Costly Punishment Across Human Societies

  title={Costly Punishment Across Human Societies},
  author={Joseph Henrich and Richard Mcelreath and Abigail M. Barr and Jean Ensminger and Clark C. Barrett and Alexander Bolyanatz and Juan-Camilo Cardenas and Michael D. Gurven and Edwins Laban Moogi Gwako and Natalie Henrich and Carolyn Lesorogol and Frank W. Marlowe and D. Tracer and John P. Ziker},
  pages={1767 - 1770}
Recent behavioral experiments aimed at understanding the evolutionary foundations of human cooperation have suggested that a willingness to engage in costly punishment, even in one-shot situations, may be part of human psychology and a key element in understanding our sociality. However, because most experiments have been confined to students in industrialized societies, generalizations of these insights to the species have necessarily been tentative. Here, experimental results from 15 diverse… 

Altruistic punishment in modern intentional communities

Evolutionists studying human cooperation disagree about how to best explain it. One view is that humans are predisposed to engage in costly cooperation and punishment of free-riders as a result of

Punishment and cooperation in nature.

Optimizing the social utility of judicial punishment: An evolutionary biology and neuroscience perspective

  • D. Levy
  • Psychology
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
  • 2022
Punishment as a response to impairment of individual or group welfare may be found not only among humans but also among a wide range of social animals. In some cases, acts of punishment serve to

Costly punishment prevails in intergroup conflict

It is shown that group competition enhances the effectiveness of punishment so that when groups are in direct competition, individuals belonging to a group with punishment opportunity prevail over individuals in a group without this opportunity.

Other-Regarding Preferences and Altruistic Punishment: A Darwinian Perspective

Altruistic punishment - the punishment of norm violators at one's own cost without material benefit - is frequently observed in experimental economics, field studies and in people's everyday life.

The Evolution of Altruistic Punishment

Altruistic punishment has been noted as a force in sustaining cooperation. The evolution of altruistic punishment, however, is hard to explain by natural selection. In this paper, we review the

Evolutionary foundations of human prosocial sentiments

There may be fundamental differences in the social preferences that motivate altruism across the primate order, and a body of experimental studies designed to examine the phylogenetic range of prosocial sentiments and behavior is beginning to shed some light on this issue.

The Origins and Psychology of Human Cooperation.

An expanded evolutionary approach is introduced that considers how genetic and cultural evolution, and their interaction, may have shaped both the reliably developing features of the authors' minds and the well-documented differences in cultural psychologies around the globe.

The economics of altruistic punishment and the maintenance of cooperation

  • M. EgasA. Riedl
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2008
The results indicate that punishment is strongly governed by its cost-to-impact ratio and that its effect on cooperation can be pinned down to one single variable: the threshold level of free-riding that goes unpunished.



The evolution of altruistic punishment

It is shown that an important asymmetry between altruistic cooperation and altruistic punishment allows altruistic punished to evolve in populations engaged in one-time, anonymous interactions, and this process allows both altruism punishment and altruism cooperation to be maintained even when groups are large.

Altruistic punishment in humans

It is shown experimentally that the altruistic punishment of defectors is a key motive for the explanation of cooperation, and that future study of the evolution of human cooperation should include a strong focus on explaining altruistic punished.

Cooperation and Punishment, Especially in Humans

A direct (neighbor‐modulated) fitness approach is used to analyze when punishment is favored and reveals that relatedness between interacting individuals is not crucial to explaining cooperation through punishment, and increasing relatedness directly disfavors punishing behavior.

Why people punish defectors. Weak conformist transmission can stabilize costly enforcement of norms in cooperative dilemmas.

In this paper, we present a cultural evolutionary model in which norms for cooperation and punishment are acquired via two cognitive mechanisms: (1) payoff-biased transmission-a tendency to copy the

The nature of human altruism

Current gene-based evolutionary theories cannot explain important patterns of human altruism, pointing towards the importance of both theories of cultural evolution as well as gene–culture co-evolution.

The Neural Basis of Altruistic Punishment

These findings support the hypothesis that people derive satisfaction from punishing norm violations and that the activation in the dorsal striatum reflects the anticipated Satisfaction from punishing defectors.

Reward and punishment

The analysis suggests that reputation is essential for fostering social behavior among selfish agents, and that it is considerably more effective with punishment than with reward.

The hitchhiker's guide to altruism: gene-culture coevolution, and the internalization of norms.

  • H. Gintis
  • Biology, Psychology
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 2003
This framework can be used to model Herbert Simon's (1990) explanation of altruism, showing that altruistic norms can "hitchhike" on the general tendency of internal norms to be personally fitness-enhancing.

The Competitive Advantage of Sanctioning Institutions

It is shown experimentally that a sanctioning institution is the undisputed winner in a competition with a sanction-free institution, demonstrating the competitive advantage of sanctioning institutions and exemplify the emergence and manifestation of social order driven by institutional selection.