Cooperation in the Apocalypse: The Science of Human Generosity

Event Date: 

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 12:00pm

Event Location: 

  • HSSB 2001A
Dr. Athena Aktipis
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University
How do people behave in the aftermath of disaster? Do we see the best of human nature or the worst of it? In this talk, we’ll discuss how humans help one another in disasters – both large and small - and what that can tell us about human nature. We’ll tour societies around the world to uncover the science of generosity, from the supposedly uncooperative Ik people of Uganda, to ranchers in the southwest United States who have a reputations for extreme self-reliance. We’ll also ask whether helping others in times of need is a viable survival strategy, using data from computational models to answer the question of whether generosity helps people survive in harsh and unpredictable environments. In The Human Generosity Project, we use many methods to triangulate to questions about cooperation in apocalyptic conditions. Come learn about human nature in times of disaster -- your survival may depend on it.