Altruism And Self-interest, As Revealed Through Game Theory w/ Herbert Gintis
Hello, everybody! Today, I bring you my second interview with Dr. Herbert Gintis. He is External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He and Professor Robert Boyd (Anthropology, UCLA) headed a multidisciplinary research project that models such behaviors as empathy, reciprocity, insider/outsider behavior, vengefulness, and other observed human behaviors not well handled by the traditional model of the self-regarding agent. Professor Gintis is also author of several books including Game Theory Evolving, The Bounds of Reason, A Cooperative Species, Game Theory in Action, and Individuality and Entanglement and also coeditor, with Joe Henrich, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, and Ernst Fehr, of Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-scale Societies, and with Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd and Ernst Fehr of Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: On the Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life.
This interview is based on Chapter 3 (Game Theory and Human Behavior) of The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences.
In this episode, we talk about altruism and self-interest, as revealed through lab and field studies of human behavior. First, we discuss what is rationality, the literature on human biases and heuristics and why that does not show that humans are irrational. We talk about the difference between self-interested and self-regarding behavior. Then, we get into how we can use game theory to study human sociality, and the aspects of it we can learn about through different game designs, like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Public Goods Game, and the Ultimatum Game. Finally, we talk about how we can make sense of the interplay between people’s social dynamics and their culture; the phenomenon of gene-culture coevolution; and the role cultural group selection might have played in the evolution of certain aspects of our sociality, like altruism and strong reciprocity.
Link to podcast version (Anchor): http://bit.ly/32ZFp3O