Borders can be concrete walls or intercellular membranes. In either case, disgust elicits feelings of maintaining one’s purity, of keeping others out.
Microbes killed millions more of our ancestors than did Tigers and Bears. Whoever can keep themselves and their children from being exposed to illness, wins the evolutionary game. Disgust is judging carefully about people. Is he dangerous? Is she dangerous? That is, our bodily interactions structure how we think about social issues.
“Try to convince locally high status or prestigious individuals to adopt a practice, and then you’re more likely to get it to transmit and spread. Because it is about imitating or acquiring the practice, and sometimes the belief and understanding actually come after the practice has been acquired. It is less about teaching people facts. And so, one of the reasons that public health programs have been so unsuccessful at transmitting these behaviors is they assume a rationalist model. Where if we just say the facts and we assume you belief the facts, then you will change your behavior in response to the new information. That’s not how human psychology works.”
@JoHenrich is a professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. His research focuses on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to cultural learning, cultural evolution, culture-gene coevolution, human sociality, prestige, leadership, large-scale cooperation, religion and the emergence of complex human institutions.
Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World
In Breaking Through Gridlock, Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant remind us that macro change begins with conversation. This is a timely, refreshing, and, most importantly, helpful toolkit for navigating polarization.