Meeting: Catalysis Meeting

Synthesizing the Evolutionary and Social Science Approaches to Human Cooperation

Date5-Apr-2013 ~ 7-Apr-2013
ProjectSynthesizing the Evolutionary and Social Science Approaches to Human Cooperation
SummaryHuman cooperation is a broad and varied phenomenon, including everything from biparental child care to the state. Explaining such a diverse phenomenon requires a wide range of approaches, including those that focus on the individual psychology behind cooperation as well as those that study the institutions that make large-scale cooperation possible. Much good work has already been done regarding the evolutionary roots of cooperation and the social contexts in which it occurs. The focus of this NESCent Catalysis meeting will be on how to take the next steps toward a fully integrated and synthetic evolutionary and social scientific approach to human cooperation. Invitees represent a variety of disciplines (anthropology, biology, political science, and psychology), a variety of topical interests (e.g., coalitional psychology, cooperative partner choice, risk pooling, religion and cooperation, the emergence of social norms and institutions, and the proximate mechanisms that underlie cooperative behaviors), a variety of methodological approaches (e.g., laboratory experimentation, computer simulation, mathematical modeling, surveys, and fieldwork), and the full range of experience and accomplishments from graduate students and postdocs to senior scholars. Over a period of about three days in early 2013, we will hold a series of workshop and plenary sessions on the state of the art in the study of human cooperation that will lead to new collaborations, new research questions and themes, and proposals for NSF Research Coordination Networks and NESCent Working Groups.