Are We Wired to Need Greed?

Aug 1, 2014


Is greed good?  Is greed a human instinct?  Why are some people inclined to hoard?

For some individuals, greed and selfishness are much more commonly displayed than generosity. So, it might be fair to say greed feels more natural for some. On the other hand, most might say they favor unselfishness.

In this installment of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss whether greed is instinctual or not.

This discussion depends largely on the social nature of humans. Sure, we're all individuals with our own prerogatives, but we can often gain more by cooperating within our community.  Working together with the people around us is usually mutually beneficial for all.

There is an inherent conflict between selfish behaviors (like greed), and the equity instinct – an instinct among most communal animal species, not just humans. Believe it or not, that conflict  suggests we are naturally programmed to have an instinct to share resources equally.

Now that's something worth pondering.