Learn More
In order to successfully engage in social exchange--cooperation between two or more individuals for mutual benefit--humans must be able to solve a number of complex computational problems, and do so with special efficiency. Following Marr (1982), Cosmides (1985) and Cosmides and Tooby (1989) used evolutionary principles to develop a computational theory of(More)
The concept of a universal human nature, based on a species-typical collection of complex psychological adaptations, is defended as valid, despite the existence of substantial genetic variation that makes each human genetically and biochemically unique. These apparently contradictory facts can be reconciled by considering that (a) complex adaptations(More)
Previous studies have established that people encode the race of each individual they encounter, and do so via computational processes that appear to be both automatic and mandatory. If true, this conclusion would be important, because categorizing others by their race is a precondition for treating them differently according to race. Here we report(More)
Memory evolved to supply useful, timely information to the organism's decision-making systems. Therefore, decision rules, multiple memory systems, and the search engines that link them should have coevolved to mesh in a coadapted, functionally interlocking way. This adaptationist perspective suggested the scope hypothesis: When a generalization is retrieved(More)
The Wason selection task is a tool used to study reasoning about conditional rules. Performance on this task changes systematically when one varies its content, and these content effects have been used to argue that the human cognitive architecture contains a number of domain-specific representation and inference systems, such as social contract algorithms(More)
Cognitive psychology has an opportunity to turn itself into a theoretically rigorous discipline in which a powerful set of theories organize observations and suggest focused new hypotheses. This cannot happen, however, as long as intuition and folk psychology continue to set our research agenda. This is because intuition systematically blinds us to the full(More)
Visual attention mechanisms are known to select information to process based on current goals, personal relevance, and lower-level features. Here we present evidence that human visual attention also includes a high-level category-specialized system that monitors animals in an ongoing manner. Exposed to alternations between complex natural scenes and(More)
Kin-recognition systems have been hypothesized to exist in humans, and adaptively to regulate altruism and incest avoidance among close genetic kin. This latter function allows the architecture of the kin recognition system to be mapped by quantitatively matching individual variation in opposition to incest to individual variation in developmental(More)
An experiment was designed to test whether different individuals produce similar voice patterns when they read the same emotional passage. Quantitative scoring criteria were developed that reflect the extent to which different individuals consistently produce similar constellations of acoustic attributes in response to the same emotional context. The(More)