Intercultural Understanding and Empathy

Our innate capacity for empathy and the ability to act on the needs of the larger group were key drivers of our success as a species.

Our Moral Endowment

From a very early age, babies have the ability to understand the minds of others and display empathy, compassion, and helpfulness that enables us to thrive in complex social groups.

Thinking Big

How the Evolution of Social Life Shaped the Human Mind

By Robin Dunbar, Clive Gamble & John Gowlett

The social brain that drives our behavior and contemporary culture is essentially the same brain that appeared with the earliest humans some 300,000 years ago. Read more »

The Weirdest People in the World

How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous

By Joseph Henrich

Review by Robert Twigger
Contributing Writer

Literacy does strange things to you, and mass literacy does strange things en masse. Did you know that literate people have worse facial recognition abilities than those who are illiterate? Or that in learning to read and write your corpus callosum (the cable if you like connecting your right and left hemisphere) will have grown thicker? Read more »


Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect

By Matthew D. Lieberman

Our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter. Understanding the neuro-cognitive functions underlying this need can help us rise to the unique challenges we face today. Read more »

Moral Tribes

Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them

By Joshua D. Greene

Our innate moral behavior evolved over millions of years to promote cooperation within our group. Each group has its own moral code, which provides a map for how individuals can live successfully within it. Our other innate tendency, to favor our group over all others, is something we need to understand and mitigate to address the existential challenges of our modern global society. Read more »

The Righteous Mind

Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

By Jonanthan Haidt

Review by John Zada
Contributing Writer

We are without doubt living in an era of polarised thinking, marked by much bickering across social and political lines. But could positions of both side have roots in common moral foundations? Read more »

The Mountain People

By Colin M. Turnbull
Reviewed by John Zada
Contributing Writer

Following his book The Forest People, Turnbull continued his ethnographic studies with this book describing the Ik people of North Africa. 

New World New Mind

Moving Toward Conscious Evolution

By Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich

Over millions of years, our minds evolved with quick reflexes to deal with sudden threats, which makes long-term threats like pollution and overpopulation invisible to us. Our survival now requires that we consciously evolve a new mind and new perceptions to adapt. Read more »


A New Way of Looking at Human Behavior

By Robert Ornstein

Going beyond the left-brain/right-brain dichotomy of the rational, sequential mind vs. the creative, intuitive one, Dr. Ornstein describes the working of our everyday minds as being an ever-changing sequence of separate, special-purpose “small minds” that “wheel” in and out of consciousness to handle specific tasks—with surprising and important ramifications. Read more »

Humanity on a Tightrope

By Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich

Review by John Zada
Contributing Writer

Psychologist Robert Ornstein and biologist Paul Ehrlich join forces to explain why the human race has reached its current perilous precipice. To sidestep the  fate they say is now barreling towards us will require us to address our “empathy shortfall.” Read more »

The Matter with Things

By Iain McGilchrist

In this landmark new book, Iain McGilchrist addresses some of the oldest and hardest questions humanity faces – ones that, however, have a practical urgency for all of us today. Who are we? What is the world? How can we understand consciousness, matter, space and time? Is the cosmos without purpose or value? Can we really neglect the sacred and divine? Read more »

Beyond Culture

By Edward T. Hall
Report by John Zada
Contributing Writer

Edward T. Hall was an American anthropologist who delved deeply into what he called “hidden culture”: nonverbal, but culturally determined, cues which are filtered out from our consciousness—but which we nevertheless perceive and act upon, without even realizing it. His work explores not only the several dimensions of these cues and how they vary from one group to another, but also how critically important it is for human survival that we come to understand them.

Travel the Journey

Andreas Bohnenstengel, Wikimedia Commons

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Creating the World We Want

Listen: Loyalty to groups helped humans survive. That instinct still shows up in conflicts

NPR, October 30, 2023

Entrenched conflicts exist globally and locally. Here’s what behavioral science says about working through entrenched divisions.

Listen: The Jews and Arabs coexisting in crisis

BBC: The Documentary Podcast

Emily Wither talks to Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel who are working together to keep the peace in their neighbourhoods.

‘I Feel a Human Deterioration’,

The New York Times, October 27, 2023

The Israeli writer Etgar Keret has spent the last few weeks trying to make sense of the violence and loss around him. So far, he can’t.

The Heroic Imagination Project

The Heroic Imagination Project was founded by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University. HIP is a research-based organization which provides knowledge, tools, strategies, and exercises to individuals and groups to help them to overcome the social and psychological forces which can keep them from taking effective action at crucial moments in their lives.