Us humans, we’re pretty complex creatures.
The things we do, the things we say, the way we are, all of these things come together in strange, magnificent, and - at times - contradicting ways. How we think and why we do the things we do are not easy questions to answer, but that hasn’t stopped some of the brightest minds from psychology, anthropology, and economics from trying.
The “science of us” – essentially, how we think and why we do what we do – has undergone many evolutions. Initially focused on some pretty wacky – and unethical! - psychological experiments, the “science of us” was limited to Western thoughts, ideas, and momentary snapshots of people’s minds and behaviors. In the late 1990s, the “science of us” moved into a more holistic direction.
No longer limited to Western-centric ideas developed by White men, researchers started to consider how non-Western cultures think and behave. They also started to think about mind and behavior on life-long scales, tracking mental health in decades-long experiments.