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Latest Altruism Stories

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2010-11-17 10:21:28

NSF-supported researchers use digital evolution techniques to examine theories about the evolution of altruism One of the major questions in evolutionary biology is how altruism, or the act of helping another individual at your own expense, evolved. At first glance, "survival of the fittest" may seem to be best achieved by selfish individuals. However, altruistic behavior occurs in many species, and if it were not adaptive, we would expect it to disappear through the process of natural...

2010-09-21 21:40:49

Using digital evolution techniques that give scientists the ability to watch evolution in action, Michigan State University researchers have shed new light on what it is that makes species altruistic. Defined as the ability to sacrifice yourself for the sake of others, altruism has been a bit of a genetic mystery. Understanding why altruism evolves is one of the fundamental challenges in evolutionary theory. However, a paper published online in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society by...

2010-08-24 12:00:00

NEW YORK, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A new research study was released Tuesday that may change the way many nonprofits approach their fundraising budgets. The report, Heart of the Donor, Insights into Donor Motivation and Behavior for the 21st Century, uncovers valuable insights on donor behavior and preferences as well as insight into age, demographic and other factors. The report will be unveiled at the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation conference at the Sheraton New York...

2010-02-04 23:30:09

Male homosexuality doesn't make complete sense from an evolutionary point of view. It appears that the trait is heritable, but because homosexual men are much less likely to produce offspring than heterosexual men, shouldn't the genes for this trait have been extinguished long ago? What value could this sexual orientation have, that it has persisted for eons even without any discernible reproductive advantage? One possible explanation is what evolutionary psychologists call the "kin selection...

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2009-12-09 09:45:00

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive. In contrast to "every man for himself" interpretations of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, Dacher Keltner, a UC Berkeley psychologist and author...

2009-11-11 17:23:48

Ability of jewelweed to recognize 'relatives' from 'strangers' helps shift resources for growth The concept of altruism has long been debated in philosophical circles, and more recently, evolutionary biologists have joined the debate. From the perspective of natural selection, altruism may have evolved because any action that improves the likelihood of a relative's survival and reproduction increases the chance of an individual's DNA being passed on. Social behavior, kin recognition, and...

2009-10-12 15:25:00

Culture is more important than genes to altruistic behavior in large-scale societies Socially learned behavior and belief are much better candidates than genetics to explain the self-sacrificing behavior we see among strangers in societies, from soldiers to blood donors to those who contribute to food banks. This is the conclusion of a study by Adrian V. Bell and colleagues from the University of California Davis in the Oct. 12 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....

2009-09-06 23:08:24

Altruism costs time and energy, if not money, with no promise of payback, but humans seem to be hard-wired to be helpful, German researchers said. Harriet Over and Malinda Carpenter of the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, found that priming infants with subtle cues to affiliation increases their tendency to be helpful. The researchers showed a large group of 18-month-old toddlers photographs of household objects, such as a teapot or a shoe. The household objects were always the...

2009-07-09 08:13:25

It's not just good manners to wait your turn "“ it's actually down to evolution, according to new research by University of Leicester psychologists.A study in the University's School of Psychology sought to explain how turn-taking has evolved across a range of species. The conclusion is that there is an "invisible hand" that guides our actions in this respect.Professor Andrew Colman and Dr Lindsay Browning carried out the study due to appear in the September issue of the journal...

2009-05-15 11:43:02

Subordinate individuals living within a group of vertebrates sometimes assist a more dominant pair by helping to raise the dominant pair's offspring and this has been shown to occur among subordinate female cichlids. Reporting in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, Dik Heg and colleagues at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Ohio State University, suggest that rather than engaging in an act of reciprocal altruism, these subordinate females actually benefit from...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.