“Evolutionary Psychology and the Design of Human Reasoning”. Leda Cosmides’s CICS Lecture

Sunday, 10 August, 2014 | CALENDAR, NEWS



Leda Cosmides is currently Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of California (UCBS), also founder and co director of the  the UCBS Center for Evolutionary Psychology. She obtained her PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Harvard, did postdoctoral work with Roger Shepard at Stanford and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. 

Lecture: “Evolutionary Psychology and the Design of Human Reasoning. Cognitive Adaptations for Social Exchange”

When: Wednesday, 20th August, 17:30 hrs.

Where: Sala 309, Universidad del Desarrollo, campus Rector Ernesto Silva Bafalluy, Av. La Plaza 680, Las Condes.

Language: English

Abstract: Social exchange—cooperation for mutual benefit—is rare in the animal kingdom. Yet it is as characteristic of human beings as language and tool use. I will present evidence—cognitive, cross-cultural, and neuropsychological—of a close fit between the computational requirements for engaging in social exchange, which can be derived from evolutionary game theory, and the design features of the programs that are activated when people reason about this domain.  The results indicate that the human brain reliably develops cognitive machinery that is specialized for reasoning about social exchange, which includes a subroutine for detecting cheaters.  The presence of this functionally specialized system challenges the traditional view that human reasoning is accomplished by content-free procedures within a (putatively) blank-slate mind,  and cast new light on debates about human rationality.

*Coffee Break will be provided at the end

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