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A thought experiment from Richard Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene turned out to be a more realistic explanation for altruism than he expected.
Self-sacrifice isn't all about selfish genes.
Is everything about who we are contained within our brains?
What goes into all for one and one for all?
Where do the cooperative skills that hold together human societies come from and why don't our selfish instincts overwhelm them? Evolutionary game theory suggests that empathy is a crucial contributor.
New research shows that when it comes to giving gifts, it really is the thought that counts.
Even though we might grumble about the pressures of Christmas, new research shows that we give because we genuinely want to make people happy.
Volunteering at a food bank is one way people feel rewarded by giving.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
How does being thankful about things in your own life relate to any selfless concern you may have about the well-being of others? A neuroscientist explores the gratitude/altruism connection.
Social media is one avenue for proclaiming generosity.
Some people are more inclined to give when they know their friends will find out.
Pet spending in the U.S. is estimated to have exceeded US$72 billion.
American spending on pets is more than the combined GDP of the 39 poorest countries in the world. What if even a small percentage of this spending was allocated to reducing suffering, asks a philosopher.
Generosity boosts reward mechanisms in the brain.
The idea that we are only kind to get ahead doesn't seem to hold up, being nice genuinely makes us feel good.
The more you like someone, the more optimistic you are for them.
Study challenges our understanding of optimism as being a self-centered phenomenon.
The Choose Love pop-up store in London set up to help refugees.
Materialism has an ugly face but it is here to stay. Rather than focusing efforts to diminish it we should utilise materialism to benefit wider society.
When rain from Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston and surrounding areas, some people were more eager to volunteer than others.
Caring about someone you have never met, this new brain research suggests, may have a lot in common with caring about the people you love.
Charities' victory in inheritance case a relief for legacy fundraisers, but raises wider questions about individuals' motives.
It's important to strike a balance between helping others and looking after yourself.
Sulphur-crested cockatoos form long-term pair bonds, perhaps explaining their emotional intelligence.
For a long time it was not believed that animals were even capable of feeling pain, let alone complex emotions. We now know that is far from the truth.
Humpbacks can use their fins as weapons against killer whales.
Humpback whales have been spotted fending off killer whales from attacking other species. But this kind of interspecies altruism raises an evolutionary conundrum.
What motivates us to help others?
Can a study into the neural basis of altruism help us be better people?
Standing up for what’s right can come with a cost to the individual – but also a benefit.
It helps society function when people punish selfish acts, even at a personal cost. A new theory suggests third-party punishment also confers some benefits on the punisher.
Ice Bucket challenge: for you or the cause?
Effective altruists say you should make the greatest difference – here's a better way to get people giving.
A hijacked car burns in East Belfast December 8, 2012.
Many antropologists believe that conflict drove the evolution of altruism in humans. But research shows that quite the opposite is true.