Exploring how community-based social norms evolve

Cooperation is a guiding principle of everyday life. It's as simple as following the rules of the road when driving or holding a door for a stranger; cooperation is a fundamental aspect of human societies and has long intrigued ...

Why do we learn to reward cooperation?

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Plön show that reputation plays a key role in determining which rewarding policies people adopt. Using game theory, they explain why individuals learn to use rewards to specifically ...

Context-dependent behavior can make cooperation flourish

A person who is generous and caring at home may be cutthroat at work, striving to bring in the most sales or advance up a corporate management chain. In a similar vein, a self-centered neighbor may be a model of altruism ...

Altruism in bacteria—Gut microbes help family first

A recent discovery that, in real-world conditions bacteria, similar to animals, cooperate and selflessly act for the greater good of the group, could help scientists to predict how helpful and harmful strains behave. The ...

Is not helping a bad person good or bad?

A research team led by Hitoshi Yamamoto from Rissho University has analyzed how the social norm of indirect reciprocity is adopted in human society and revealed results that contradict previous theoretical predictions. The ...

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