Are Humans Generous By Nature?

The Human Generosity Project is the first large-scale transdisciplinary research project to investigate the interrelationship between biological and cultural influences on human generosity. We use multiple methodologies to understand the nature and evolution of human generosity including fieldwork, laboratory experiments and computational modeling.

Colette Doing Fieldwork, 2015


From herders and hunter-gatherers in Africa, to Fijian fisher-horticulturalists and American ranchers, the HGP is asking fundamental questions about why humans share during times of need. Our team of anthropologists is working at seven sites around the world doing qualitative and quantitative studies of human generosity.

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Outreach Cattle Game Buttons Cropped


The HGP organizes outreach activities to apply our emerging understanding of human sharing in times of need to topics including resource management and disaster recovery. We are also working with the Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco to develop museum exhibits based on human sharing across societies.

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Conte in Mongolia


Rutgers Magazine, a magazine that is widely distributed to alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Rutgers University, recently published a news story about the Human Generosity Project. The story focuses on the research being conducted by HGP Mongolia field site supervisor Thomas Conte and Ik field site supervisor Cathryn Townsend. … [Read more]

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