Vortrag: The human fear paradox: Affective origins of cooperative care

Published 06. July 2022

Am Donnerstag, den 7.7.2022 um 13 Uhr findet im Hörsaal I des Psychologischen Instituts ein Forschungsvortrag von Prof. Dr. Tobias Grossmann statt.

Tobias Grossmann hat sich vor einigen Jahren in Heidelberg habilitiert und ist anschließend einem Ruf an die Universität von Virginia in Amerika gefolgt. Nun möchte er sich um eine Humboldt-Professur bewerben und würde diese sehr gerne an unserem PI ansiedeln.

Sein Vortrag mit dem Titel "The human fear paradox: Affective origins of cooperative care" basiert auf einer Publikation, die kürzlich in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences angenommen wurde:

Already as infants humans are more fearful than our closest living primate relatives, the chimpanzees. Yet heightened fearfulness is mostly considered maladaptive, as it is thought to increase the risk of developing anxiety and depression. How can this human fear paradox be explained? The fearful ape hypothesis presented herein stipulates that, in the context of cooperative caregiving and provisioning unique to human great ape group life, heightened fearfulness was adaptive. This is because from early in ontogeny fearfulness expressed and perceived enhanced care-based responding and provisioning from, while concurrently increasing cooperation with, mothers and others. This explanation is based on a synthesis of existing research with human infants and children, demonstrating a link between fearfulness, greater sensitivity to and accuracy in detecting fear in others, and enhanced levels of cooperative behaviors. These insights critically advance current evolutionary theories of human cooperation by adding an early-developing affective component to the human cooperative makeup. Moreover, the current proposal has important cultural, societal and health implications, as it challenges the predominant view in WEIRD societies that commonly construe fearfulness as a maladaptive trait, potentially ignoring its evolutionary adaptive functions.

Link: 10.1017/S0140525X2200067X

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