Evolving the Psychological Mechanisms for Cooperation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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■ Abstract Cooperation is common across nonhuman animal taxa, from the hunting of large game in lions to the harvesting of building materials in ants. Theorists have proposed a number of models to explain the evolution of cooperative behavior. These ultimate explanations, however, rarely consider the proximate constraints on the implementation of cooperative behavior. Here we review several types of cooperation and propose a suite of cognitive abilities required for each type to evolve. We propose that several types of cooperation, though theoretically possible and functionally adaptive, have not evolved in some animal species because of cognitive constraints. We argue, therefore, that future modeling efforts and experimental investigations into the adaptive function of cooperation in animals must be grounded in a realistic assessment of the psychological ingredients required for cooperation. Such an approach can account for the puzzling distribution of cooperative behaviors across taxa, especially the seemingly unique occurrence of cooperation observed in our own species.
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Sara J. Shettleworth (2010). Clever Animals and Killjoy Explanations in Comparative Psychology. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (11):477-481.
Mark V. Flinn, Davide Ponzi & Michael P. Muehlenbein (2012). Hormonal Mechanisms for Regulation of Aggression in Human Coalitions. Human Nature 23 (1):68-88.
Hisashi Nakao & Edouard Machery (2012). The Evolution of Punishment. Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):833-850.
Alejandro Rosas (2008). The Return of Reciprocity: A Psychological Approach to the Evolution of Cooperation. Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):555-566.
Alejandro Rosas (2008). Multilevel Selection and Human Altruism. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):205-215.
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