Dr. Sanderson, director of the Anxiety and Depression Treatment Program at the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center, teaches a course on evolutionary psychology. He writes that selfishness is an inherent part of human nature, but managing that selfishness will be key to meeting the many challenges posed by coronavirus.
“Threats to our well being increase fear, especially when the threat can be neutralized by self-protective behavior (even if it is illusory like a superstitious behavior). … Certainly one important way to dial down selfish behavior in the context of the threat of coronavirus is to try to keep the fear level reasonable — proportional to the threat.”
Dr. Sanderson’s Psychology Today column was also referenced in an op-ed in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, and he also authored another blog for Psychology Today: “Blind Spot: Failure of Imagination and Existential Threats” on why “intelligent, worry-prone humans fail to take predictable catastrophes seriously.”