sal gentile

Comedian, writer, producer. I perform at the UCB Theatre in New York. I work at Late Night with Seth Meyers, also in New York. Formerly: Up Late with Alec Baldwin, Up w/ Chris Hayes, PBS, Current TV.

UCB Theatre bio | My work for MSNBC | My work for PBS

October 13, 2011 at 4:49pm

The psychology of Occupy Wall Street →

I have a slight obsession with evolutionary psychology and the study of human behavior: why we do the things we do, make the choices we make, think the wya we think, etc. Evolutionary psychology, in particular, looks at psychological mechanisms through the lens of adaptation and natural selection. It was emerging as the new cool thing in academia when I was in college studying philosophy, so that’s how I got interested in it. Also, Radiolab uses research from evolutionary psychology a lot, and did an amazing episode on the evolution of moral instincts in its second season, one of my favorites ever.

Anyway, all this is to say that, occasionally, my employer indulges my dabbling in the science of morality and human decision-making — one of the cool things about working at PBS. Once we did a fun video interactive about the morality of killing, to demonstrate the intuitions that go into making tough moral decisions. Now I have an article up about the psychology of wealth redistribution and political protest movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Enjoy if you’re interested in that. If not, be humans and go about your day.


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