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.
NetLogo: Evolution of ethnocentrism
This model simulates the biological evolution of ethnocentrism in a population made up of multiple ethnicities. Concepts of kin selection, frequency-dependent selection, and multilevel selection play a role in explaining observable outcomes. The models and lesson materials invite reflection about the evolutionary origins of human ethnocentric tendencies, their role in human history, their negative impacts in today’s globalized world, and ways to overcome these tendencies.
- Teaching material type Computer Model, Full lesson plan, Payoff Matrix
- Concepts Altruism, Cognitive Biases, Cooperation, Ethnocentrism, frequency-dependent selection, Kin selection, Multilevel Selection, Payoff matrix, Social cognition
- Subject areas Biology, Civics, Computer Science, Ethics, History, Human Evolution, Math, Philosophy, Politics, Social Studies
- Suitable Grade Levels 9-12
Related Lesson Materials
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.
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 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 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.