altruism

Finding the Brain's Generosity Centre

Scientists from Oxford University and UCL have identified part of our brain that helps us learn to be good to others. The discovery could help understanding of conditions like psychopathy where people’s behaviour is extremely antisocial. The researchers were led by Dr Patricia Lockwood, who explained: ‘Prosocial behaviours are social behaviours that benefit other people. They are a fundamental aspect…

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Researchers Discover Altruism is Favoured By Chance

Why do we feel good about giving to charity when there is no direct benefit to ourselves, and feel bad about cheating the system? Mathematicians may have found an answer to the longstanding puzzle as to why we have evolved to cooperate. An international team of researchers, publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that…

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How We Understand Others

People who empathize easily with others do not necessarily understand them well. To the contrary: Excessive empathy can even impair understanding as a new study conducted by psychologists from Würzburg and Leipzig has established. “Successful social interaction is based on our ability to feel with others and to understand their thoughts and intentions,” Anne Böckler explains. She says that it…

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Why We Love Equality and Hate Those Who Cheat

A four-year-old girl sees three biscuits divided between a stuffed crocodile and a teddy bear. The crocodile gets two; the bear one. “Is that fair?” asks the experimenter. The girl solemnly judges that it is not. “How about now?” asks the experimenter, breaking the bear’s single biscuit in half. The girl cheers up: “Oh yes, now it’s fair. They both…

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Loss of Altruism (and A Body Plan) Without A Loss of Genes

The evolutionary loss of the ‘altruistic’ worker caste in ants is not accompanied by a loss of genes, an international team of researchers has found. The results reported in this new research add to a growing body of literature suggesting that many traits may evolve by tweaks in the regulation of pre-existing genes and networks. Phenotype gain and loss may…

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Students Film a Mother’s Struggle to Buy Healthy Food on a Tight Budget

Vanessa Moreno knows what it’s like to feed a family on a tight budget. The fourth-year international development studies major watched her own mother, a single parent, do it when she was temporarily unemployed. Moreno is now chronicling on video the story of a single mother of five as she struggles to meet the same challenge. Fellow UCLA senior Sanna…

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