Wednesday, 27 March 2013 14:12

The Monkeysphere Featured

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Being a nerd, and spending tons of time playing online games, I frequently come across situations where one individual flames another without much or any provocation. Usually the individuals don't know each other, and the degree of anonymity is high. On occasion I have even asked why the person why they felt the need to be so cruel. Among the answers i received was:

I don't know them so why should i care?

Absolutely ridiculous - yet it seems to be the normal human way.

Why are we like this?

I came one step closer today in understanding when stumbling across an idea called "The Monkeysphere" which is based on a correlation discovered by Primatologists decades ago. Apparently as Primatologists have noted, the size of a Primate Species neocortex is directly correlated with the number of individuals a Primate can form stable inter-personal relationships with.

Since this discovery another guy, Robin Dunbar, took this idea to the next level resulting in a framework that can accurately predict the number of individuals comprising a primate species' social group by analyzing that species’ neocortex size. For chimps, this number is around 50, while Humans (yes we are Primates) have a upper limit of around 150 individuals per social group.

What does this all mean and why is it important?

Back to the original question: “why are we like this?” One part of the answer seems to be that humans are geneticly predisposed to have a limit to the number of people we give a damn about.


Read 11778 times Last modified on Friday, 05 April 2013 07:55
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