Human Behavior & Sustainable Development
The theme of human behavior holds many possibilities for teachers to develop interdisciplinary learning opportunities. Many themes in the curricula of subject areas deal with human behavior explicitly or implicitly. Many objectives of education in general, and of education for sustainable development in particular, aim to promote in students the ability to act responsibly, to take the perspectives of others, and to develop social-emotional competencies. At the same time, many social problems, from xenophobia to mental health, to problems of sustainable resource use, have in common that they are causes and consequences of human behavior. Furthermore, we humans, across cultures, generally have a great interest in human behavior – intuitively and almost every second we perceive human behavior in everyday life.
In this module, we therefore explore how we can convey the diverse concepts, research methods, and insights of the interdisciplinary behavioral sciences (including behavioral ecology and biology, behavioral economics, evolutionary anthropology, psychology, sociology) within individual subject areas, as well as for interdisciplinary teaching.
These lesson materials introduce students to issues of fairness and various interpretations of it. Reflecting on results of a cross-cultural experiment with children, students discuss how we can use our understandings to create a more fair world.
Our interdisciplinary teacher’s guide outlines our educational design concept. It provides introductory readings around core concepts of human sciences and ideas for exploring them in the classroom.
In this lesson, students analyze a select real-world social-ecological system by looking at factors of the resource(s) and ecosystem, resource user behaviors, and governance, to develop recommendations for improving the sustainable management of the resource.
This video is about a bicycle that works differently than normal bicycles, and how challenging it is for our minds to learn how to ride this new bicycle.
In this lesson students explore the causes of our moral intuitions with the help of a sorting activity and reflection questions.
A comparative behavioral research experiment exploring the abilities of chimpanzees and of children to cooperate around a shared resource.
A cooperation game that lets students experience some of the challenges of cooperation in addressing global climate change
A group game that lets students experience the dilemma between self-interest and collective interest when groups have to work together to achieve shared goals.
In a classroom simulation game with changing conditions students develop strategies for the use of a common resource so that the profit for the entire group is maximized.
Students explore the concept of cultural evolution by comparing it to genetic evolution based on a number of concepts, and explore why cultural evolution is so important in our species.
Lesson plan and worksheets to apply understandings of moral psychology in classroom discussions about ethical issues
Students explore the principles that allow groups to work together and achieve common goals, applying them to the groups that they are a part of or care about.
This lesson is about exploring the concept of values with students and having them identify and reflect on what they personally value, or what makes their life meaningful.
In this lesson students sort their own experience of thinking into fast and slow processes. Based on this, they come to understand that our thinking is shaped through experience such that things we do often and regularly become easier over time.
In this lesson students learn about the concept of cognitive biases as well as a number of important cognitive biases that may affect our well-being and social interactions, identify their causes in evolutionary history, their functions, and reflect on how to cope with cognitive biases.
A set of behavioral experiments across cultures that explore the human sense of fairness.
Students explore how a honeybee swarm makes a decision about their future nesting site, and explore the similarities and differences to how human groups make decisions.
Students reflect on the causes and consequences of human behaviors in situations of social interactions, and are introduced to the payoff matrix as a helpful tool to represent motivations and outcomes of behaviors.
A reading text about the challenges of life in groups and how groups across biology have found ways to solve these challenges.
A behavioral experiment across 40 countries that explored human motivations to return lost wallets to their owner
Students learn about the concept of evolutionary mismatch and apply it to various problems of sustainable development.
An overview of six important human moral intuitions
In this lesson students explore the causes and functions of, as well as ways to flexibly relate to our moral intuitions by engaging the analogy to our taste buds.
This NetLogo model lets students explore how competition for resources can affect the evolution of a population and can result in resource overuse. This model is similar to the Evolution and competition for forest resources model, but more abstract.
This NetLogo model builds on the model of Two Foresters. In this model, agents reproduce based on the amount of resources that they harvest.
This model simulates the biological evolution of ethnocentrism in a population made up of multiple ethnicities.
This model lets us explore how the appearance of certain social behaviors can affect evolutionary population dynamics.
This model adds cultural evolutionary dynamics through behavior imitation to the evolution of resource use behavior.
This model introduces the concept of resource use efficiency into the evolution of resource use behavior.
This NetLogo computer model extends the model Two Foresters and introduces a bigger and more complex population structure
An interactive introduction into concepts of ecology, behavioral ecology, and sustainability with a computer simulation of a simple social-ecological system.
Students identify the moral intuitions underlying people’s opinions in quoted texts and images.
This document is intended to give you some ideas on how you can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design a lesson or unit that integrates competencies in Education for Sustainable Development, concepts of human behavior and behavioral science, and topics of sustainable development.
A behavioral experiment that tells us about the role of unconscious perception, particularly the perception of human eyes, on human social behavior.
With these teaching materials, students can be introduced to game theory in general, as well as a concrete method, the public goods game. The conditions and rules of the public goods game reflect the challenge of a group to maintain common resources.
A handout about the “Triune Brain” model highlighting different functions of different brain regions
A reading text about the importance of cumulative culture in our everyday experience and in the evolution of our species
A cooperation game that simulates the challenge of our stone age ancestors to acquire food in the African savanna
Students compare the stories of three Mexican fishing villages to understand the factors that enabled some villages to sustainably manage their fishing resources, while others failed.
In this unit students explore stories of people who have left a radical movement, or deliberately discuss with representatives of the “other side” and build respectful relationships. These let us explore the circumstances, experiences and insights about why prejudice, hatred and violence against other people or a group can arise and how they can dissolve again.
Students explore two contrasting stories about the benefits and failures of capitalism, identify the moral intuitions behind each story, and write a third story about capitalism that integrates aspects of both stories.
In this lesson students explore the concept of (human) behavior, its causes, and its relation to well-being and sustainable development.
A set of behavioral experiments to find out what motivates people to save electricity, exploring the roles of monetary incentives, social norms, appeals to the environment or to citizenship.