“The Evolution of Irrationality: Insights from Non-human Primates”



My talk will explore the origins of our judgment and decision-making

heuristics. Specifically, I will explore the possibility that some aspects of adult human irrational decision-making might be shared with non-human primates and human children.  I will then attempt to use a comparative-developmental approach to directly address the origins of several classic human irrationalities, such as the anchoring bias, cognitive dissonance, loss aversion and reference dependence. I will then discuss why such irrationalities may emerge so early in human development and evolution, with the hope of providing insight into the psychological machinery that drives both accurate and biased decision-making.