By Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis

ISBN-10: 0691151253

ISBN-13: 9780691151250

Why do people, uniquely between animals, cooperate in huge numbers to increase tasks for the typical strong? opposite to the traditional knowledge in biology and economics, this beneficiant and civic-minded habit is common and can't be defined just by far-sighted self-interest or a wish to aid shut genealogical kin.

In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis--pioneers within the new experimental and evolutionary technological know-how of human behavior--show that the imperative factor isn't really why egocentric humans act generously, yet in its place how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species within which giant numbers make sacrifices to uphold moral norms and to assist even overall strangers.

The authors describe how, for hundreds of thousands of generations, cooperation with fellow staff participants has been necessary to survival. teams that created associations to guard the civic-minded from exploitation by way of the egocentric flourished and prevailed in conflicts with much less cooperative teams. Key to this procedure was once the evolution of social feelings comparable to disgrace and guilt, and our skill to internalize social norms in order that appearing ethically grew to become a private target instead of easily a prudent approach to stay away from punishment.

Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic information to calibrate versions of the co-evolution of genes and tradition in addition to prehistoric struggle and other kinds of workforce pageant, A Cooperative Species presents a compelling and novel account of ways people got here to be ethical and cooperative.

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Extra resources for A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution

Example text

Our interpretation is that, like institutions in natural settings, by providing the option of reducing the payoffs of others once one knows how much they contributed (the word “punishment” is never used) the game structure conveys information about appropriate behavior and influences beliefs about the actions of others. Similarly, in the ultimatum game, people in the role of proposer often make an offer that approximately maximizes expected income from the game, the expectation being based on the ex post empirically observed rejection behavior of the responders.

To understand this result, note that when subjects could choose their partners, there was a strong tendency for subjects to play with others who approximately share their level of contribution. This is because the experimenters would always satisfy the request of two players who preferred to be together before the request of a pair only one of whose members preferred to associate with the other. Thus the top of the four elective groups maintained an average contribution rate of over 90% with no tendency to decay, except for an end-game effect in the last three rounds that brought contributions down to about 60%.

BP) A man ought to be a friend to his friend and repay gift with gift. People should meet smiles with smiles and lies with treachery. A man ought to be a friend to his friend and also to his friend’s friend. But no one should be friendly with a friend of his foe. ]) verses 42, 43 . Cooperation is common in humans in large part because people are motivated by social preferences: they care about the well-being of others and value fairness and other norms of decent behavior. Our explanation is that these social preferences are the proximate cause of altruistic cooperation.

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A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution by Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis


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