53 Herrmann et al 2007 The full descriptions of the tasks including videos can

53 herrmann et al 2007 the full descriptions of the

This preview shows page 16 - 18 out of 30 pages.

53 Herrmann et al. 2007. The full descriptions of the tasks, including videos, can be downloaded at , but note that the videos always show chimps solving the tasks, even though they rarely did so on the social tasks. Note also that the experiment included a third group—orangutans, who fared worse than the chimps at both kinds of tasks. 54 Tomasello et al. 2005. Tomasello cites earlier work by autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen (1995) who had described a “shared attention mechanism” that develops in normal children, but not in children with autism, which leaves them “mind-blind.”
Image of page 16
17 appear to do this, as in the widely reported cases of chimps hunting colobus monkeys, 55 but Tomasello argues that the chimps are not really working together. Rather, each chimp is surveying the scene and then taking the action that seems best to him at that moment. 56 Tomasello notes that these monkey hunts are the only time that chimps seem to be working together, yet even in these rare cases they fail to show the signs of real cooperation. They make no effort to communicate with each other, for example, and they are terrible at sharing the spoils among the hunters, each of whom must use force to obtain a share of meat at the end. They all chase the monkey at the same time, yet they don’t all seem to be on the same page about the hunt. In contrast, when early humans began to share intentions, their ability to hunt, gather, raise children, and raid their neighbors increased exponentially. Everyone on the team now had a mental representation of the task, knew that his or her partners shared the same representation, knew when a partner had acted in a way that impeded success or that hogged the spoils, and reacted negatively to such violations. When everyone in a group began to share a common understanding of how things were supposed to be done, and then felt a flash of negativity when any individual violated those expectations, the first moral matrix was born. 57 (Remember that a matrix is a consensual hallucination.) That, I believe, was our Rubicon crossing. Tomasello believes that human ultrasociality arose in two steps. The first was the ability to share intentions in groups of two or three people who were actively hunting or foraging together. (That was the Rubicon.) Then, after several hundred thousand years of evolution for better sharing and collaboration as nomadic hunter-gatherers, more collaborative groups began to get larger, perhaps in response to the threat of other groups. Victory went to the most cohesive groups—the ones that could scale up their ability to share intentions from three people to three hundred or three thousand people. This was the second step: natural selection favored increasing levels of what Tomasello calls “group-mindedness”—the ability to learn and conform to social norms, feel and share group-related emotions, and ultimately, to create and obey social institutions, including religion. A new set of selection pressures operated within groups (e.g.,
Image of page 17
Image of page 18

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 30 pages?

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes