HBD: Human Biodiversity

White Altruism

Paleocons and other traditionalists have been saying this for decades: Westerners are more altrusitic and trusting than other kinds of people. Now there is science to prove this. The article mostly concentrates on the Western bias inherent in most kinds of behavioral psychology, but the results are particularly amusing.

Dr. Henrich and co-authors Steven Heine and Ara Norenzayan argue that life-long members of societies that are Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic — people who are WEIRD — see the world in ways that are alien from the rest of the human family. The UBC trio have come to the controversial conclusion that, say, the Machiguenga are not psychological outliers among humanity. We are.

"If you're a Westerner, your intuitions about human psychology are probably wrong or at least there's good reason to believe they're wrong," Dr. Henrich says.


Others punish participants perceived as too altruistic in co-operation games, but very few in the English-speaking West would ever dream of penalizing the generous.

Remember this the next time some clown advocates for some ridiculous government welfare program.