Download Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary by Joseph Henrich, Natalie Henrich PDF

By Joseph Henrich, Natalie Henrich

Cooperation between people is without doubt one of the keys to our nice evolutionary good fortune. Natalie and Joseph Henrich study this phenomena with a special fusion of theoretical paintings at the evolution of cooperation, ethnographic descriptions of social habit, and more than a few different experimental effects. Their experimental and ethnographic facts come from a small, insular workforce of middle-class Iraqi Christians referred to as Chaldeans, dwelling in metro Detroit, whom the Henrichs use for example to teach how kinship kinfolk, ethnicity, and culturally transmitted traditions give you the key to explaining the evolution of cooperation over a number of generations.

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Extra info for Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation (Evolution and Cognition Series)

Example text

Nothing. 3 Thus, the beneWts that you personally create by recycling do not outweigh your costs, and consequently any self-interested, rational individual who weighed the costs and beneWts of his actions should refrain from recycling. Yet if everyone did this, our species would suVer in the long run. Recycling, like voting, is an example of a public goods problem. In a public goods situation, individuals have an incentive to refrain from cooperating even though, in the long run, everyone will suVer from the loss of the joint beneWt.

In synthesizing the Wndings of their experimental study, Alpesteguia, Huck, and Oeschssler (2005) write: ‘‘If individuals can imitate actions, most of them do so. ’’ These analyses explicitly show that the probability of imitating increases proportionally with the observed diVerence in payoVs (this Wnding is remarkably consistent with the evolutionary prediction; see Schlag 1998 and 1999). Interestingly, OVerman, Potters, and Sonnemans (2002), using a similar setup, found that participants used two kinds of cultural learning mechanism: sometimes they imitated the most successful in their trio, and other times they imitated people who chose more group-beneWcial options.

30 Why Humans Cooperate donations has the biggest eVect on children (note the vertically striped bars across preaching conditions); (2) modeling is augmented by showing either positive aVect or preaching generosity (compare the vertically striped bars for ‘‘positive aVect’’ and ‘‘preaching generosity’’ with ‘‘preaching selWshness’’); (3) this eVect endures on retests two month later; and (4) showing positive aVect increases the eVect of imitation more than either type of preaching (compare the diVerence between the vertically striped and black bars across conditions, and in the retests).

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