Summary: Alex Bentley is Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Bristol. This Fall
he is a Visiting Scholar at Northwestern University, spending time in both the Anthropology
Department and NICO. In the U.K., Bentley is Deputy Director of a 5-year, interdisciplinary
program to study 'Tipping Points' in environment and society (www.dur.ac.uk/ihrr/tippingpoints),
a project that integrates work on climate change, the banking crisis, and the spread of fashions.
Bentley has applied his research in projects with the British Department of Health, the Gates
Foundation and commercial organizations. His new book, with Mark Earls and Michael O'Brien,
is "I'll Have What She's Having: Mapping Social Behavior" (MIT Press).
NICO coffee hour will follow for questions, networking and collaboration.
NICO is pleased to present:
October 19, 2011 | 12:00 to 01:00 P | Chambers Hall, Lower Level | 600 Foster Street
Refreshments served at 11:30 A
Social influence and drift in collective behavior
Many explanations of human behavior -- even among the 'social' sciences --
start with people as isolated individuals, maximizing benefits versus costs. Pan-
ics or 'herding' events are often seen as anomalous departures from this norm.
I would like to suggest that humans, whose very brains have evolved to handle
social relations, are 'herding' much more often than commonly assumed. For a