Flinn suggests that coalitions may have had important effects on the evolution of human social psychology.
"The fascinating thing about humans is that whether we are watching or playing the sport, we have the ability to put interactions among the whole team in our heads," Flinn said. "That just shows how complex our social psychology is. For example, a hockey or basketball player can anticipate how his teammates are going to react when he passes to each one of them and predict the outcome. The ability for humans to be able to do that is pretty astonishing."
Members of Flinn's research team include Davide Ponzi, now a postdoctorate at the University of Chicago, and Michael Muehlenbein, associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University.
|Contact: Tim Wall|
University of Missouri-Columbia