In the News (from Evolutionary Psychology): “According to the social brain theory, primates have larger brains as it could be expected from their body sizes due to the adaptation to a more complex social life. Regarding humans, there were few studies about the relationship between theory of mind and frontal and temporal brain lobes. We hypothesized that these brain lobes, as well as the whole cerebrum and neocortex are in connection with the Sociability personality dimension that is associated with individuals’ social lives. Our findings support this hypothesis as Sociability correlated positively with the examined brain structures if we control the effects of body size differences and age. These results suggest that the social brain theory can be extended to human interindividual differences and they have some implications to personality psychology too.
“According to this hypothesis, the unusual brain size is due to the adaptation to a more complex social life. However, the exact social skills that resulted in this have not been clarified yet.
Social complexity requires large cognitive capacity. To live in a stable social group and sustain group cohesion members have to coordinate their behavior with others, as well as to manage complex relational information. Individuals have to maintain more relationships and be able to respond appropriately to social interactions. Individuals have different goals and desires that might not conflict with those of others.
“The authors [Barrett, Henzi, and Dunbar, 2003] suggest that ‘the ability to reason causally, the ability to reason analogically, the ability to exert cognitive control to generate and assess alternative options, and the ability to formulate these options into alternative sequences of future actions and to select between them’ are critical to develop high-level sociocognitive abilities.”
My Comment: Namely connection, altruism, rather than individual egoism leads to a greater development at the level of “Homo Sapiens.” An egoistic individualist can reach good results in a competitive society, but during the transition to a global, integrally connected society, his exclusiveness becomes an obstacle that needs to be overcome in the framework of a new society.