On the verge of suicide anthropologist Andrew Bankson bumps into Nell and Fen. They too are anthropologists, and are just about to head back to Australia, Fen’s homeland, after an expedition. Nell and Fen are a husband and wife team, although Nell is the more famous of the two. Before …

Obedience to authority

In the 1960s Stanley Milgram and his associates carried out a number of experiments on obedience. They were set-up a situation where people thought they were helping in a memory/learning experiment, and how it related to punishment. So they subjects were asked to administer electric shocks to learners every time …

The moral animal

moral animal

What does the theory of evolution have to do with morals? Can it explain why we feel guilt or love? Or why men cheat?

Evolutionary psychology is an attempt to use evolution to explain why people are the way they are. The theory posits that the many many cultures have many items in common, these commanalities cannot be explained by conicidence alone, there must be some reason that humankind has developed these cultural norms. Wright, and other evolutionary psychologists would argue that as human beings evolved certain psychological traits were more conducive to an increase in descendents and therefore became the norm.