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Decoding Humanity: A Short Story of Individual Motivations, Groups, and Societies, presents a short, simplified story that explains organized group life in terms of more basic human motivations. It gives simplified descriptions of how basic human drivers lie behind diverse group phenomena, including the modern economy, democracy, political posturing, patriotism, state-sponsored welfare, public respect for scientists, and mimcry, to name a few. The link between basic human motivations and group outcomes is, in a large part, what early economists like Adam Smith were interested in. It has also been taken up by modern economists under the guise of ‘behavioural economics’, which is best seen as a combination of classical economics and other human sciences like history, cognitive pyschology, neuroscience, and anthropology. Decoding Humanity aims to provide readers with an all-encompassing view of group behaviour that combines the wisdom of economics with the realm of the heart.

Decoding Humanity: A Short Story of Individual Motivations, Groups and Societies, is edited by Gigi Foster – Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Coordinator at the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.

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