Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
Mensen hebben morele oordelen over gedrag van henzelf en vooral over dat van anderen. Maar waar komt dat vandaan? De centrale vraag in dit onderzoek is of er evolutionaire verklaringen zijn voor onze morele machinerie.
Why do people have moral judgements on behaviour of others that has no consequences for themselves? How did humans evolve into a species that tends to exert social pressure in order to influence the behaviour of others, even if that behaviour does not affect them? Why do we consciously punish or unconsciously change attitudes towards those who display behaviour that does not meet our norms? How did morality evolve? While some parts of the theory about how evolutionary forces shaped human behaviour in choices concerning their own interests and those of others are relatively well-developed, modelling the workings and evolution of morality and social pressure is still in its infancy. This proposal suggests making general, theoretical models that capture the way in which mutation and selection resulted both in people making moral judgements and in people being sensitive to the judgements of others, or possibly even internalising those judgements in their preferences. The models will also have to produce testable predictions that can be used as inputs in collaboration with experimental economists.