SPECIAL LECTURE: Neurocognitive and Motivational Underpinnings of In-Group Bounded Cooperation

Week 7 – 25 November 2015, 5 - 6.30pm

Neurocognitive and Motivational Underpinnings of In-Group Bounded Cooperation

Speaker: Carsten K.W. De Dreu, University of Amsterdam (Department of Psychology and Center for Experimental Economics and Political Decision Making), and Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study

Abstract:  Human self-sacrificial decisions to cooperate with others are more frequent, and they emerge more automatically, when beneficiaries belong to one’s in-group, rather than to a more or less rivaling out-group. Using quantitative techniques that covered forty years of experimental work in social psychology, sociology, and experimental and behavioral economics, we found this in-group bias to be robust and universal. Subsequent experiments reveal this in-group bias to be (i) motivated by a desire to benefit the in-group and its members, rather than to hurt or derogate competing outgroups, (ii) stronger when cooperation protects the in-group against enemies, rather than facilitates subordination of rivaling out-groups, (iii) regulated by sub-cortical brain circuitries involved in emotion-regulation and heuristic decision-making more than by prefrontal networks implicated in controlled and calculated choice, and (iv) enhanced under increased availability of oxytocin, a hypothalamic neuropeptide involved in pair-bond formation, parent-offspring interactions, and maternal defense. Findings together resonate with the idea that humans are biologically prepared for in-group bounded cooperation, and that such in-group bias is motivated more by group survival and protection needs, than by opportunities for group prosperity and expansion.

Venue:  Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad Street, Oxford http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/contact/

Booking:  Public event, all welcome, however booking is required https://v1.bookwhen.com/uehiro

Organised and hosted by Oxford Martin Programme on Resource Stewardship (OMPORS) http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/research/programmes/resource-stewardship/  

With support from The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics http://www.neuroethics.ox.ac.uk/

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