My last post involved a exchange with an anthropologist. There have been a number of other posts on the Internet involving behavior and social interaction. One was pointed to by Marginal Revolution blogger Alex Tabarrok, Chimps More "Rational" than Humans . The original United International Press article is here.
My contribution to the Marginal discussion was a recent link from Scientific American Mind, Is Greed Good?
Economists are finding that social concerns often trump selfishness in financial decision making, a view that helps to explain why tens of millions of people send money to strangers they find on the Internet By Christoph Uhlhaas.
Other articles passing by my computer screen also brought up a variety of ideas. The Business Pundit pointed to an article on Contagious Negativity and Social Media from the Journal of Consumer Research concluding that negativity is contagious. A recent Washington Post article says that the persistence of social myths such as Iraq was behind the 9/11 bombing could affect the implementation of public policy. All this would seem to put a dent in the notion of Homo economicus and indicate that we are in truth far more complicated.
However, there are other articles that would seem to indicate that there are forces in play beyond the solitary individual that creates new rules for the group, crowd or society as a whole. One example is from Cosmic Variance: Birds of a Feather which was found (8/11/09) to be recently updated with a video.