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

  title={Strong reciprocity, human cooperation, and the enforcement of social norms},
  author={E. Fehr and U. Fischbacher and S. G{\"a}chter},
  journal={Human Nature},
This paper provides strong evidence challenging the self-interest assumption that dominates the behavioral sciences and much evolutionary thinking. The evidence indicates that many people have a tendency to voluntarily cooperate, if treated fairly, and to punish noncooperators. We call this behavioral propensity “strong reciprocity” and show empirically that it can lead to almost universal cooperation in circumstances in which purely self-interested behavior would cause a complete breakdown of… Expand

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