I first became interested in the science of generosity while I was working with Robert Cialdini as a second year graduate student. Dr. Cialdini was involved in a debate with Daniel Batson about whether altruism exists, and Dr. Cialdini came to me to ask whether I would like to collaborate with him on a project that would examine the evolutionary basis of motivational mechanisms that direct altruism. Insights from that work and from a serendipitous talk given by Frans de Waal led me to begin working on a new evolutionary theory of altruism, one that recast the functional significance of close relationships—as designed to help individuals suppress self interest when necessary to prioritize the wellbeing of another person. As I developed the theory, it became increasingly clear that animal models of maternal care, developed by Michael Numan, were especially well-suited to explain the physiological mechanisms that link close relationships and altruism, with important implications for health.
- Science of Generosity: Causes, Manifestations and Consequences of Generous Behaviors
- The Social Contagion of Generosity
- The Family Cycle of Kindness and Generosity
- Religious Institutions and Generosity: Catholicism and Islam
- The Inherent Sociality of Giving and Altruism
- Attachment Formation, Compassion and Generosity
- Does Microfinancing Promote Generosity?
- The Foundations of Marital Generosity
- The Neural Circuitry Underlying Altruistic Behavior
- Generosity from an Intercultural Perspective
- The Causes and Effects of Workplace Generosity
- The Causes of Intergenerational Generosity
- The Development of Prosocial Behavior
- The Socioeconomic Basis of Generosity in Britain