Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

June 2002


Published in BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2002) 25, 239–296. Copyright 2002 Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.


An "Open Peer Commentary" on the article "Altruism and selfishness" by Howard Rachlin.

There are three concerns regarding Rachlin’s altruism model. First, proximal causal mechanisms such as those identified by cognitive neuroscientists and behavioral neuropharmacologists are not emphasized. Second, there is a lack of clear testable hypotheses. And third, extreme forms of altruism are emphasized rather than common forms. We focus on an overarching theme – proximal mechanisms of individual differences in altruism.