Special human vulnerability to low-cost collective punishment

  title={Special human vulnerability to low-cost collective punishment},
  author={Don Ross},
  journal={Behavioral and Brain Sciences},
  pages={37 - 38}
  • D. Ross
  • Published 31 January 2012
  • Psychology
  • Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Abstract Guala notes that low-cost punishment is the main mechanism that deters free-riding in small human communities. This mechanism is complemented by unusual human vulnerability to gossip. Defenders of an evolutionary discontinuity supporting human sociality might seize on this as an alternative to enjoyment of moralistic aggression as a special adaptation. However, the more basic adaptation of language likely suffices. 
2 Citations
Forgiveness is institutionally mediated, not an isolable modular output.
  • D. Ross
  • Psychology
    The Behavioral and brain sciences
  • 2013
Forgiveness is a culturally evolved institution that can be exapted for use in dyadic contexts; it would be cheap talk among dyads were it not for the shadow of society.
Cognitive systems for revenge and forgiveness.
A subsidiary computational system designed to restore particular relationships after cost-imposing interactions by inhibiting revenge and motivating behaviors that signal benevolence for the harmdoer is posited.


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