Bees in a Hive
Question: Do we see meaning where there is none?
Jonathan Haidt: I believe that we are shaped by group level selection processes so that we can be like bees in a hive. We are not just primates who evolved to fight it out with other primates. We are part way through a major transition evolutionary history that allows us to be temporarily like bees in a hive.
We see this after attacks. We saw it after 9/11. We can come together. Our propensity to find meaning, even though it may have evolved from simpler cognitive mechanisms, as Richard Dawkins and others maintain, I believe that our ability to find connection, to see connections in the stars.
If we look up at the sky, we see stories about people wandering around and going on missions. I believe that our ability to find connections and meaning helps us merge together into groups that can function as one. So this is part of the psychology that allows us to create these emergent super organisms, at least temporarily.
Anyone who’s ever been in a chorus or a band, or played a team sport, or been initiated into a fraternity, knows the joys, the ecstasy of losing yourself in part of a larger group.
I think this is the next frontier for psychology and for the social sciences, is understanding that we are not radical individuals. We are actually, in part, bees in a hive, but we don’t live that way, and that’s the reason for much of our unhappiness.
Recorded on: May 9, 2008
We did not evolve simply to fight with each other.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.
- Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
- He saw the innovative potential of the online marketplace.
- Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Even when they suffer costs in doing so.
- It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
- In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
- The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
It has found several bizarre planets outside of our solar system.
- The Kepler program closed down in August, 2018, after nine and a half years of observing the universe.
- Picking up where it left off, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has already found eight planets, three of which scientists are very excited about, and six supernovae.
- In many ways, TESS is already outperforming Kepler, and researchers expect it to find more than 20,000 exoplanets over its lifespan.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.