Cooperate without looking: Why we care what people think and not just what they do
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CitationHoffman, 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.
AbstractEvolutionary 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.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13950054
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