Summary of Selfishness Is Learned

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Selfishness Is Learned summary


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Are people inherently selfish or selfless? In this Nautilus article, science writer Matthew Hutson shares new research about human behavior and intuition. He details a cybersociety simulation that quantifies why people act in their own self-interest or in the interest of others. He draws a connection between the results of the study and how companies and employees could benefit from cooperation rather than competition. getAbstract recommends these findings to business leaders and managers looking to foster a more cooperative work environment.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why people are “intuitive cooperators,”
  • How intuitive thinking increases the likelihood of cooperation and selflessness, and
  • Why businesses should create a culture of cooperation within their companies.

About the Author

Matthew Hutson is a science writer who has written for Wired, The Atlantic and The New York Times. He is the author of The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking.



David Rand – a psychology, management, economics and social policy studies professor at Yale University – and Harvard professors Martin Nowak and Joshua Greene wanted to know if people are selfish or selfless by nature. To find an answer, in 2012, they conducted ten experiments, most based on standard...

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