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Garthoff, Shteynberg, Bentley Publish Interdisciplinary Paper on Collective Learning

Garthoff, Shteynberg, Bentley Publish Interdisciplinary Paper on Collective Learning


Jon Garthoff, an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, published an interdisciplinary paper with Alex Bentley, head of the Department of Anthropology, and Associate Professor of Psychology Garriy Shteynberg in the journal Psychological Review titled “Shared worlds and shared minds: A theory of collective learning and a psychology of common knowledge.”

Researchers studied collective learning and its impact on collective identities, social norms, and strategic cooperation.

“I research how psychological capacities - including capacities shared with many nonhuman animals, such as perception, consciousness, and judgment - figure in our best understanding of ethics,” Garthoff said.

Researchers also offer a psychological explanation for the philosophical problem of why people choose to cooperate with each other and when they come up with new social rules that govern their interactions.

Jacob Hirsch at the University of Toronto was an additional coauthor on the paper.

The trio received the College of Arts and Sciences 2019 Interdepartmental Collaborative Scholarship and Research Award during the annual faculty awards banquet for their work on this groundbreaking paper. The authors’ thesis provides a psychological answer (Shteynberg) to a long-standing philosophical problem (Garthoff), with implications for human evolution (Bentley).

-By Kelly Alley

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