The social brain

Rubber-duck-typing



Social cognition but hip. If our brains got big because we needed to be social then is our intelligence intrinsically social? If so, why are we so bad at it?

Social exchange reasoning

Each card has a number on one side and a patch of color on the other. Which card or cards must be turned over to test the idea that if a card shows an even number on one face, then its opposite face is red?

The Wason selection task is a logic puzzle on cards. TODO: discuss significance of this for social reasoning, e.g. social exchange theory (Cosmides and Tooby 1992; Sperber and Girotto 2002).

Each card has an age on one side and a drink on the other. Which card(s) must be turned over to test the idea that if you are drinking alcohol, then you must be over 18?

See also Jeffrey K. Bye, Psychology Classics: Wason Selection Task.

Over at the rhetoric notebook I quoted Henry Farrell summarising some social brain stuff:

Mercier and Sperber’s basic argument is, as I understand it, as follows. First β€” that reasoning has not evolved in the ways that we think it has β€” as a process of ratiocination that is intended independently to figure out the world. Instead, it has evolved as a social capacity β€” as a means to justify ourselves to others. We want something to be so, and we use our reasoning capacity to figure out plausible seeming reasons to convince others that it should be so. However (and this is the main topic of a more recent book by Hugo (Mercier 2020)), together with our capacity to generate plausible sounding rationales, we have a decent capacity to detect when others are bullshitting us. In combination, these mean that we are more likely to be closer to the truth when we are trying to figure out why others may be wrong, than when we are trying to figure out why we ourselves are right. …. We need negative criticisms from others, since they lead us to understand weaknesses in our arguments that we are incapable of coming at ourselves, without them being pointed out to us.

Anthropomorphising yourself

Is the Internal Family Systems Model of psychotherapy actually useful? In this system people are encouraged to think of themselves as a family of little sub-people. What would it say about us if this works?

References

Adolphs, Ralph. 2009. β€œThe Social Brain: Neural Basis of Social Knowledge.” Annual Review of Psychology 60: 693–716.
Barkow, Jerome H., Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby. 1995. The adapted mind: evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. [2nd. ed.], 1srt issued as an Oxford university press paperback, cop. 1992. New York (N.Y.): Oxford university press.
Barrett, Louise, and Peter Henzi. 2005. β€œThe Social Nature of Primate Cognition.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 272: 1865–75.
Barrett, Louise, S Peter Henzi, and Drew Rendall. 2006. β€œSocial Brains, Simple Minds: Does Social Complexity Really Require Cognitive Complexity?” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Basso, Julia C., Medha K. Satyal, and Rachel Rugh. 2021. β€œDance on the Brain: Enhancing Intra- and Inter-Brain Synchrony.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14: 586.
Bernhard, Helen, Urs Fischbacher, and Ernst Fehr. 2006. β€œParochial altruism in humans.” Nature 442 (7105): 912–15.
Bowles, Samuel. 2001. β€œIndividual Interactions, Group Conflicts, and the Evolution of Preferences.” Social Dynamics 155: 190.
Bowles, Samuel, and Herbert Gintis. 2004. β€œThe Evolution of Strong Reciprocity: Cooperation in Heterogeneous Populations.” Theoretical Population Biology 65 (1): 17–28.
Boyd, Robert, and Peter J. Richerson. 1992. β€œPunishment Allows the Evolution of Cooperation (or Anything Else) in Sizable Groups.” Ethology and Sociobiology 13 (3): 171–95.
Chen, Chenyi, RΓ³ger Marcelo MartΓ­nez, and Yawei Cheng. 2018. β€œThe Developmental Origins of the Social Brain: Empathy, Morality, and Justice.” Frontiers in Psychology 9.
Cosmides, Leda, and John Tooby. 1992. β€œCognitive Adaptations for Social Exchange.” The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture 163: 163–228.
Crompton, Catherine J, Danielle Ropar, Claire VM Evans-Williams, Emma G Flynn, and Sue Fletcher-Watson. 2020. β€œAutistic Peer-to-Peer Information Transfer Is Highly Effective.” Autism 24 (7): 1704–12.
DeWall, C. Nathan, Geoff MacDonald, Gregory D. Webster, Carrie L. Masten, Roy F. Baumeister, Caitlin Powell, David Combs, et al. 2010. β€œAcetaminophen Reduces Social Pain: Behavioral and Neural Evidence.” Psychological Science 21 (7): 931–37.
Dunbar, Robin I M. 1993. β€œCoevolution of Neocortex Size, Group Size and Language in Humans.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (4): 681–94.
Eisenberger, Naomi I. 2012. β€œThe Pain of Social Disconnection: Examining the Shared Neural Underpinnings of Physical and Social Pain.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 13 (6): 421–34.
Henrich, Joseph, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr, Herbert Gintis, Richard McElreath, et al. 2005. β€œβ€˜Economic Man’ in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28: 795.
Henrich, Joseph, and Francisco J. Gil-White. 2001. β€œThe Evolution of Prestige: Freely Conferred Deference as a Mechanism for Enhancing the Benefits of Cultural Transmission.” Evolution and Human Behavior 22 (3): 165–96.
Heyes, Cecilia M., and Chris D. Frith. 2014. β€œThe Cultural Evolution of Mind Reading.” Science 344 (6190): 1243091.
Hoppitt, William, and Kevin N. Laland. 2013. Social Learning: An Introduction to Mechanisms, Methods, and Models. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Horst, Ulrich, Alan Kirman, and Miriam Teschl. 2007. β€œChanging Identity: The Emergence of Social Groups.” Economics Working Paper 0078. Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
Kinreich, Sivan, Amir Djalovski, Lior Kraus, Yoram Louzoun, and Ruth Feldman. 2017. β€œBrain-to-Brain Synchrony During Naturalistic Social Interactions.” Scientific Reports 7 (1): 17060.
Laland, Kevin N. 2004. β€œSocial Learning Strategies.” Animal Learning & Behavior 32 (1): 4–14.
Lieberman, Matthew D. 2013. Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. First edition. New York: Crown Publishers.
Liu, Ka-Yuet, Marissa King, and Peter S. Bearman. 2010. β€œSocial Influence and the Autism Epidemic.” American Journal of Sociology 115 (5): 1387.
Maner, Jon K. 2017. β€œDominance and Prestige: A Tale of Two Hierarchies.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 26 (6): 526–31.
Mead, Nicole, and Jon Maner. 2012. β€œWhen Me Versus You Becomes Us Versus Them: How Intergroup Competition Shapes Ingroup Psychology.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 6 (8): 566–74.
Mercier, Hugo. 2020. Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe. Illustrated edition. Princeton University Press.
Molapour, Tanaz, Cindy C Hagan, Brian Silston, Haiyan Wu, Maxwell Ramstead, Karl Friston, and Dean Mobbs. 2021. β€œSeven Computations of the Social Brain.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 16 (8): 745–60.
MΓΌller-Vahl, Kirsten R, Anna Pisarenko, Ewgeni Jakubovski, and Carolin Fremer. 2021. β€œStop That! It’s Not Tourette’s but a New Type of Mass Sociogenic Illness.” Brain, no. awab316 (August).
O’Connor, Mary-Frances, David K. Wellisch, Annette L. Stanton, Naomi I. Eisenberger, Michael R. Irwin, and Matthew D. Lieberman. 2008. β€œCraving Love? Enduring Grief Activates Brain’s Reward Center.” NeuroImage 42 (2): 969–72.
Post, Daniel J. van der, Mathias Franz, and Kevin N. Laland. 2016. β€œSkill Learning and the Evolution of Social Learning Mechanisms.” BMC Evolutionary Biology 16 (1): 166.
Sperber, Dan, and Vittorio Girotto. 2002. β€œUse or Misuse of the Selection Task? Rejoinder to Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby.” Cognition 85 (3): 277–90.
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