Category Archives: Human cooperation

Origins of Human Cooperation

Biological explanations of cooperation are based on kin altruism, reciprocal altruism, and mutualism, all of which apply to human and nonhuman species alike. Human cooperation, however, is based in part on capacities that are unique to, or at least much more highly developed … Continue reading

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Cultural Evolution of Human Cooperation

We review the evolutionary theory relevant to the question of human cooperation and compare the results to other theoretical perspectives. Then, we summarize some of our work distilling a compound explanation that we believe gives a plausible account of human cooperation and selfishness. … Continue reading

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To build a Cooperative Society, is it better to punish or reward?

One of the basic components of a functional, cooperative society is a code of law, where the laws are usually enforced by some kind of incentive. Social incentives can either be positive (rewards) or negative (punishments), and a society must … Continue reading

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Hierarchy is Detrimental for Human Cooperation

Studies of animal behavior consistently demonstrate that the social environment impacts cooperation, yet the effect of social dynamics has been largely excluded from studies of human cooperation. Here, we introduce a novel approach inspired by nonhuman primate research to address … Continue reading

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Communication and Collective Action: Language and the Evolution of Human Cooperation

All social species face various “collective action problems” or “social dilemmas,” meaning problems in achieving cooperating when the best move from a selfish point of view yields an inferior collective outcome. Compared to most other species, humans are very good … Continue reading

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