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The most popular articles being shared in our network this week.
Better than Rational: Evolutionary Psychology and the Invisible Hand. In a classic article from 1994, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby point out several deficiencies in economic theory and argue that insights from evolutionary psychology can help to correct them. They argue that, in certain domains, the human mind is “better than rational”, having been honed by natural selection to solve specific adaptive problems.
Cognitive fossils: using cultural artifacts to reconstruct psychological changes throughout history. Nicolas Baumard and colleagues argue that inferences about the psychological traits of ancient populations can be made from analyses of their cultural artefacts (literature, sculpture and painting). They review the methodological challenges associated with conducting such analyses.
Externality and taboo: Resolving the Judaic pig puzzle. Peter Leeson and colleagues put forward an explanation for the Judaic ban on pigs. They argue that because free-ranging pigs frequently destroyed crops and other property, activities that increased the number of pigs had large negative externalities. And in a highly religious society, a supernatural injunction was cheaper to enforce than a natural one.