ICPS 2023 Keynote Addresses

ICPS 2023 Keynote Addresses

The Human Quest for Fairness and Equality – Evolutionary Origins and Socio-Political Consequences

Ernst Fehr, University of Zurich, Switzerland 

For thousands of years, Homo sapiens lived under extremely egalitarian conditions that involved a high degree of resource sharing and equality. Today, this egalitarian legacy can still be observed in many small-scale societies, and a strong egalitarian component also characterizes the distributional preferences of Western populations. In this presentation, Fehr documents these patterns and shows that individuals cluster around three global, fundamentally distinct, preference types characterized as altruistic, inequality averse, and predominantly selfish—with the selfish type typically comprising a minority of individuals. The evidence shows that these strong deviations from selfishness have strong implications for demands related to redistribution, charitable donations, how people respond to truthful information about inequality, and a host of other important behaviors in organizations and society. Finally, he addresses the question of why preferences for fairness and equality sometimes have no influence on social behavior.


Integrating Knowledge in Psychological Science Using Ontologies 

Susan Michie, University College, London, United Kingdom 

Psychological science has a crucial role to play in addressing the challenges facing humanity. Its vast and rapidly growing body of evidence can inform the development of interventions to improve well-being, but a lack of consistent and shared terminology hampers evidence integration and knowledge advancement. ‘Ontologies’ provide a shared scientific vocabulary for reporting research findings, readable by both humans and computers, enabling automated knowledge synthesis, outcome prediction, and inference across contexts. In her talk, Michie presents the “Behaviour Change Intervention Ontology,” which has the potential to dramatically enhance evidence integration and knowledge development using hybrid human-computer systems, thereby accelerating scientific advancements.  


Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Human Social Chemosignaling in Health and Disease 

Noam Sobel, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel 

Most animals communicate using social chemosignals, namely chemicals emitted by one member of the species that then produce hormonal and behavioral changes in other members of the species. Such communication is prevalent in insects and terrestrial mammals, and mounting evidence implies that it is also common in human behavior, albeit primarily at a subliminal level. In his presentation, Sobel describes his findings on mechanisms of human chemosignaling in both health and disease. Based on these findings, he argues that, in contrast to common notions, humans are highly olfactory animals, and body-odors dominate our social behavior.