Jeffrey R. Stevens

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Decision making often involves choosing between small, short-term rewards and large, long-term rewards. All animals, humans included, discount future rewards--the present value of delayed rewards is viewed as less than the value of immediate rewards. Despite its ubiquity, there exists considerable but unexplained variation between species in their capacity(More)
Nonhuman animals steeply discount the future, showing a preference for small, immediate over large, delayed rewards. Currently unclear is whether discounting functions depend on context. Here, we examine the effects of spatial context on discounting in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), species known to differ(More)
Human and non-human animals tend to avoid risky prospects. If such patterns of economic choice are adaptive, risk preferences should reflect the typical decision-making environments faced by organisms. However, this approach has not been widely used to examine the risk sensitivity in closely related species with different ecologies. Here, we experimentally(More)
Theoretical studies of cooperative behavior have focused on decision strategies that depend on a partner's last choices. The findings from this work assume that players accurately remember past actions. The kind of memory that these strategies employ, however, does not reflect what we know about memory. Here, we show that human memory may not meet the(More)
Informed by the research on adaptive decision making in other animal species, this study investigated human females' intertemporal and risky choices across the ovulatory cycle. We tested the hypothesis that at peak fertility, women who are exposed to environments that signal availability of higher quality mates (by viewing images of attractive males),(More)
Animals often aid others without gaining any immediate benefits. Although these acts seem to reduce the donor's fitness, they are only apparently altruistic. Donors typically help because they or their kin receive future benefits or avoid costly punishment. Reciprocal altruism--alternating the roles of donor and recipient--has been a well-studied form of(More)
To make adaptive choices, individuals must sometimes exhibit patience, forgoing immediate benefits to acquire more valuable future rewards [1-3]. Although humans account for future consequences when making temporal decisions [4], many animal species wait only a few seconds for delayed benefits [5-10]. Current research thus suggests a phylogenetic gap(More)
Animals may share food to gain immediate or delayed fitness benefits. Previous studies of sharing have concentrated on delayed benefits such as reciprocity, trade and punishment. This study tests an alternative model (the harassment or sharing-under-pressure hypothesis) in which a food owner immediately benefits because sharing avoids costly harassment from(More)
Helping others at no cost to oneself is a simple way to demonstrate other-regarding preferences. Yet, primates exhibit mixed results for other-regarding preferences: chimpanzees and tamarins do not show these effects, whereas capuchin monkeys and marmosets preferentially give food to others. One factor of relevance to this no-cost food donation is the(More)
The capacity for non-linguistic, numerical discrimination has been well characterized in non-human animals, with recent studies providing careful controls for non-numerical confounds such as continuous extent, density, and quantity. More poorly understood are the conditions under which animals use numerical versus non-numerical quantification, and the(More)