Human Nature 20 (4):417-430 (2009)

Strong reciprocity is an effective way to promote cooperation. This is especially true when one not only cooperates with cooperators and defects on defectors (second-party punishment) but even punishes those who defect on others (third-party, “altruistic” punishment). Some suggest we humans have a taste for such altruistic punishment and that this was important in the evolution of human cooperation. To assess this we need to look across a wide range of cultures. As part of a cross-cultural project, I played three experimental economics games with the Hadza, who are hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. The Hadza frequently engaged in second-party punishment but they rarely engaged in third-party punishment. Other small-scale societies engaged in less third-party punishment as well. I suggest third-party punishment only became more important in large, complex societies to solve more pressing collective-action problems
Keywords Cooperation  Experimental economics  Hadza  Hunter-gatherers  Third-party punishment
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DOI 10.1007/s12110-009-9072-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Evolution of Altruistic Punishment.Robert Boyd, Herbert Gintis, Samuel Bowles, Peter Richerson & J. - 2003 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100 (6):3531-3535.

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