“Economic man” in cross-cultural perspective: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies

  title={“Economic man” in cross-cultural perspective: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies},
  author={Joseph Henrich and Robert Boyd and Samuel Bowles and Colin Camerer and Ernst Fehr and Herbert Gintis and Richard Mcelreath and Michael Alvard and Abigail Barr and Jean Ensminger and Natalie Henrich and Kim R. Hill and Francisco J. Gil-White and Michael D. Gurven and Frank W. Marlowe and John Q. Patton and D. Tracer},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
  pages={795 - 815}
Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments from around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the university students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in… 

Collective Action in Action: Prosocial Behavior in and out of the Laboratory

ABSTRACT  Experiments have become a popular method to study altruism and cooperation in laboratory and, more recently, in field settings. However, few studies have examined whether behavior in

Generalizability is not optional: insights from a cross-cultural study of social discounting

A cross-cultural study of social discounting is used to illustrate the utility of a complementary focus on generalizability across diverse human populations, and why replication efforts with investment in strong checks ongeneralizability are needed.

Cross-Cultural Behavioral Experiments: Potential and Challenges

Experimental economics offers useful tools for cross-cultural research. Experimental games are well-defined environments characterized by a set of players, strategies and incentives. Conducting

Weird reciprocity? A ‘within-culture across-country’ trust experiment and methodological implications

Abstract: Economic experiments carried out in the computer laboratory seldom account for broader real-world contextual variables that affect humans as learning and norm-adopting individuals. The here

Do Markets Promote Prosocial Behavior? Evidence from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample

Recent experimental games conducted by ethnographers (Henrich et al. 2004) have shown that groups with higher levels of market integration exhibit higher levels of prosocial behavior. In order to see

Universals and variations in moral decisions made in 42 countries by 70,000 participants

It is shown that low relational mobility (where people are more cautious about not alienating their current social partners) is strongly associated with the rejection of sacrifices for the greater good (especially for Eastern countries), which may be explained by the signaling value of this rejection.

Behavioral Data, Cultural Group Selection, and Genetics

30 variables drawn from samples within one ACC populations, yet their hypotheses seem to demand comparisons among populations with differing exposure to ACC institutions. This may have resulted in

Reciprocity or Community? Different Cultural Pathways to Cooperation and Welfare

In a laboratory experiment we compare voluntary cooperation in Iceland and the US (N=156 in a convenience sample of university students). We furthermore compare the associated thought processes



Foundations of Human Sociality - Economic Experiments and Ethnographic: Evidence From Fifteen Small-Scale Societies

What motives underlie the ways humans interact socially? Are these the same for all societies? Are these part of our nature, or influenced by our environments? Over the last decade, research in

Cultural Diversity, Discrimination, and Economic Outcomes: An Experimental Analysis

Economists have paid increasing attention to the role of cultural diversity in explaining the variability of economic outcomes across societies. We develop an experimental framework that complements

Comparative Experimental Evidence from Peru, Chile & the U.S. Shows Substantial Variation Among Social Groups

This paper reports experimental results from ultimatum and public goods experiments performed among the Machiguenga of the Peruvian Amazon, the Mapuche and Huinca of southern Chile, and with U.S.

Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis

This paper reports the findings of a meta-analysis of 37 papers with 75 results from ultimatum game experiments. We find that on average the proposer offers 40% of the pie to the responder. This

The evolution of prestige: freely conferred deference as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission.

  • J. HenrichF. Gil-White
  • Psychology
    Evolution and human behavior : official journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society
  • 2001

Cross-cultural evidence of cognitive adaptations for social exchange among the Shiwiar of Ecuadorian Amazonia

The hypotheses that social exchange algorithms are species-typical and that their evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS)-relevant subroutines are developmentally buffered against cultural variation are supported.

Strong reciprocity, human cooperation, and the enforcement of social norms

Strong reciprocity cannot be rationalized as an adaptive trait by the leading evolutionary theories of human cooperation (in other words, kin selection, reciprocal altruism, indirect reciprocity, and costly signaling theory), however, multilevel selection theories of cultural evolution are consistent with strong reciprocity.

Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life

Moral Sentiments and Material Interests presents an innovative synthesis of research in different disciplines to argue that cooperation stems not from the stereotypical selfish agent acting out of

The Co-evolution of Individual Behaviors and Social Institutions

We jointly address two puzzles, namely what accounts for the evolutionary success of both: (a) individually costly and group-beneficial forms of human sociality towards non-kin; and (b) those