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Better Than Conscious?Decision Making, the Human Mind, and Implications For Institutions$
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Christoph Engel and Wolf Singer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262195805

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262195805.001.0001

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Individual Decision Making and the Evolutionary Roots of Institutions

Individual Decision Making and the Evolutionary Roots of Institutions

Chapter:
(p.325) 15 Individual Decision Making and the Evolutionary Roots of Institutions
Source:
Better Than Conscious?
Author(s):

Richard McElreath

Robert Boyd

Gerd Gigerenzer

Andreas Glöckner

Peter Hammerstein

Robert Kurzban

Stefan Magen

Peter J. Richerson

Arthur Robson

Jeffrey R. Stevens

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262195805.003.0015

The whale kill, or grindadrápin the Faroese language, is an example of what many call an “institution”—a term that is used in various ways across the human sciences. This chapter looks at institutions (i.e., locally stable, widely shared rules that regulate social interaction), outlines the mechanisms that connect individuals to large-scale institutions, and discusses the design of individual decision making. If institutions regulate behavior, then presumably the mechanisms that have evolved to produce individual behavior will be relevant to the broader enterprise of integrating these two scales of explanation. Ways in which institutions may have evolved are explored, both as a result of individual decision making and as a result of processes distinct from those that govern individual behavior.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, cultural evolution, decision making, deliberative decisions, evolution of institutions, institutional designdesign of institutions

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