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Investigation of the Evolutionary and Genetic Origins of “Social Mind” Diversity: Study with the Twin Method

Project Leader
Juko Ando, Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Letters, Keio University

Collaborative Research Affiliate
Chizuru Shikishima, Ph.D. Researcher, Keio Advanced Research Centers, Keio University

Faculty Staff Responsible for the Project
Kai Hiraishi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

- Research Objective -
IIn the process of evolution by natural selection, humans have acquired a wide array of psychological and behavioral strategies, such as social division of labor and reciprocity, and embedded them within culture. Those “social kokoro” (social mind) enables appropriate allocation of resources essential for survival and reproduction. Recently, it has been revealed that the diversity (individual differences) in the social kokoro is formed not only by environmental factors but also by genetic factors. We will empirically examine the evolutionary and genetic foundations of the social kokoro and its diversity based upon the theories of evolutionary psychology and behavior genetics, utilizing studies of twins.

- Anticipated Results -
This research will link the previously independent disciplines of behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology, forging new approaches to to the biological foundations of the cognitive functions supporting human sociality. The integration will lead to the new understandings of the society (i.e., social structures and educational systems), which should provide practical suggestions for humans to adapt better to the soceity.