Why We Cooperate

Why We Cooperate

by Michael Tomasello, M. Tomasello
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0262013592

ISBN-13: 9780262013598

Pub. Date: 08/28/2009

Publisher: MIT Press

Drop something in front of a two-year-old, and she's likely to pick it up for you. This is not a learned behavior, psychologist Michael Tomasello argues.

Through observations of young children in experiments he himself has designed,Tomasello shows that children are naturally—and uniquely—cooperative. Put through similar experiments, for example, apes

Overview

Drop something in front of a two-year-old, and she's likely to pick it up for you. This is not a learned behavior, psychologist Michael Tomasello argues.

Through observations of young children in experiments he himself has designed,Tomasello shows that children are naturally—and uniquely—cooperative. Put through similar experiments, for example, apes demonstrate the ability to work together and share, but choose not to. As children grow, their almost reflexive desire to help—without expectation of reward—becomes shaped by culture. They become more aware of being a member of a group. Groups convey mutual expectations, and thus may either encourage or discourage altruism and collaboration. Either way, cooperation emerges as a distinctly human combination of innate and learned behavior.In Why We Cooperate, Tomasello's studies of young children and great apes help identify the underlying psychological processes that very likely supported humans' earliest forms of complex collaboration and, ultimately, our unique forms of cultural organization,from the evolution of tolerance and trust to the creation of such group-level structures as cultural norms and institutions.Scholars Carol Dweck, Joan Silk, Brian Skyrms, and Elizabeth Spelke respond to Tomasello's findings and explore the implications.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262013598
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
08/28/2009
Series:
Boston Review Books
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

I Why We Cooperate

1 Born (and Bred) to Help 1

2 From Social Interaction to Social Institutions 49

3 Where Biology and Culture Meet 101

II Forum

Joan B. Silk 111

Carol S. Dweck 125

Brian Skyrms 137

Elizabeth S. Spelke 149

Notes 175

Acknowledgments 203

About the Contributors 205

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