Episode 7

Heroism and Heroic Actions: Stephanie Preston


March 13th, 2019

56 mins 2 secs

Season 1

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About this Episode

Dr. Stephanie Preston is our guest for this great conversation about the neural and evolutionary underpinnings of heroic behaviors. She proposes that heroism can be found across the phylogenetic spectrum, and acts of human heroism may have significant roots in conserved behavior patterns -- for example, the instinct for mother rats to retrieve and protect their young even at the risk of great personal danger.

We discuss what qualifies as heroism, how situations can cue (or inhibit) heroic behavior, and what the evolutionary advantage might be to put one's own genes at risk to save the life of another.

We also discuss the field of evolutionary psychology as a whole, and the way in which researchers think about it differently than it is often represented in popular press.

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