(From YouTube episode)
Evolutionary Arguments and Social Structures: "It was really just a rethinking of how evolutionary arguments should be structured as much as anything. So this was, if you like, the selfish gene approach, that prior to that, been a long period of interest, particularly in the context of primate field studies going back into the 50s, if not before, of being interested in why different species had different kinds of social systems and different kinds of social arrangements."
— Robin Dunbar [00:06:19 → 00:06:50]
The Evolutionary Psychology of Literature: "If you look at literary criticism, and I've been involved directly in projects looking at the kind of evolutionary psychology of drama, for example, in storytelling, what is it that makes us keep coming back to these tear jerkers like shakespearean tragedies when you might think once is enough? But no, we keep coming back, paying good money to see it over and over again or read the book over and over again."
— Robin Dunbar [00:15:01 → 00:15:36]
The Psychology of Evolution and Decision-Making: "That's how evolution works. Now, the issue is, and one has to always to remember this, that things like bacteria, insects and life can probably be characterized as genetically structured automatons. But once you start to get a brain, as you do in the sort of mammals and birds and leading up to humans, you start to free off the immediacy of decision making from the background genetic processes involved."
— Robin Dunbar [00:18:36 → 00:18:51]
Social Group Dynamics in Animals: "The very social species of mammals and birds, the group itself is part of the individual's evolutionary strategy and plays an extremely important role in allowing them to cope with and overcome the vicissitudes of everyday life in this grim place called earth, just forever throwing badly pitched balls at you when you least expect it, and you have to deal with them."
— Robin Dunbar [00:23:35 → 00:25:09]
The Importance of Social Bonds in Primates: "in order to create these kind of very deeply bonded, stable social groups, primates and a number of other species of birds and mammals, but nothing much beyond that. A few, I should hasten to say, species of birds and mammals, by no means. All in effect, had to invent friendships, so they had to create these bonded relationships to provide the kind of steel frame that holds these groups together through time."
— Robin Dunbar [00:25:30 → 00:26:00]
The Importance of Social Connections: "the single best predictor of your psychological health and well being, your physical health and well being, even how long you're going to live into the future, is simply the number and quality of close friendships you have."
— Robin Dunbar [00:28:07 → 00:28:20]
Social Dynamics in Friendship Clubs: "And the definition of club membership, the criterion of club membership is, can you get a glass of beer from the table to your mouth without spilling it? If you can, you're in the club."
— Robin Dunbar [00:40:30 → 00:40:40]
Understanding Kinship and Social Structures: "And it turns out that if you figure out the number of descendants from a sort of great great grandparental pair who married, if you like, and had children, who then had children, who then had children at the rates at which they do in undergatherer type societies where there's fairly high death rates among children, but also no contraception or no formal contraception, so they tend to have large numbers of children, then 150 is very, very close indeed to the number of living descendants in the three living generations for a pair who are the great great grandparents of all the living children generation."
— Robin Dunbar [00:46:21 → 00:47:13]
The Dimensions of Friendship and Language: "So the seven dimensions of friendship, all of them cultural, none of them are biological, which kind of identify the community, in a sense, the language community you come from."
— Robin Dunbar [00:48:13 → 00:48:27]
The Dynamics of Friendship Formation: "We can predict which layer they will sit in and how long the friendship will last before they stop courting them on the basis of the frequency of calls in the first month, and that appears to be them checking up."
— Robin Dunbar [00:52:13 → 00:52:29]