With our team of policymakers, academics, former military, of playwrights, we explore why people refuse political compromise, go to war, attempt revolution, or resort to terrorism, focusing on what Darwin called “those virtues highly-esteemed and even sacred,” that give immense advantage to any group with devoted actors inspired to sacrifice for them.
In the course of Donald Trump’s rise to power, people have repeatedly been asking, “Why did he tweet that? What was he thinking about?” Our fascination with his mental states highlights a very important question for us: What happens in our minds and brains when we try to influence others?
Why do you spend precious moments every day sharing information? There’s probably many reasons, but it appears that the opportunity to impart your knowledge onto others is internally rewarding.
During the war in Afghanistan, the military decided to air drop food packages as part of its winning hearts and minds campaign. Unfortunately, the food packages were very similar in appearance to the cluster bombs they were dropping at the same time. If military decision-makers had spoken to communities, aid workers, military personnel on the ground, they’d have figured out there were smarter ways to deliver food and win the trust of the Afghan people.