Seminar Series

The Origins of Social Concern

People appear to be genuinely concerned about the welfare of others. Empathy is an example of this, as is a sense of fairness. Positive social concerns are likely to be an important part of human sociality in that they can lead to cooperative actions. Perhaps surprisingly, negative social concerns such as envy and schadenfreude are also likely to be key to human sociality - they can lead to the punishment of free-riders and cheats. To see how social concern emerged in humans, I will present some work on prosocial and antisocial preferences in great apes and human children.