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Did emotions evolve to push others into cooperation?

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posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:26 PM
Interesting Article.


The next time you feel angry at a friend who has let you down, or grateful toward one whose generosity has surprised you, consider this: you may really be bargaining for better treatment from that person in the future. According to a controversial new theory, our emotions have evolved as tools to manipulate others into cooperating with us.

Dont we all just want to be treated better? Does not the hardened criminal just want love somewhere deep down? I guess it is natural to assume human emotions have evolved at a tool to bring more wholeness your way?

...All this suggests that anger and gratitude – and perhaps other emotions, too – may be tools for turning up a partner's mental cooperation control dial, says Tooby's colleague Aaron Sell. You get angry not when someone hurts you, but when their actions betray a setting of their cooperation dial that is lower than you expect, and your anger is both a threat to turn down your own dial and an inducement to them to turn theirs up. You show gratitude not when someone benefits you, but when their dial is set higher than you expect, and this signals that you plan to turn yours up in response.

The thing that strikes me is people are doing it unconsciously and not even knowing the motivations behind their actions. Its just blind reactions based on thousands of years of evolution of the human psyche.

I used to behave like this, maybe I still do sometimes, but it is funny to read about it none the less. The love you take is equal to know. That is one of those statements you hear and think "oh that sounds cool" and then have a profound realization how true it is years later.

It will stop being an unconscious struggle once we all realize this. We can all get as much love and attention as we want with out manipulating others into it with reactions.

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:33 PM
Interesting idea....

If someone is sad, they could in essence attract more attention and love from their friends...


I'm gonna have to think about this more. I'll come back to this thread.


posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:41 PM
It depends on how you look at it. You could live in a world by yourself and still feel emotions without the effect of other people. Although some people use their "emotions" to try to achieve some kind of control over people.

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:44 PM
This is an over generalization in my opinion.

Emotions primary function are survival mechanisms.

For emotions to be put into a cultural context, and as a means to garner cooperation with other humans, is in my opinion, one of the many Sub-sets of the many varying functions of emotions in the context of survival mechanism.

Granted co-operation is necessary for human survival in most cases, I still would relegate it to a sub-set or feature of the overall main purpose.

Basically emotions are chemical reactions that keep you alive and out of harms way.

posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 07:11 AM
double post! sorrry

[edit on 31-7-2010 by matrixportal]

posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 07:11 AM
Ok let me see if i can make any sense of this for myself,

i think everything we as humans do is appropriate in one way or another. The brain creates pathways and patterns that we tend to follow based on things we learned as a young child.

However, our brains sometimes take the easiest pathway that should, in theory, lead us to our desired outcome which serves some basic core need, purpose, or predisposed value that we wired our brains to believe, and instructed our brains to follow such a path. my opinion doing things like deep thinking (ATS
), mind puzzles, and trying to be open to every idea while thinking objectively can help us to, in turn, with time, rewire our brains to create new pathways where emotional response can be seen as another pattern within that pathway.

Feeling scared or afraid is an appropriate emotion when you're about to get into a car accident, but not necessarily when speaking in public, or even standing up for your rights! All the brainwashing and mind control going on in the MSM and advertisements is more than enough proof that our CORE EMOTIONS and basic belief systems are being manipulated!

We have to always dig deeper, keep reading, live healthy, and know when to stand up and FIGHT when the time is right! We know deep down when our emotions are struggling with the external manipulation going on. It's becoming time for sink or swim IMO and i have a commitment to myself to, in the words of Socrates, "know thyself."

It really is the only way, IMHO. Not saying i fully know myself or anything like that, thats impossible. But thats also why I never stop discovering! Rock on ATS, Rock on.
keep buildin those brain muscles!

[edit on 31-7-2010 by matrixportal]

[edit on 31-7-2010 by matrixportal]

posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 12:03 PM

Tooby and his colleagues think that our anger or gratitude reflect our judgement of how much the other person is sacrificing enough for us – and whether they will continue to do so in future.
For instance, you might feel angry towards a friend who broke a dinner date to watch a TV programme, but not at one who did so to take his child to the hospital. Tooby points out that the harm to you is the same in each case, but the first friend's behaviour indicates his low regard for your interests – triggering anger – while the second friend's does not.

So in essence people react to things based on how much other people consider you when doing something.

This seems to have an oppisite effect to me. Your friend gets you a birthday gift that maybe cost a lot less than you spent on them. Your goal is to recieve more affection and consideration from them yet the reaction is anger. You let your friends know in some way that you are displeased because they were not thinking about you as much as you were them.

You show them anger and they are pushed away from you wanting to do less because of your anger. Then you say "screw them they were never my friend anyways." I have seen this a few times. People only want more love and affection yet they push people away with their own insecurities.

First love thyself and you no longer need love from others to feel good. If you love thyself, you are free to be happy and share your love with the world and it will come back to you ten-fold.

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