Re: [asa] The Spiritual Brain

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Fri Oct 05 2007 - 13:51:35 EDT

A possible hint at how our thinking differs from that of animals comes
from the latest Science. In the ultimatum game (participant 1
proposes a division of stuff; participant 2 either agrees, in which
case each gets the share allotted by 1, or rejects, in which case
neither gets anything), people typically reject offers seen as too
unfair, even though it means that they will get nothing. E.g., most
people would rather get nothing than get 10% when the other person
gets 90%. Chimps, however, acted in maximal self-interest, percieving
getting anything as more important than punishing the greed of the
other chimp. Correspondingly, chimp 1 was generally a poor sharer.

A paper just out in PNAS found that identical twins (humans) were much
more likely than fraternal twins to have the same threshold for
agreeing versus rejecting (both tested as person 2 against an unknown
1). The authors argued that this indicates a strong genetic influence
on our perception of fairness.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Fri Oct 5 13:51:56 2007

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