The Evolution of Monetary Irrationality

Laurie Santos (Yale University)

Membership Lecture, The New Mexico History Museum Auditorium

Thursday, April 29, 2010, 6:30–7:30 pm, Free for SAR members

Dr. Laurie SantosDr. Laurie SantosPhotograph by Jason S. OrdazDr. Laurie SantosPhotograph by Jason S. Ordaz

Are humans alone among species in exercising bad economic judgment? Perhaps not. Dr. Santos, “the Monkey Whisperer,” talks about her work in which she trained Capuchin monkeys to use currency and make economic choices in a financial market. This work has revealed that monkeys make “human” economic errors, and it seems some human financial errors are evolutionarily ancient. Understanding why such irrationalities emerge early in human evolution may provide insight into the psychological machinery that shapes human decision making today.

Read the “Monkey See, Monkey Accrue” article in the Pasatiempo, April 23, 2010 (PDF, 7 MB).

Video editing by SAR volunteer John Sadd

Sponsored by The Leakey Foundation and Betty and Luke Vortman Endowment Fund

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