Dominic D. P. Johnson

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Cooperation towards public goods relies on credible threats of punishment to deter cheats. However, punishing is costly, so it remains unclear who incurred the costs of enforcement in our evolutionary past. Theoretical work suggests that human cooperation may be promoted if people believe in supernatural punishment for moral transgressions. This theory is(More)
Whether animals live in groups can be influenced by numerous direct benefits, such as cooperative hunting, predator avoidance or alloparental care, as well as by direct disadvantages, such as elevated parasite burdens or infanticide risk [1]. Here, we focus instead on an alternative factor, namely, how the availability of RESOURCES (see Glossary) in the(More)
How groups of individuals achieve coordination and collective action is an important topic in the natural sciences, but until recently the role of leadership in this process has been largely overlooked. In contrast, leadership is arguably one of the most important themes in the social sciences, permeating all aspects of human social affairs: the election of(More)
Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) has earned the nickname "warrior gene" because it has been linked to aggression in observational and survey-based studies. However, no controlled experimental studies have tested whether the warrior gene actually drives behavioral manifestations of these tendencies. We report an experiment, synthesizing work in psychology and(More)
Confidence is an essential ingredient of success in a wide range of domains ranging from job performance and mental health to sports, business and combat. Some authors have suggested that not just confidence but overconfidence--believing you are better than you are in reality--is advantageous because it serves to increase ambition, morale, resolve,(More)
Counterintuitively, biases in behavior or cognition can improve decision making. Under conditions of uncertainty and asymmetric costs of 'false-positive' and 'false-negative' errors, biases can lead to mistakes in one direction but - in so doing - steer us away from more costly mistakes in the other direction. For example, we sometimes think sticks are(More)
Human cooperation remains a puzzle because it persists even in contexts where traditional theories predict it should not do so (i.e. among unrelated strangers, who never meet again and where reputation effects are absent). The leading explanation argues that cooperation occurs only if non-cooperators are punished. However, punishment is costly, so(More)
We agree with Revilla [1] that the resource dispersion hypothesis (RDH) indeed lacks comprehensive evidence in any one specific case; however, this deficiency results from a lack of good tests, rather than from the failure of any tests [2]. Revilla’s claim that ‘we only need evidence against one of its assumptions and/or predictions to invalidate it’, is(More)
Diapause, the temporary cessation of development at an early life-history stage, is widespread among animals and plants. The range of taxa exhibiting various forms of diapause indicates its enormous ecological significance and highlights its value as a model for examining life-history trait evolution. However, despite the impact of diapause on species(More)
Marshall et al. [1] critique recent evolutionary explanation of decision-making biases, focusing on Johnson and Fow ler’s model of overconfidence [2] and Trivers’ model of self deception [3]. We agree with Marshall et al.’s central prem ise that a Bayesian decision-maker would also be able t optimize fitness in these settings (see their Box 2). Howev er, as(More)