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 ...

Cultivating cooperation through kinship

While the capability for organisms to work together is by no means novel, humans possess an unparalleled capacity for cooperation that seems to contradict Darwinian evolutionary principles. Humans often exhibit traits—such ...

Feedback culture: When colleagues become competitors

Competitive behavior among employees may be triggered by the type of feedback they have received. These are the findings of a study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the IESE Business School ...

Lend me a flipper: Dolphins and cooperation

Cooperation is one of the most important abilities for any social species. From hunting, breeding, and child rearing, it has allowed many animals—including humans—to survive and thrive. As we better understand the details ...

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