The Evolution of (un)Fairness

This event is no longer on sale.

Friday December 13

5:30 PM  –  8:00 PM

Dr. Sarah Brosnan, Professor of Psychology, Philosophy and Neuroscience, Georgia State University

The human sense of fairness is an evolutionary puzzle. Why do we put so much value on what we receive relative to others? Examining other species’ reactions to different reward distributions reveals that humans are not alone in disliking inequity. However, a full sense of fairness also requires that individuals notice and seek to equalize outcomes that advantage them—a response that has been documented in our closest relatives, the apes. Dr. Brosnan will explore how the evolution of this response, combined with advanced abilities at inhibition and planning, allowed for the development of a complete sense of fairness in humans.

Dr. Sarah Brosnan is Professor of Psychology, Philosophy and Neuroscience at Georgia State University, and holds a visiting professor position at the Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. She studies the evolution of decision-making behavior, using an experimental economic approach to compare responses across multiple species, primarily in non-human primates and human adults and children.


5:30 PM: Enjoy complimentary light appetizers and a cash bar. Meals are available for purchase at Exploration: A Zack Bruell Restaurant, located off the Museum's main lobby.

7 PM: Presentation begins in Murch Auditorium, followed by questions and answers.

Parking: Special event parking rates apply.

Admission: Members: $10; nonmembers: $12; College students: $6. 

Member discounts will be reflected in cart.