Neuroscience of why you do what you do
This semester I enrolled myself into the class of Social Neuroscience from the department of Psychology. Though major in my life has always been Psychology, but I study data science at UIUC and most of the students with me study data science, software engineering or at the max cybersecurity. I have seen people taking classes from the department of computer science and business, but that’s it.
A lot of people asked me about my absurd choice of taking this subject, which they think wouldn’t help me secure a job or might not look good on my resume. But, I feel we come to college to get ourselves educated and not make resumes or job. Getting a job could be one of the outcomes of the education you received at the college.
Now coming to the main topic of this post, Social Neuroscience. One of the most interesting theory I have come across on this subject is what is called as Social brain hypothesis by Robin Dunbar (Robin Dunbar is a professor of evolutionary anthropology at University of Oxford)
As per this hypothesis,
“ Primary reason for growing bigger brains is because Primates could live in larger groups and be more active socially”.
One of the conclusions that can be drawn from this hypothesis could be that as Primates we are looking more for social inclusion and belonging within a community than a rush towards achievement of any particular goal of fame, fortune or home run. Maybe at the core we are shying away from the true things we are looking for and thinking that if we are able to achieve these other exterior accomplishments or grow bigger brains we might be able to achieve more social inclusion and connection.
What if we are directly taught as how to live a more social life, taught social skills that enhance our social presence that give us a sense of contribution and belongings in the community around us? Would that curb our endless striving behind the BIGGER BRAINS?
Though I do believe it is good to have bigger brains too.
What do you have to say on this?