)

Posted 08 Oct 2015 / 0

I am excited to announce that I am scheduled to speak about the tension between biological and cultural evolution at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. The title of my talk is “Highly-creative baby-breeding idea propagators: what human (re)productive choices mean for the future of our species“, and it will provide a partial overview of Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Behavior, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Carrying Capacity, Cultural Evolution, Economics, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Parenting, Population Growth, Population Pressure, Psychology, Public Outreach, Reproductive Fitness, Resource Consumption, Sex and Reproduction, Sustainability

My testimonial for Gregory Tague’s “Evolution and Human Culture”

Posted 05 Oct 2015 / 1

I have written a lot of book reviews, but I have never been asked to write a book testimonial before. So I am honored to have been asked to write a testimonial for Gregory F. Tague’s Evolution & Human Culture, forthcoming on Brill. Here’s my finished testimonial for this book: Between the age-old outposts maintained by Read More

A Major Post, Art & Design, Books, Cognitive Ability, Consciousness, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Neuroscience, Primatology, Psychology, Social Norms

Do creative people have “messy minds”?

Posted 29 Sep 2015 / 0

Scientific American Beautiful Minds blog “Creative People Are…” This is an interesting little summary for someone like myself who teaches future creative professionals. Anecdotally, the “messy mind” idea makes a lot of sense: my students probably do worst when asked to regurgitate orthodox hierarchies of information. They do far better when asked to make connections Read More

A Minor Post, Art & Design, Intelligences, Neuroscience, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Social Diversity, Web

Formation of the Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution has the potential to catalyze research into how culture evolves

Posted 29 Sep 2015 / 0

I was excited to recently discover that The Evolution Institute, a “think-tank that doesn’t just think” about how to apply evolutionary understanding to human problems, is working to foster a new professional society dedicated to the study of cultural evolution. Dubbed the Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution (SSCE), this emerging society endeavors to Read More

A Minor Post, Anthropogenic Change, Archaeology, Behavior, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Environmental Justice, Evolutionary Modeling, Political Science, Professional Societies, Psychology, Public Outreach, Public Policy, Religion, Social Science, Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Sociology

When it comes to sex, we are consumately proximate

Posted 20 Sep 2015 / 0

The Guardian “Why the UK sperm bank is running short” Further evidence that while we are — on the one hand — one of the weirdest species in the world, at our core we remain not unlike the rest of our animal brethren. Think about it for a second: if humans were both rational and Read More

A Minor Post, Articles, Behavior, Belief, Breeders, Propagators, & Creators, Cultural Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology, Gene-Culture Coevolution, Human Uniqueness, Psychology, Reproductive Fitness, Sex and Reproduction

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

String Theory: should we care?

Posted 02 Feb 2014 / 0

On Being “Reimagining the Cosmos” I always find myself stuck on the fence when it comes to the confrontation between physics and philosophy (and by extension religion). This episode effectively captures my ambivalence. On the one hand, I like that Brian Greene really sticks to his guns on the “sensation of free will”. If there Read More

A Minor Post, Adaptation, Behavior, Belief, Consciousness, Emotion, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Human Uniqueness, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Psychological Adaptation, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Religion

Think the Milgram Experiments tell us something definitive about human nature? Think again!

Posted 21 Aug 2013 / 0

WNYC The Leonard Lopate Show “The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments” This great feature uncovers two major sources of scientific distortion: Milgram himself selectively reported his results in order to tell a more sensational story; and Media depictions, fueled by popular preconceptions, further filtered and distorted the meanings of Milgram’s scientific results. Both Read More

A Minor Post, Altruism, Behavior, Emotion, Empathy, Ethics, Human Nature, Methods, Psychology, Radio & Podcasts, Scientific Fraud, Social Norms

NPR provides a quick overview of the human drive to reciprocate

Posted 26 Nov 2012 / 0

National Public Radio Shots “Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us” I appreciate the far-ranging nature of this piece, and how it applies a basic understanding of reciprocity to larger social phenomena. There is not much here about how genetic and environmental factors modify how reciprocal people choose to behave; while there Read More

A Minor Post, Behavior, Cooperation, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Evolution, Emotion, Ethics, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Evolution, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Radio & Podcasts, Reciprocity, Reputation, Social Norms, Sociology