Cooperate without looking: Why we care what people think and not just what they do

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Cooperate without looking: Why we care what people think and not just what they do

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Title: Cooperate without looking: Why we care what people think and not just what they do
Author: Hoffman, Moshe H.; Yoeli, Erez; Nowak, Martin A.

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Citation: Hoffman, Moshe, Erez Yoeli, and Martin A. Nowak. 2015. “Cooperate Without Looking: Why We Care What People Think and Not Just What They Do.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (January 26): 201417904. doi:10.1073/pnas.1417904112.
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Abstract: Evolutionary game theory typically focuses on actions but ignores motives. Here, we introduce a model that takes into account the motive behind the action. A crucial question is why do we trust people more who cooperate without calculating the costs? We propose a game theory model to explain this phenomenon. One player has the option to “look” at the costs of cooperation, and the other player chooses whether to continue the interaction. If it is occasionally very costly for player 1 to cooperate, but defection is harmful for player 2, then cooperation without looking is a subgame perfect equilibrium. This behavior also emerges in population-based processes of learning or evolution. Our theory illuminates a number of key phenomena of human interactions: authentic altruism, why people cooperate intuitively, one-shot cooperation, why friends do not keep track of favors, why we admire principled people, Kant’s second formulation of the Categorical Imperative, taboos, and love.
Published Version: doi:10.1073/pnas.1417904112
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13950054
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