PerspectiveBehavior

Explaining Human Behavioral Diversity

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Science  27 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6033, pp. 1041-1042
DOI: 10.1126/science.1207050

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Summary

People have been captivated and puzzled by human diversity since ancient times. In today's globalized world, many of the key challenges facing humanity, such as reversing climate change, coordinating economic policies, and averting war, entail unprecedented cooperation between cultural groups on a global scale. Success depends on bridging cultural divides over social norms, habits of thinking, deeply held beliefs, and values deemed sacred. If we ignore, underestimate, or misunderstand behavioral differences, we do so at everyone's peril.