The Brain’s Way Of Dealing With ‘Us’ and ‘Them’

The Wall Street Journal:

A tribe of shepherds brings its sheep to graze at a common field. Every shepherd limits the size of his herd to avoid overgrazing the commons—except for one selfish guy who doesn’t care. What should be done to solve this problem?

Now consider two rival tribes of shepherds being forced to share the same field. In one tribe, the herd is communally owned, while the second tribe would divide the field into fenced plots belonging to each individual. What should be done to reconcile these two different views?

Harvard psychologist Joshua Greene examines these contrasting scenarios in a superb new book, “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them.” In it, he explores how dealing with these problems engages very different neural systems.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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