Human Behavior and the Maximization of Utility

My idea is that all of our most basic instincts regarding our behavior were selected for because they work to increase some general indicator of our well being.


My idea is that all of our most basic instincts regarding our behavior were selected for because they work to increase some general indicator of our well being, which we can call utility. Thus, I should be able to formulate a model, perhaps using game theory, showing how our behaviors work to maximize utility. Specifically, I am interested in a subset of the choices we make regarding behavior, which would be the set of choices we make regarding how we treat other people; you might call this morality or ethics. In any case, it seems to me that these traits must have been selected for during the early development of our species in order to maximize some indicator of utility, perhaps what biologists call inclusive fitness. I am an economist, so I hope to model these behaviors using game theory or perhaps a maximization with constraints model.

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