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November 2020

Zaneta Thayer – How social inequities create health inequities: An integration of social and biological mechanisms

How social inequities create health inequities: An integration of social and biological mechanisms Zaneta Thayer Department of Anthropology and Ecology, Evolution, Environment & Society Program, Dartmouth College A remarkably consistent pattern of human variation is the social gradient in health. This is the observation that, both within and between societies, individuals who are socially disadvantaged tend to have poorer health outcomes and shorter life expectancy than individuals who are more socially advantaged. In this talk I will use data from…

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November 2 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Samuel Mehr – Representation and understanding in music across cultures

Representation and understanding in music across cultures Samuel Mehr The Music Lab and Department of Psychology, Harvard University Discovering the universal features of human musicality is a prerequisite for explaining the biological and cultural evolution of music. What is universal about our psychology of music, and what varies? In this talk I will present analyses of the Natural History of Song Discography, which includes songs recorded in 86 mostly small-scale societies, and experiments using these songs. We find that acoustical…

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November 9 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Pascal Boyer – Why divination? A salient cultural attractor, an explanatory model, and some lessons for how to understand the generation of culture

Why divination? A salient cultural attractor, an explanatory model, and some lessons for how to understand the generation of culture Pascal Boyer Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology and Psychology​ and Henry Luce Professor of Collective and Individual Memory, Washington University in St. Louis Divination is a good example of a cultural attractor - almost all human societies have some documented form of divination, a procedure that supposedly guarantees the truth of the statements it produces. I propose a model of the…

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November 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Willem Frankenhuis – Hidden talents in harsh conditions

Hidden talents in harsh conditions Willem Frankenhuis Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands It is well established that people living in adverse conditions tend to score lower on a variety of social and cognitive tests. However, recent research shows that people may also develop ‘hidden talents’, that is, mental abilities that are enhanced through adversity. The hidden talents program sets out to document these abilities, their development, and their manifestations in different contexts. In this talk, I present studies…

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November 23 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Hugo Mercier – Impression management as signaling

Impression management as signaling Hugo Mercier Evolution and Social Cognition and Collective Intelligence Teams, Institut Jean Nicod, CNRS, Paris I claim that impression management can be usefully understood as signaling. One consequence is that impression management should be mostly honest, that is, it should benefit on average both senders (i.e. those who are managing the impression they give), and receivers (i.e. those who are evaluating others). This contrasts with the view that self impression is largely deceptive (and thus requires…

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November 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

December 2020

Rebecca Saxe – TBA

Title and abstract TBA

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December 7 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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