Tag Archives: joshua knobe

Do Babies Judge By Voices Or Faces?

9 Jun

mouth_translationThis is an important issue, when infants are increasingly maturing in multilingual environments, and parents are making decisions on education based on theories about human social reasoning. According to Katherine Kinzler, kids like to hear someone speaking in their native languages, and not foreign languages.

This could be useful to know for educators seeking to immerse babies in foreign languages.


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Missing The Elephant

17 Feb

Missing The Point of Religion

Would you steal candy or a soda from the store if you knew you could get away with it? One experiment with children indicates that humans act morally if they believe a supernatural being is watching them. Religion, according to Ara Norenzayan, is a fail-safe social practice that evolved with primates’ instinctual reliance on kin and reciprocal altruism, to deal with all the problems a burgeoning society creates, like interpersonal violence and honesty.

Two problems:

Firstly, what’s a better mechanism, religion or science?

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Gaming Cooperation

14 Nov

Humans are both competitive – indeed, combative and violent – and cooperative social animals, and rooms full of discourse, years of discussion, and seas of blood have accumulated trying to figure out how to combine the two qualities into a sustainable existence. For the moment, consider the cooperation half. It’s counter-intuitive, and more like competition, to consider thoughtful consideration as a problem for cooperation. And, another problem is fully appreciating the various ways different cultures view the cooperation-competition continuum. Joshua Knobe and David G. Rand talk ask, if cooperation is innate or mediated by culture.

The game theory approach could be fruitful for understanding the differences between western and Asian culture.

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