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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Human beings may be prepared by evolution to regulate their behavior in ways that were adaptive for our Paleolithic ancestors. When people behave in ways that are compatible with these adaptations, they rely primarily on hypo-egoic strategies that are efficient without being overly effortful or self-reflective. This chapter proposes that hypo-egoic self-regulation is an easy and efficient mode of self-regulation because people evolved to function in a mostly hypo-egoic fashion. Unfortunately, modern societies often require people to behave in ways that are incompatible with those predispositions, requiring them to rely on hyper-egoic strategies that require more effort, deliberation, and self-reflection. The chapter examines the causes and consequences of the mismatch between human beings’ evolved predispositions and the demands of modern life, and concludes with recommendations for how people can live more hypo-egoically even in complex, delayed-return societies.

Keywords: hunter-gatherer, culture, evolution, identity, ideology, immediate return

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