Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Non-instrumental belief is largely founded on singularity1

George Ainsliea1

a1 151 Coatesville VA Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320.


The radical evolutionary step that divides human decision-making from that of nonhumans is the ability to excite the reward process for its own sake, in imagination. Combined with hyperbolic over-valuation of the present, this ability is a potential threat to both the individual's long term survival and the natural selection of high intelligence. Human belief is intrinsically “unfounded” or under-founded, which may or may not be adaptive.