Evolutionary theory can make street life better

A further article on Binghampton USA.  Researchers found that people in Binghampton who behave in a “pro-social” way towards the care and welfare of others or the promotion of society,  tend to be clustered in neighbourhoods.  They are not evenly spread across the city. 

The researchers cite an evolutionary basis “prosociality can evolve in any species when highly prosocial individuals are able to interact with each other and avoid interacting with selfish individuals

People who are prosocial seem to flock together

  • some people are born alruistic
  • some acquire altruistic behaviour through the environment
  • some have it thrust upon them when they interact with other people who are altruistic 

The people who do behave in an altruistic way generally benefit substantially – you get back what you give. And communities where this happens are clearly at an advantage.

The question is then whether prosocial behaviour can be induced.  An experiment has involved people designing a park.



The most caring and altruistic individuals receive the most social support from multiple sources, including family, neighbourhood, school, religion, and through extracurricular activities such as sports and arts. Groups that satisfy this basic condition for prosociality are likely to thrive.