How much money would you pay to prevent a complete stranger from being administered an electric shock? And how would that compare to what you'd give up to prevent your own pain? A fascinating new experiment suggests we may be more altruistic than we think.
Most people understand how selfishness and competition drive evolution. But if that's the case, why do we make friends at all? This video essay from New Scientist's MacGregor Campbell offers a quick and informative answer to that question.
It's generally a fool's errand to try putting human labels on animal behavior, but it can be possible to define how "good" animals are in terms of their capacity to act selflessly to help others. This is referred to as altruism, and it turns out plants are capable of it as well.
Can pretending to fly around like Superman inspire you to save the day? Does great power truly encourage great responsibility? A new study suggests that stepping into the role of a superhero in the virtual world could spark more helpful behavior in reality, at least briefly.
Researchers have identified a gene associated with empathy and sociability, and you can tell if someone has it just by watching their body language.
Babies are already way more adorable and beloved than other humans, but at least we old-timers could scoff at infants and proudly declare, "My senses of fairness and altruism are way better developed than yours!" Well...I've got some bad news.
"Do people who are genetically predisposed towards altruism tend to flock together? Or do people become more altruistic when they interact with others who display this trait? Or are external environmental conditions the major influence? Research shows that all three factors play a role. Whatever genetic…
Usually when we hear about robots learning a new skill through evolutionary programming, it makes us fear for the coming robopocalypse. But just this once it appears they may be learning something friendly, too. A program in Switzerland has put simple robots through hundreds of generations of simulated evolution, and…
Chimps may be one of our closest relatives, but they've shown a remarkably different approach altruism: They'll lend each other a hand, but need to be asked.