People's Newsroom

Economists and Evolution

Economics is a subject concerned with those aspects of human behavior that are involved in the application of scarce resources to produce, distribute, and consume goods and services for the satisfaction of human wants. However, evolutionary psychology has increased the scope for understanding the “human behavior” component of economic activity by positing that the human brain contains a large number of evolved psychological mechanisms that play a key role in framing this economic behavior.

Over the last two centuries or so, many economists have exhibited an ambiguous attitude towards psychology and evolution as disciplines, even while sometimes borrowing isolated concepts from them, but a few economists have embraced both of these subjects and fruitfully utilized them within the economist’s conventional remit.

Human Enculturation

The values that describe human societies managed to create a culture that renders humans as the only species to be separated qualitatively from other animals. It is argued that the tendency of early humans to be curious in their nature fostered the learning of useful strategies that selectively became genetic capabilities and which rendered the ongoing development of culture a remarkable achievement. The human species evolved over generations, and communication became more complex. Arbitrary cultural meanings are found to be assigned to animate and inanimate objects in the environment, allowing for a vivid indication that early culture initiations were occurring.

“Communication is a vital component in the realm of enculturation.”

Honor Code

We, Members of the community should commit themselves to produce academic work of integrity – that is, work that adheres to the scholarly and intellectual standards of accurate attribution of sources, appropriate collection and use of data, and transparent acknowledgment of the contribution of others to their ideas, discoveries, interpretations, and conclusions. Cheating on exams or problem sets, plagiarizing or misrepresenting the ideas or language of someone else as one’s own, falsifying data, or any other instance of academic dishonesty violates the standards of our community, as well as the standards of the wider world of learning and affairs.

It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual of the same business tribe, yet that an increase in the number of well-endowed men and advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one business tribe over another. A business tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other business tribes; and this would be natural selection.

Back to top button