Perspectives on Altruistic Internet Based Phenomena

 


Perspectives on Altruistic Internet Based Phenomena

Chris Exton (University of Limerick)

 

Abstract: 

Altruism as a concept has a long history in philosophical and ethical thought. The term was originally coined in the 19th century by the founding sociologist and philosopher of science, Auguste Comte, and has become a major topic for psychologists and in particular evolutionary psychologists. In this talk I will explore a variety of seemingly altruistic internet based phenomena such as "open source development" and "crowdsourcing" and their related communities from an evolutionary psychology perspective. My intention is to gain a better understanding of how they work and consider what underlying evolutionary psychology theories might best explain the phenomena. Altruism in the internet domain is of particular interest as it cannot simply be explained by the commonly cited kin selection theories as interactions are nearly exclusively with non-kin and often anonymous others.