Nritya Mala Giridhar
Emergence of ‘We’: A complex systems approach to understanding cooperation
Mentor: Dr. Tamara Trafton
Are we truly capable of thinking beyond ourselves for the common good? This question has intrigued biologists, economists, political scientists, sociologists and psychologists for centuries. Whether we realise it or not, our beliefs about human cooperability shape our interpersonal, political and economic worlds. Other-regarding behaviour, although commonly observed in everyday life, is challenging to understand from an evolutionary perspective. After a brief summary of past efforts to solve this puzzle, I argue that only a complex systems approach will bring insights to problems like climate change, which require large scale collective action.
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