Join me as I continue my fascinating conversation with Yale professor Samuel Wilkinson, author of the thought-provoking book "Purpose: What Evolution and Human Nature Imply About the Meaning of Our Existence." Listen in as we tackle the intriguing topic of altruism in the evolutionary narrative, debunking the myth that survival hinges solely on selfishness. The significance of relationships and family takes center stage in our discussion as we share insights into how these bonds form the bedrock of happiness and meaning in our lives. Explore findings from the Harvard Adult Development Study that showcase the undeniable link between well-being and warm, supportive connections. The conversation doesn't shy away from the hard truths either, addressing the impact of detachment in early life and the innate human craving for closeness. We also dissect the psychological and evolutionary drivers that make personal relationships a central pillar of our contentment. Learn about the role of affective forecasting in our lives, highlighting our tendency to misjudge what will bring us true happiness, and the constant balancing act required to nurture our most cherished connections. We delve into the dual nature of humans—capable of both selfish and altruistic behaviors—and how the success of partnerships and family life often hinges on the willingness to put collective needs above individual desires.
Samuel Wilkinson is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Yale Depression Research Program. Dr. Wilkinson received his B.S. in mechanical engineering, summa cum laude, from Brigham Young University and later his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Yale, where he joined the faculty following his post-graduate medical training. His primary research has focused on depression and suicide prevention and has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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