Nichola Raihani reading from Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and discussing achieving cooperation through competition.
I’m seven, playing cricket in my backyard in Canberra. I’m batting, my seventy-year-old grandmother is bowling, and I hit an amazing shot. Granny, the most competitive person I have ever met, hurls herself sideways and plucks an amazing catch inches from the ground; I utterly lose my mind. I throw the bat, I cry, I stomp off the field, and I lock myself in my room. Turns out, I was as competitive as my grandmother … and I wasn’t much of a gracious loser.
Nichola Raihani is a fan of cooperation and has much to say about its relationship with competition in our everyday lives. Nichola is a Professor of Evolution and Behaviour and a Royal Society University Research Fellow at University College London, and the author of the newly released book, The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World.
Nichola reads two pages from ‘On the Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin. [reading begins at 25:10]
Hear us discuss:
- Cooperation and competition: “Cooperation is ultimately a form of competition.” [5:36]
- Engineering and increasing cooperation. [32:35]
- How punishment impacts cooperation: “The threat of punishment can be quite effective to induce cooperation, but when it is actually executed, it can cause cooperation to completely unravel.” [38:00]
- “A lot of the time, the reason people are cooperative is because it feels really good to help other people.” [46:41]
Join our free membership site, The Duke Humfrey’s, and get access to full transcripts, past episodes, exclusive downloads and more. You’ll find it all at www.MBS.works/podcast
Nichola Raihani | Twitter
Nichola Raihani’s book | The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World
Charles Darwin | On the Origin of Species
It looks like you don't have access to this page. If you are a member, please log in below. Click here to sign up for Duke Humfrey's membership.