Greed: Willing to Do Anything
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
What makes some people nice and others nasty? Some generous, while others greedy? Is there chemistry behind our morality? According to neuroeconomist Paul Zak, a chemical messenger called oxytocin plays a large role in why some of us relate to Mr. Rogers more than Gordon Gekko.
Paul Zak is professor of Economics and Department Chair, as well as the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, at Claremont Graduate University. He also serves as Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and is a Senior Researcher at UCLA.
Zak is author of The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, a first-hand account of why compassion is part of our human nature, why loneliness can kill you, and why your neighbor may be a psychopath.
Reception and book signing to follow.
This event is part of the Science and the Seven Deadly Sins Series
In this series we're looking at some of the ways the Seven Deadly Sins show up in the sciences. To do that, we're bringing together top scientists, authors, chefs, urban planners, and many others to help us explore our base nature. Each event will feature indulgent receptions afterwards, as well as opportunities for you to interact with the speakers and one another. Join us for this vice-ridden round of events!
• Wrath Goes Viral, Oct 17, 2012
• Pride: Flying Cars and other Broken Promises, Nov 28, 2012
• Greed: Willing to Do Anything, Dec 11, 2012
• Lust and Love in the Animal Kingdom, Feb 12, 2013
• Sloth: Is Your City Making You Fat?, Mar 13, 2013
• Envy: The Cutthroat Side of Science, Apr 30, 2013
• Gluttony: Deconstructing Dinner, May 23, 2013
Learn more about the series here.
Paul J. Zak
Claremont Graduate University
Paul J. Zak is Professor of Economics and Department Chair, as well as the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Zak also serves as Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and is a Senior Researcher at UCLA. He has degrees in mathematics and economics from San Diego State University, a Ph.D. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in neuroimaging from Harvard. His new book Moral Markets: The Critical Role of Values in the Economy appeared in 2008 from Princeton University Press. Professor Zak is credited with the first published use of the term "neuroeconomics" and has been a vanguard in this new discipline that integrates neuroscience and economics. He organized and administers the first doctoral program in neuroeconomics in the world at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Zak's lab discovered in 2004 that an ancient chemical in our brains, oxytocin, allows us to determine who to trust. This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for modern civilizations and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurologic and psychiatric disorders.
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